Although the calendar says otherwise, I only started feeling the summer heat a few days ago. I normally hate sleeping with the air conditioning on, but for the last few nights, I found myself tossing and turning and getting up in the middle of the night to cut on the central air. Until that point I was perfectly content without it, which only means one thing… summer is officially here! While my summer is going to be spent studying and on my clinical rotations, I wanted to put something out here for those of you blessed and fortunate enough to still have summer breaks (really cherish this time folks, you’ll regret it if you don’t). This blessed group of people who can chill this summer includes the incoming medical school class of 2020! Shout out to y’all who committed to a school already! And to those on waitlists still, keep the faith, I’ve heard of people getting pulled off the waitlist literally a day before orientation started, so there’s still hope!
Anyways, for those of you about to start your medical school journey, it’s your last summer of freedom so what do you have planned to do? I’m still on my temporary hiatus but Ashley Roxanne from Daily Medicine Blog put together a list of top 5 things to do before you
sell your soul and freedom and life for the next 4 years start your journey in medicine! Thank you Ashley for sharing your tips with us!
By the way, I wrote a similar post a while back about some non-academic things to do before medical school starts. Definitely check it out as well to make sure that you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s before your first day, especially since once the ball gets rolling it really doesn’t stop.
(p.s. I decided to add this post to the Med School Hacks Series! New to TTMB? Check out previous Med School Hack Posts, to see what you missed!
TOP 5: THINGS TO DO BEFORE MEDICAL SCHOOL
Travel is a popular summer activity that can particularly interest medical school students because it combines adventure, friends, and new places. First year medical school students are experiencing their “last summer ever”, children are out of school for a couple of months, and prices are often more compatible with medical student budgets. Even better, Christian organizations like Christian Medical & Dental Associations host dozens of trips every summer that anyone can join for up to three weeks! While traveling, try and find some your favorite medical schools by using this “US Medical School Road Map”. Wherever you go, seek out relaxing, fun, and yes maybe even educational places to check out – it is summer after all!
#2: GET SOCIAL
The best part of summer is being able to have BBQs, outdoor picnics, walks with friends, and other outdoor activities. Find a local, roof-top happy hour, attend a friend’s backyard birthday party, or seek any place where you get to be around real, live people. Try and talk about anything other than medical school and see how long you last! Everyday we can spend anywhere from 2 to 16 hours studying for tests and it gets lonely sometimes. Invite your family to your favorite places, schedule a coffee date, or just Skype your best friend. Instead of passing on an invitation to dinner, reconnect with the people that you often can not see everyday. You deserve it!
(Sorry, Trisha here! I couldn’t help my self from interrupting, but I really wanted to highlight this! Soak up as much family and friend time as you can, especially if you’re moving away from home! Also don’t forget soaking up quality alone time too! If you’re like me and get drained easily without having adequate alone time then definitely get as much guilt free “me” time before school starts!)
#3: ATTEND CONFERENCES
I am not sure about you, but getting to learn and intermingle with some of the best professionals in the nation can be pretty fun. Plus, there are always great programs, research posters, and not to mention free food! The first time I saw Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment was at a medical conference and it was an experience I will never forget. Also, do not forget suturing clinics, giveaways, and “swag bags” are popular conference events. This summer, see if you can manage to attend a medical conference near you. To get an idea of which topics interest you, dates, and locations visit these five websites dedicated to medical conferences:
#4: START A BUCKET LIST
There has yet to be a moment in my life where I felt “You Only Live Once” applied more. For me, this is my last summer break for the rest of my life. I plan to complete a few goals of mine over the next couple of months to “celebrate”. Likewise, it is never too late to write down a couple of goals you dream about. For me, most of my goals revolve around my blog, travel, and learning new things. For you, a bucket list could include learning to make your favorite dish, buying a new home, or seeing your children graduate. See how many you can complete before the summer is over!
My summer bucket list includes:
- Take professional pictures in white coat
- Make medical video good enough for “Khan Academy”
- Learn basic medical Spanish
#5: GET ACTIVE
Before you frown, I made sure not to say exercise for a reason – not many people have “fun” while exercising! Instead, get out and do something outside of the house. Maybe you can even push past your comfort zone and cross something off your bucket list above like cave hiking, skydiving, or learning to swim. All of these activities are fun but can challenge you to try something active and exciting this summer.
No matter what you plan to do this summer between studying for boards, starting a new rotation, or graduating from medical school, take some time for yourself. As future doctors and physicians it is important to take care of ourselves as well as others. Enjoy the sun, longer days, and American holidays. Before you know it, it will be September!
Thank you Ashley for compiling this list for us! And for those of you not familiar with her blog, Ashley Roxanne is a medical student at the Pennsylvania College of Osteopathic Medicine – Georgia Campus. She received her BA in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her blog Daily Medicine Blog revolves around medicine travel and daily life. For more medical school tips, travel and lifestyle posts from Ashley, you can visit her blog at dailymedicine.co!