Can I work as a Med Student?

Work as a med student

Congratulations! You’ve been accepted to the medical school of your choice! But you’re also cash strapped, and your school, unfortunately, isn’t free. (There are ways to get that MD free, though- click here.) You know that a job is the answer, but a quick look at your schedule is letting you know that that might not be the easiest path to take. Or, your school may be saying that it is highly discouraged. Yikes. But you still want to know- can you work as a med student?

The answer is YES. But before you bounce off to do that side hustle or work that part-time job, you need to be fully aware of the pros and cons of working while doing 25-40 credits per semester.

Work as a Med Student Money
Can you make the green on a full-time schedule?

Can you work as a med student?


1. You’ll make money for school

This one goes without saying. Work=money, even though the sum may vary from minimum wage to a pretty big buck. With great budgeting and saving skills (get a free budgeting sheet from the AAMC here.), you’ll be able to make enough money to at least offset the costs of day to day living, even if you can’t tackle the big dog of tuition just yet.

2. Less loans

If you are able to get one of those jobs that allows you to make enough to offset tuition costs, there is a long term benefit to getting that part time job or side hustle- less LOANS! For medical students around the world, at some point of your student life, you may have to knock on the bank’s door, but this is especially true for American and Canadian medical students that may have to tackle with loan repayments post graduation. If you’re trying to avoid this, the right job may help you out.

Work as a med student hire
Is the job worth it?

3. Looks great on your resume

The ability to hold down a job AND a full time med school career is impressive. It’s even more impressive if the job tha you have is in the allied health fields, like phlebotomy or being a medical assistant. In my case, for the past 5 years of medical school, I’ve worked in the language education and translation fields, and this gives my CV a nice touch.


1. It will affect your study time

This is the greatest disadvantage to having a job in medical school. This is not an if: a job WILL affect your study time. Even if you are an extremely gifted student, you won’t be making the grades that you would have been able to make if you were able to dedicate yourself to study full-time. Early mornings and late nights will become even more detrimental to studies when the semester heats up, the stress begins to mount, and the urge to sleep becomes almost unbearable. Can you handle it?

2. It doesn’t leave time for relaxing and social time

It goes without saying, if you can’t even study as much as you should, you won’t be able to do something that is equally as important- being able to have a balanced social life and actually enjoy yourself from time to time. A fixed work schedules just doesn’t allow for that. Is a social life important to you? You may have to let that job go, then.

Work as a med student stress
Your tight schedule can leave you feeling like this guy

3. Exams and Clinics may affect work schedule

At the beginning of the semester, the academic office hands out the times for classes and rotation schedules, but when exams get rescheduled or the activities in clinic get hectic and you can’t leave on time, I can tell you from experience that you will be left scrambling and you won’t be able to keep up with school or your job either. That’s a lose-lose situation there.


Yes, you need money, but there is alot to consider. If these points haven’t helped, get advice from med students you know as well as your academic counsellor. In addition, here are some great posts that may provide even more insight:

Don’t forget to follow us on instagram @medcuteonline. Do you work as a med student? Let us know in the comments!

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