Summer After First Year

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by Dr JPH, Oct 22, 2002.

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  1. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned Banned 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000
    I'm a first year medical student possibly looking at entering emergency medicine.

    I was wondering what some of you did during your summer off between first and second year.

    People are telling me that due to the increased popularity and competition for residency spots in EM that research is a good idea.

    Problem is, I don't have any research background nor do I care to spend time in a lab. Clinical research wouldn't be too bad.

    Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

    I've worked in EDs before and have a position waiting for me should I choose to go back and work over the summer.

    Is it necessary to use the time to network, do research, or something along those lines?

    Thanks for the help.

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  3. shaft

    shaft Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2002
    Consider doing nothing if you can afford it.
    I mowed my parents lawn and went to the gym every day.

    There is a large (what I think is) myth that what you do between 1st and 2nd year is really important.

    You will have a lot of time to work hard 2nd year and 3rd year can be quite intense- this has the potential to be the last real summer break you will ever have.

    I did nothing (essentially) and am (I think) a competitive applicant who has already received some interview offers fairly early in the game.

    Hope this helps.
  4. mikecwru

    mikecwru M.D. = Massive Debt 7+ Year Member

    Oct 21, 2002
    I second that opinion. I worked in a lab between first and second year and completely regret it. This is your last summer off in your life. Enjoy it. I wouldn't harp on the research too much unless you can get involved in a project where you will be published. That looks a lot better than just washing some guy's glassware all summer.

  5. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned Banned 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000
    Thanks for your responses, guys. Kinda said what I was hoping to hear. :)

    I have considered looking for a part time position in one of the hospitals where I will be doing my rotations, maybe meet some people early and hopefully ensure a solid letter of recommendation.

    I would definitely like to relax a little. I could certainly see how that would be beneficial after 1st year to clear you mind and gear up for the "long haul".

    Any other opinions?
  6. DrQuinn

    DrQuinn My name is Neo Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 6, 2000
    I would give a big negative-o to the idea of working in the hospital this upcoming summer. I REALLY don't think it will make a big difference on your LORs, unless of course you're a great schmoozer and what not. You will have PLENTY of time to get to know your attending in the four weeks or the one month that you will spend time with them. Like everyone else said, enjoy this summer off, cause next summer you'll be taking boards, and between third/fourth year you will be doing your ERAS not to mention continuing your rotations.
  7. allthequestions


    Jun 22, 2011
    Is it still a great idea to do nothing between 1st and 2nd years if you want to do ER?
  8. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

    I'm pretty sure this wins the "SDN Epic Necrobump Award." Nearly 9 years...that is awesome.

    But I heartily (and quite honestly) congratulate you on your facility with the search function. Most people who ask questions here don't bother to look more than 2 threads (not pages...threads) down before asking the same routine question. Huzzah to you for both searching for and finding a relevant thread last posted in before 98% of current SDN users (myself included...I'm a newbie at 6-ish years here) had even heard of the place.

    I don't think you should do "nothing" during the summer between M1 and M2. You should figure out what the people who are in the specialty you're interested in actually call it.

    And if you want to "do" something, fine, go nuts. But the M1/M2 summer rarely makes or breaks any half decent candidate for any chosen specialty.
  9. allthequestions


    Jun 22, 2011
  10. gman33

    gman33 Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    If you can do something that exposes you to the field, it may be helpful in your decision process down the line. Whatever you do will probably have little to no impact on actually matching.
  11. coldweatherblue

    coldweatherblue 5+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2007
    fwiw, I did research during that summer. I think it makes me about 1-2% more competitive as an applicant, lol. More importantly, it was the easiest $4k I've ever made, I learned something, and I got to know some people in the department. We had an 11-week summer at my school though, and since I only did research for 8 weeks, I still had 3 weeks free at the end. If I would've had to spend all the summer working, I might not have done it.

    Whatever you do, have a good time and try to "recharge" before starting second-year.
  12. TysonCook

    TysonCook Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    GO ON AN AWESOME TRIP....I meant to post that in all caps. Seriously, don't worry about it, get your EPIC trip on.... May be the last time you can take 2 months and bum around asia :)
  13. dchristismi

    dchristismi Gin and Tonic 10+ Year Member

    Dec 4, 2003
    Central Florida
    You know, I didn't take an EPIC trip (although I do that now on a biannual basis), but I did do a semi-internship which earned me a month off my 4th year (4 credits) and some really amazing experiences that I use to this day. I volunteered/worked at a battered women's shelter, and I swear, I use that experience more often than anything I learned in biochem.

    So really, your mileage may vary. Yes, it's your last "summer" off, but you can get something cool out of it, whether that's research, experience, $$$, or cool memories. Put a little thought into it and see what's out there.

    Or just backpack across Europe. Although honestly, I can afford to NOT backpack across Europe now, and its worth it... now. Wouldn't have been then.
  14. EM_Rebuilder

    EM_Rebuilder Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    I spent four weeks doing an Emergency Medicine rotation. I was unsure what I wanted to do; had some brief exposures during MS1 year and the summertime experiences sealed the deal for me.

    Following that I spent about 3 weeks with a fifth wheel camper and my dogs. Went to northern New Mexico, then over the Durango CO area and back across the Rockies through Denver...

    Spent the rest of time at home doing little to nothing.

    I agree to do something easy. I think one summer rotation like I did is not a big deal to do. I would not plan on it making you an allstar applicant, more geared to helping you decide early what you want to do...
  15. erin682

    erin682 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 21, 2004
    I went backpacking on the Appalachian trail. It was amazing and gave me great experiences that helped me stand out on the interview trail. Plus I discovered something outside of work that I love doing.
  16. TooMuchResearch

    TooMuchResearch i'm goin' to Kathmandu... Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2008
    Townsville, USA
    You should see some of the bumps we get in pre-allo. I believe there was a nine year bump the other week that was just a half-as*ed response to the long dormant OP. Definitely deserves an award for biggest bump in EM, though.
  17. em06

    em06 New Member 5+ Year Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    I was deciding between research and travel (I had never done significant travel before) and I decided to buy a 1 month eurail pass and fly to Frankfurt... Spent 5 weeks traveling all the way up to the western coast of Norway, and back down to Italy. It definitely was worth it for me, because I found a love of travel that I never knew I had... Travel is now a big part of my life... I've spent over 6 months of my life over about 12 international trips and 25+ countries, and am very thankful that I have the flexibility as an EM attending to continue.

  18. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD Partner Organization 10+ Year Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    SDN Partner
    I spent one month doing required military stuff and two months playing golf. You can guess which one I regret.

    If I had the money I'd do some epic traveling. I didn't have it. You might. If not, find a balance between making a little money, furthering your career and having fun.
  19. MSmentor018

    MSmentor018 Hooah! SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    it's probably the last time in your life you're going to have 3 mo off in a row. do everything and anything possible outside of medicine. get a loan if you have to. travel, visit family, research EM stuff when you're getting anxious, lay on the beach....when you're feeling real guilty you can always do goljan step I review. I listened to that while traveling all over NYC for vacation. whatever you end up doing, take pics and make it memorable
  20. MSmentor018

    MSmentor018 Hooah! SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    I section hiked from GA to VA....:thumbup:
  21. erin682

    erin682 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 21, 2004
    Me too. I did Springer to Hot Springs, NC one summer and Hot Springs to Roanoke, VA the next. I want to finish it some day.
  22. MSmentor018

    MSmentor018 Hooah! SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    me too, I stopped right after damascus. im always looking to go back up and continue. or re hike the balds near roan mtn. if you do, pm me and I'll walk.

    also if you're section hiking and need transport/medical/food/ assistance in the roan mtn area. look up bob peeples. dudes' a legend in those parts. listed in plenty of trail mags and his name is all over. he'll give you the shirt off his back.

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