First of all, everyone has a different opinion on this. My advice is to take every piece of advice with a grain of salt and honestly- you do you. But what do some people do? Here’s a non-comprehensive list of some of the more popular options.
- Research. If you want a more competitive specialty, this is probably a good idea. Especially if you can do research in a field that you are interested in. The tricky part is that a lot of people change their mind about which specialty that they want once they get to 3rd year., but research in any field will look good on a CV.
- Shadow. I think this is a great option. It gives you a little bit of insight into specialties that you are interested in and puts the medicine that you’ve been learning in a clinical perspective. Plus, it is something that you can do once a week or so.
- Travel. My personal favorite. Give yourself a break! Pretty soon you won’t have anymore. Enjoy it while you can.
- Work. Medical or non-medical. Some people get a summer job to make some extra cash for the following year. Definitely not a bad idea.
- Study. (Don’t do this one.) Just my personal opinion- don’t start studying for Step 1. It is really hard to start studying and doing questions when you haven’t had all of the systems. A lot of the questions will give you details from different systems, and if you haven’t had them yet, you won’t be able to do your best. You are just going to have to re-study everything that you studied during the summer when it comes to Step 1 time anyway.