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Summer between 1st and 2nd year - What should you be doing with your summer?

by Mohammad Hajighasemi-Ossareh, MD, MBA
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    00:01 Welcome back to the first year of medical school lecture series. Now in this lecture, we’re going to discuss what should you be doing with your summer between the first year of medical school and their second year of medical school. Some options are research, clinical work, studying. What should you be doing? So, the opportunities between your first year and second year of medical school are essentially limitless. This is the last free summer of your life.

    00:29 Let’s say that again because knowing you guys, you probably didn’t listen.

    00:32 As a medical student, you will not have another summer as long as you live.

    00:38 Between the first year and second year of medical school, you have a summer.

    00:41 After the second year of medical school, you’ll take step one and you’ll go right into the clinical years.

    00:46 After that, it’s hospital rotations until retirement. So, use this last summer of your life intelligently.

    00:53 Let’s be strategic. Choosing what to do during your summer though is completely up to you.

    00:58 Given that it is your last summer you’ll have, there is no right thing or wrong thing to do.

    01:03 So, you should really though try to get the most out of your summer. So, how do you plan for it? What I recommend is that you start thinking about what you want to do with your summer in the middle of the first year of medical school. This way, you’ll have enough time to research opportunities and apply for different positions you want and also speak with your mentors.

    01:24 Having ample time to plan for your summer is really quite important.

    01:28 So, what are the opportunities or essentially, what can you do with your summer? Number 1, you could do research. Some students will kind of seek out research laboratories during their middle or end of the first year of medical school. They’ll apply to a lab.

    01:42 Research opportunities that are usually done during the summer can be funded where they pay you to do it or more likely, they’re usually volunteer where you volunteer your time and try to get publications. You can do research at your home medical institution or you can go to an outside institution. Again, the options are completely yours.

    02:00 It is common for students to do research with the goal of having more research publications.

    02:06 Now, doing research, earning research publications only helps your career and your residency application. There’s no question there. Also, performing research expands your skillset and also your professional network base. So, there really is no downside here.

    02:21 Another option for you for the summer is called clinical work. Now, some students will want to go work in a clinical setting abroad or locally. The opportunities here are also endless.

    02:31 Many students find opportunities through their medical school or just find something online.

    02:35 Now, some students who are doing research with a physician scientist may do some research and then do some part time clinical work with that same mentor while other students will seek out doing medical missionary work locally or abroad or just working clinically at a home institution.

    02:51 Again, the options are limitless. Some students will choose to study.

    02:56 Now, medical students are without a doubt passionate about learning.

    03:00 Some medical students will take the summer to study high yield material covered during the first year of medical school and start studying for the second year of med school.

    03:08 I do not recommend this option. Studying during your second year of medical school should be during your second year of medical school. Don’t do it now. There is ample time during your second year of medical school to study the material during your second year, review the material from the first year of medical school, and prepare for USMLE exam.

    03:28 Don't ruin your summer by studying unnecessarily. So that's a personal recommendation.

    03:33 I say don’t study. You’re more likely going to hurt yourself that help yourself.

    03:37 You can be tremendously much more efficient with your time. The last option is nothing.

    03:42 Some students will do nothing academic with their time. They will travel, pursue personal passions, or they may have family obligations or et cetera, whatever it is. Again, it’s your summer.

    03:54 If you wish to do nothing, it’s your right. You should. So, what should you then do with your summer? We’ve discussed a bunch of different options. What you do with your summer depends on your goals.

    04:05 If you’re strategically working towards matching into a very comparative residency program and most very competitive residency programs require research, then it may be appropriate for you to be doing research during your summer. Not only will this expand your research history and also expand your network and mentor base, it’s going to only help you in the future.

    04:26 Now, some students on the other hand may wish to pursue medical missionary work locally or abroad.

    04:32 Some students will study or do nothing. Now ultimately, you should speak with your mentors.

    04:37 Discuss with them what is your strategy, what are your goals, what do you want to do with your life.

    04:42 Then come up with a plan of what to do with your summer. It might be appropriate for you to do research. It might be appropriate for you to do clinical work. It might be appropriate for you to do absolutely nothing. So, think about what’s out there and try to get the most out of this last summer of your medical career. So, let's summarize what we've discussed. The options are endless for what you can do with your summer between the first year and second year of medical school.

    05:08 Some popular options include research, clinical work, or even studying or doing nothing.

    05:13 The best way to spend your summer is to strategically decide what are your goals and passions.

    05:19 Speak with your mentors. Use their wisdom and advice. Let them guide you in your decision making.

    05:25 Thank you.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Summer between 1st and 2nd year - What should you be doing with your summer? by Mohammad Hajighasemi-Ossareh, MD, MBA is from the course Med School Year 1. It contains the following chapters:

    • What Should You Be Doing with Your Summer
    • Opportunities for The Summer
    • What Should You Do with Your Summer?
    • Lecture Summary

    Author of lecture Summer between 1st and 2nd year - What should you be doing with your summer?

     Mohammad Hajighasemi-Ossareh, MD, MBA

    Mohammad Hajighasemi-Ossareh, MD, MBA


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