Summer is right around the corner. To be honest as a pre-medical student my summers consisted of volunteer activities and classes. During my gap year, I was working so the term “summer” only meant perfect weather and weekends at the beach. Now that I am in medical school and my first summer is approaching, I thought I would share how I plan to spend it and include options for those looking for ideas!
During medical school, we are given some breaks and one “real” summer. The rest of the time is spent studying for boards or completing clerkships. This first summer, the “real” summer, I personally think would be the best time to travel! Groupon Getaway has AMAZING deals to Thailand, Europe, and Africa. You can get a group of classmates, backpack solo, or go on a family cruise. The options are endless, and with some careful planning, you can certainly fit the trip into your budget. I recommend Kayak for flights, utilizing Airbnb, and booking in advance! Where are some of your favorite destinations that you have visited as a student?
I have always loved to volunteer, not because it was required but I genuinely enjoyed working with my community; and guess what? I get to do that this summer as a medical student in a local clinic that serves folks facing health disparities. I am excited to improve my H&P (history and physical) taking skills, participate in minor procedures, and help the underserved in my own hometown. I came across this opportunity doing some research online and making a few phone calls. You would be surprised that most places are EXTATC to have you volunteer with them. Volunteering at a clinic, the medical examiner’s office, or even the local library are some options. I suggest looking up some locations online, giving them a call, or applying through their online portals. What’s been your favorite volunteer experience over the summer?
Research in medical school is not a must but can be an experience full of learning opportunities. Most medical students contribute to projects in conjunction to school, others choose to work in the lab over the summer, and some just contribute to review articles. You’re probably wondering how to find those projects. Most schools have faculty that are already working on a project and they would appreciate the extra help! Schools also post lists of summer projects across the nation that students can apply to. I wanted to work in a lab at an academic institution in my hometown. I found the project I was interested in, emailed them with my resume, and I will soon find out if I got the position (fingers crossed). Even if you don’t get the chance over the summer but you are interested in research, you can get involved during the school year. Anyone else doing research over the summer?!?
These were some of my ideas but don’t forget to relax, eat at your favorite spots, and enjoy time with family! I would also love to hear some of YOUR summer plans down below.