M4 year is hands down the best year of medical school. Why? You’re finally one step closer to what you will be doing the rest of your life. Also, you get a chance to breathe to stop and smell the roses. M4 year can be as exciting as it can be stressful. After all, you’re spending countless dollars and hours traveling for interviews and hoping that when March rolls around, you’ll match. So I thought I’d share with you five ways I plan to make the most of my M4 year amidst all of the residency application chaos.
- Making time for my hobbies. This is the time I get to spend time on my hobbies. If I’m on a rotation that generously gives me weekends off, then I spend a certain amount of time each day doing medical school-related work whether that be application-related tasks or planning for an event. Then I take the rest of the time off to do things I enjoy whether it’s spending time with my friends and family, reading a new book, working on my car, or playing with makeup.
- Learning something new. I know that when you’ve chosen a career in medicine, you’re always learning. But I don’t just mean learning something new in the hospital; I mean learning something new outside of medicine and academia. Whether it’s learning how to cook or learning how to make jewelry, taking the time to practice your skills in something new will feel very rewarding.
- Leaving my mark. I’m very involved in extracurricular activities at my institution. I hope that I’ll be leaving it in a better way than I found it. I’d like to make the transition easier for new leadership, and I’d also like to help organize successful events and ideas I’ve held onto throughout my med school career. It’s now or never!
- Traveling. This goes without saying. Residency is coming, and that means no more spring break, Christmas break, etc. There are places I want to see and people I want to visit, so now is the time!
- Focusing on me. This year is such a special year. This year is also a time of growth. You really learn a lot about yourself throughout the application and interview process. You’re also making some serious life decisions. It’s important to focus on yourself and focus on what makes YOU happy. You know yourself best—trust your instincts despite what everyone around you might be saying!
How do you plan to make the most of your M4 year?