In approximately three weeks I will be starting my second year of medical school. I sit here writing this article poolside in 90-degree weather knowing really well that this time next year I will probably be in a cold library completing UWorld questions for my board exams. Many have told me “this is your last summer” so relax and use it well. I followed their advice in the best way I could by doing the below items:
- Travel: I saw friends and family that I haven’t seen in a while in places that I’ve been meaning to visit. During the day to day life of medical school it is impossible to keep in touch with friends who may not be in the program or live closer to you. I took this time to catch up with friends and family who mean the world to me, but due to medical school, I may have not been as present as I wanted to be.
- Join clubs outside of what your school offers: There are so many organizations for medical students. I took the time to look into organizations that focus on advocacy and leadership. These steps lead me to a prominent, student-led, student-run organization, American Medical Student Association. This summer I really took the time to explore this organization and see how my ideas align with theirs and vice versa.
- Research: I was mandated to do research after receiving the Summer Research Fellowship through my medical school, but this experience was completely worthwhile. In medical school, you are always given so much information and some topics you just are not into (renal physiology for me). What’s cool about research is that you can find a topic that you really love and enjoy learning about it and learn everything about it. I was fortunate enough to do breast cancer disparity research and was able to learn more about how it disproportionately impacts African American women than white women in certain cases. Research does not have to be a time consuming or boring if you pick a topic that you love.
What did you do during the summer before your second year of medical school?