What to do with my summer

Hello! I’m currently a sophomore pre-med student majoring in Neuroscience and Health and Society. I’m about to start the summer between my sophomore and junior years of undergrad. I’ve been given two opportunities for the summer, and I can only really choose one route to go with. I’ve been pretty torn on this decision for the past few days, so I’d appreciate guidance on what you all think would be the best choice for maximizing my chances of medical school admission.

Route 1
I’ve been accepted as a tour guide for the admissions center of my college. This is something I do feel pretty passionate about, since I’ve always loved the idea of welcoming prospective students and families to our campus. It’s a part-time paid position which would allow me to also spend time engaging in clinical volunteering, shadowing positions, and MCAT preparation as well. The only thing is, I’m not sure how admirable the tour guide position would look to Med School admissions committees.

Route 2
I’ve also been accepted to a full-time research internship in my hometown focused on biotechnology. As a Neuroscience major, this is also something I’m really passionate about since the field of biotechnology is really innovative and can have outstanding implications on human experience. If I take on this role, I would have time to study for the MCAT, but probably not enough time to pursue clinical volunteering and clinical shadowing experiences. I’m pretty sure this opportunity would look great on Med School applications, but the drawback is that it’s really time-consuming.

Does anyone have any advice on how to proceed with this? I’ve honestly been torn over this decision for the past few days, so any guidance would be appreciated. Just for reference, these are how many hours I have in clinical volunteering and shadowing so far

Clinical Volunteering: ~ 180 hours
Clinical Shadowing: ~65 hours in Family Medicine and ~ 20 hours in Cardiology

Thanks in advance!

Research is important for a premed unless you have already been doing research and dont need more.

Tour guide will develop your interviewing skills but you need to get the interviews which depends on your resume.

Thank you for your response! I have done a lot of clinical research to improve physician-patient outcomes, which has entailed activities such as going through datasets and reviewing interviews. However, I have not done much traditional wet-lab research due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This internship could be my first chance to engage in this type of research. Do you think the experience would be worth it, possibly at the expense of clinical volunteering/shadowing hours?

Have you done volunteering before and if not are there places giving you the opportunity?

The reason to do research now is because it provides opportunities to present your work if something comes out of it. If you do it next summer, you wont be able to list any presentations at the time of your application (assuming you are applying next year).

That’s a good point! I have done volunteering before, but again due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this volunteering has been primarily virtual so I haven’t been able to get much of a hands-on experience. My opportunity to volunteer at a hospital this summer will be in-person.

I can definitely see that this research internship will be a unique opportunity to possibly give a presentation in biotechnology. I have done some presentations in the past in the field of Family Medicine, so I don’t think I’m particularly lacking in that area, but incorporating more fields is always better.

The research position, by far. You can do some clinical volunteering during the school year much more easily than put in two to three months of every day wet-lab research. I think the best use of your summer is the research job.

I tend to lean toward the research position since it will give you a boost for future employability since a med school acceptance is not guaranteed.

@parentologist @WayOutWestMom Thank you both for the helpful response! It definitely seems that the research position is the wiser way to go.