The semester is almost over and summer is just around the bend. Your med student brain may be about to overheat from study fatigue but soon you’ll be able to cool off for a while. In other words: Be free!
Just be sure to make the most of your break. Here are six possibilities:
1. Take a Trip
Whether you visit a far-off land thousands of miles away or drive 20 minutes from your hometown to a place you’ve never bothered to check out before, there’s nothing quite like exploring a new destination. It takes you out of your routine and can force you to see things differently.
2. Read a Book that Has Nothing to Do with Medicine
Feel like reading the kind of book you’d be more likely to find in an airport than the AUA library? Now’s your chance. Just look for the paperbacks that are not quite guilty pleasures but definitely page-turners, or maybe you want something more, ahem, literary. Go right ahead.
3. Read a Book that Has Something to Do with Medicine.
Never judge a book by its cover and never judge a doctor by his or her handwriting. (OK, that’s a stereotype and a cliché but you get the point). Some of the best authors are doctors and vice versa. They manage to write about practicing medicine and solving the mysteries of science in a way that informs and stokes the imagination. Here are a few.
4. Volunteer at a Hospital or Lab Near Your Home
There are a lot of programs designed for med students on summer break that include fellowships, internships, and externships. They’ll give you research and clinical experience in everything from pain medicine and rehabilitation to oncology. These programs are available all over the United States and abroad and are a great way to expand your mind and build your resume, plus most provide stipends.
5. Spend Time with Family and Friends
This one is self-explanatory but here’s a highly scientific fact: absence has been shown to make the heart fonder and you’ve been away a long time. The people you care about are even better off-screen, in real time, IRL and they miss you.
6. Absolutely Nothing
Why? It’s this simple: because you can. Just be sure to do something approaching the academic a few weeks before you head back to Antigua. You’ll want to arrive on campus for your first day of classes fully refreshed and ready to continue working for that white coat.