the summer before medical school

The Summer Before Medical School


Depending on when your program starts, you may have a couple of months between your previous place in life and medical school. If so, here are a couple of ideas to consider as you prepare for medical school:

1) Networking
As your environment changes from undergrad, graduate school, or working, you will need to  develop a new network of friends, professors, and mentors. Maybe your school has a summer meet-up for incoming students – join in! Or the professors may be leading a top-notch research project – email them and see how you can contribute. Upperclassmen can be a great resource because they already know what to expect, can offer discounts on used textbooks, and often have downloadable notes, PDFs, and lectures. Stock up on these resources as you come upon them – it will make the first few weeks a little easier to plan and manage.

2. Research
Research is becoming more and more important in medicine as new developments are discovered everyday. Residency directors are increasingly looking for applicants with research under their belt. If you know you want to pursue academic medicine, a competitive residency, or research is your passion, why not start a project you can continue into medical school? This way when school starts you already have connections, a research project underway, and a little less to worry about going forward.

3. Plan
Time management was important before medical school and will continue to shape your future in medical school. Find out your school’s schedule, attendance policy, dress code, and other important logistics. If you have a chance, visit your school. Then use this information to create a game plan. Your plans may change as school actually starts but at least you will know what type of stethoscope you need to buy, who can help with your financial aid, and where you will be living. Tying up loose ends now will lead to a more manageable transition.

4. Work
Medical school is expensive and you may need a couple of extra dollars to survive comfortably. If you can find a job that satisfies you, even a part-time job can make the coming months smoother. Once schools starts a job is out of the question, so investing in your future now can remove some unwanted financial stress.

5. Travel
Many people have dreams to travel the world. The summer before medical school can be a great treat to celebrate a new beginning, unwind, and relax before getting to work in medical school. There will be little time for traveling once schools starts and now you will have weeks to indulge and not worry about the upcoming Anatomy test. You deserve it !

No matter what you choose to do the summer before medical school – congratulations! You have accomplished one of your dreams and are one step closer to being a medical professional – Enjoy it!

6 thoughts on “The Summer Before Medical School

  1. I like this blog, Daily medicine. I will be starting school next year – I just found out so I will do these things. Thanks.

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  4. Quite useful tips. I should add that keeping yourself educated about newest technologies and studies is very important. There’s thousands of good sources for that, but I like https://www.nih.gov/ the best. Also, whatever your future specialization may be, you should have a wide overview of all kinds of health problems and medications that are used to treat them, and again, thanks to the almighty internet we have millions of resources at the tips of out fingers, starting with the wikipedia (a banal choice, I know, but useful for finding new stuff and then researching it by yourself) to such health and medicine “encyclopedias” as webmd and https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ to medicine catalogues like http://www.drugs.com/ and http://rxed.eu/. As I said, there are thousands upon thousands of medical sources, research reports, and medical studies, and more keep on being posted daily. It’s impossible to keep up with each and every one of them, but it’s possible to find important stuff and learn something new every day.

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