You’re only home for the holidays for a very limited time. What can you do to make the most of it? Try these things to start:

Catch Up on Studying

We know you just want to relax during the holidays. Well, that’s what we’d rather do anyway. Maybe you fell behind during the semester, but you don’t have an excuse over the break. Space out some time between family gatherings/hangouts/feasts and crack open some books. Review and refresh and by the time you return to classes, you won’t miss a step. If you spend the time idling too much, you’ll stumble a bit trying to get back into your studying groove.

Catch Up on Life

During medical school, you probably accumulated a huge list of things you need to do. Now that you have some free time, you can finally do cross some things off that list. So watch the past season Doctor Who (it turned out to be pretty good). Finish that game of Shadow of Mordor. Watch Interstellar and debate with friends for hours about whether or not it was a good movie. Make the most of your newfound free time, but again, don’t forget to schedule a bit of study time.

Shadow a physician

Perhaps this is a good time to see what being a physician is really like in the day-to-day. Shadowing a physician is a great way to learn some practical skills. Just ask some physicians around your neighborhood if they would be okay with you shadowing them for a day or so. You may just pick up tidbits of medical info you can use on exams back at school (and some Highlights magazines because that’s why you really went to that doctor’s office).


The holidays are typically a time when you can gain some weight and have a really good excuse about it. Who needs exercise, right? However, not exercising could have some consequences unrelated to sudden weight gain. It’s important to stay active or you may run the risk of becoming sick or depressed (particularly important if you have seasonal affective disorder). So do whatever you can to exercise – it’ll be a great decision in the long run.


Although you can’t catch up on sleep, you can get more of it during break. Sleep is essential for many reasons: it helps your body produce antibodies (especially important during cold and flu season) and improves your memory (especially important for pretty much everything). Now that you don’t have to wake up early for classes, take those extra minutes to rest comfortably – because you’ll be back in the thick of it soon enough.

What are you going to do while you’re home for the holidays? Sound off in the comments!

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