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How do I best stay academically active during gap year(s)?

Getaclue23

Full Member
Apr 9, 2019
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  1. Pre-Medical
    I am just finishing up my undergraduate degree, and I will have at least 2 years before I enter medical school. For the next year, I will be completing a clinical internship and I am trying to figure out the best way to keep my "learning brain" active, as I know it's hard to get back into being a student. I was thinking about trying to find some general first-year medical school books to attempt to get some good background knowledge for once I get to medical school. I will most likely be taking courses in the second gap year, but definitely would appreciate recommendations on areas to focus on in the break from school.
     

    Blazers_33

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    2+ Year Member
    Mar 24, 2018
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    1. Pre-Medical
      I felt the same way as you did prior to starting school...I wouldn't worry about it to be honest. I had a little over a year in between undergrad and med school and some of my friends in school had even more. You will pick back up quicker than you think and be fine, plenty of time to study once you are in school so just relax!
       
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      gulli_97

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      Oct 17, 2018
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        I am just finishing up my undergraduate degree, and I will have at least 2 years before I enter medical school. For the next year, I will be completing a clinical internship and I am trying to figure out the best way to keep my "learning brain" active, as I know it's hard to get back into being a student. I was thinking about trying to find some general first-year medical school books to attempt to get some good background knowledge for once I get to medical school. I will most likely be taking courses in the second gap year, but definitely would appreciate recommendations on areas to focus on in the break from school.

        Eh I think it's probably good to hold off on the pre-studying although it is good to keep your "learning brain" active. You should read - WSJ, Economist, possibly subscribe to some scientific journals, etc .
         
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        Hiree44

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        Aug 11, 2017
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        1. Medical Student
          I agree with everyone else, you should probably take a break. It hits you hard when you get back into it, and there is a big risk of burning out by the end of your first year. If you really want to jump in then Pathoma and Boards & Beyond are commonly used resources among MS1s and MS2s. Zanki/Anking is also a good thing to get familiar with, and get into a habit of using. You can find all of those online if you look hard enough, or just shell out the few hundred dollars if you can afford it.
           
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          Meridian32

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          Jan 4, 2008
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            Don't pre-study for med school. It is a waste of time and you won't retain the information. Instead, I completely agree with the suggestion above to diligently read the Economist, NYT, WSJ, etc. (look for their education discounts - I pay only $4/month each for the NYT and WSJ) because having an extremely good command of written English, and knowing how to communicate clearly and concisely in writing, is essential not just to do well on the MCAT but also for doing well in medical training and as a doctor (I spend at least a couple of hours a day writing notes and reading other people's notes).

            I would also read books about medicine and being a doctor - some of my favorites are:

            Complications and Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
            Intern by Sandeep Jauhar
            On Call by Emily Transue
            The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
            When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
            How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman
             

            lumya

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            Silver Member
            Aug 7, 2018
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            1. Medical Student
              I agree w/ the above posters. As a non-trad with a couple years of just working, I tried to develop good habits (exercise, cooking, having a good routine) and exploring hobbies that interest me. I'm now a docent at a space museum and it's helped me develop a deeper interest in medicine and become more in awe in how amazing medical advancements are. Med school will completely eat up your free time so this might be your shot to find something that interests you outside of studying. I also recommend any book by Atul Gawande.
               
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