What should I do in the time between acceptance and first day of med school?

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Sep 2, 2020
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There seem to be different views on this, so I'm curious if any med students or physicians can chime in. On the one hand, that break period will be the last time I would have a break in life basically. I am thinking of quitting my minimum-wage clinical job (it's really sucking the life out of me), traveling, and just enjoying my last months of freedom. However, I've heard from a couple medical students that I should instead begin studying what I can to get a head start because it would help a lot in the transition to med school. Also, I graduated undergrad earlier this year (i.e. no classes to worry about until med school starts).

What are your thoughts?
 
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KnightDoc

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There seem to be different views on this, so I'm curious if any med students or physicians can chime in. On the one hand, that break period will be the last time I would have a break in life basically. I am thinking to quit my minimum-wage clinical job, travel, and enjoy my last months of freedom. However, I've heard from a couple medical students that I should instead begin studying what I can to get a head start because it would help a lot in the transition to med school. Also, I graduated undergrad earlier this year (i.e. no classes to worry about until med school starts).

What are your thoughts?
Why does it matter what anyone else thinks? Some people need the money from a minimum wage job, others don't. Some need a head start on a med school transition, others don't. Some have the luxury of time and money to travel and enjoy their last months of freedom, other don't. Only you know you, so what's the difference what other people think is best????
 
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Hzreio

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Why does it matter what anyone else thinks? Some people need the money from a minimum wage job, others don't. Some need a head start on a med school transition, others don't. Some have the luxury of time and money to travel and enjoy their last months of freedom, other don't. Only you know you, so what's the difference what other people think is best????

More experienced people can advise you...
 
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More experienced people can advise you...
Yeah, ultimately I'll be making the final decision for myself, but just wanted to know what someone who has been through that process would recommend. I'm privileged in that I don't absolutely NEED to work in that time, but I don't want to have regrets as to how I spent my time during this freedom period.
 
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I would enjoy the freedom! You could try to fit some studying in if you feel like it--maybe review some anatomy and physiology. Don't stress over it, though. If you don't study at all, that's absolutely fine. You have 2 years of preclinical education to sit down and study all that science stuff.

EDIT: and if you don't need the job and would like to quit, there is absolutely nothing holding you back. Your school will not care one bit.
 
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Oct 9, 2020
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If something in your life needs attention, fix it now. If you need to find a new doctor, therapist, spiritual center, etc dot it now. If your car needs repairs, take care of it, in a toxic relationship? Break it off now or find a way to fix it. The one thing you won’t have time for once the grind starts are a lot of personal problems.

If you’re a good student with good study habits, don’t pre-study. Play around with anki and watch some videos to see if you might like it, but there’s not need to start doing cards until you start school. If you slacked in undergrad but made good grades, better look into active learning now, because the volume of Med school might steamroll you.

If you’re good on studying but bad at adulting, it’s time to learn how to cook, clean, budget, do laundry, etc. Before you quit that job, have you taken into account how much it will cost to get set up in an apartment and live until your loan money comes in? You don’t get it on the first day, so I would recommend 3 months living expenses minimum, just in case.

Other that that, read books, binge watch shows, travel, spend time with loved ones, and congrats on your acceptance!
 
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Aug 16, 2019
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If you can enjoy the freedom, do it. I wish I could. I’m working at a job in a lab which is meh (low stress, easy hours, but not mentally stimulating and my boss sometimes loves me and sometimes screams at me...), but I gotta keep making some money for me and the wifey.
I’m only getting by at this job knowing that I’m leaving in July. But July is SO far away....
 
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nontrad1997

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I would enjoy the freedom! You could try to fit some studying in if you feel like it--maybe review some anatomy and physiology. Don't stress over it, though. If you don't study at all, that's absolutely fine. You have 2 years of preclinical education to sit down and study all that science stuff.

EDIT: and if you don't need the job and would like to quit, there is absolutely nothing holding you back. Your school will not care one bit.
Lol, literally just quit my terrible gap year job today so your words are reassuring
 
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that's interesting, basically all med students i talked to told me prestudying is a total waste of time lol
 
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Rogue42

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I cannot stress this enough; ABSOLUTELY, UNEQUIVOCALLY, DO NOT BEGIN STUDYING FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL.

There is nothing that you can study and nothing that you can do that will actually prepare you for what you will walk into, and anything you do prior to that will be a giant waste of time. Quit your job and enjoy those months before school because it'll be the last time in at least 7 years that you'll get to do so without something looming over your head.
 
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Aug 20, 2019
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There seem to be different views on this, so I'm curious if any med students or physicians can chime in. On the one hand, that break period will be the last time I would have a break in life basically. I am thinking of quitting my minimum-wage clinical job (it's really sucking the life out of me), traveling, and just enjoying my last months of freedom. However, I've heard from a couple medical students that I should instead begin studying what I can to get a head start because it would help a lot in the transition to med school. Also, I graduated undergrad earlier this year (i.e. no classes to worry about until med school starts).

What are your thoughts?

Start studying medical biochemistry and gross anatomy. Of students that struggle with medical school, it is usually one of these courses that proves the most difficult for them.
 
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I would enjoy the freedom! You could try to fit some studying in if you feel like it--maybe review some anatomy and physiology. Don't stress over it, though. If you don't study at all, that's absolutely fine. You have 2 years of preclinical education to sit down and study all that science stuff.

EDIT: and if you don't need the job and would like to quit, there is absolutely nothing holding you back. Your school will not care one bit.

Two year preclinical periods are the exception and not the rule. Most have 18 month preclinical periods with many moving toward 12 month programs.
 
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I cannot stress this enough; ABSOLUTELY, UNEQUIVOCALLY, DO NOT BEGIN STUDYING FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL.

There is nothing that you can study and nothing that you can do that will actually prepare you for what you will walk into, and anything you do prior to that will be a giant waste of time. Quit your job and enjoy those months before school because it'll be the last time in at least 7 years that you'll get to do so without something looming over your head.

Netter's Human Anatomy
Lippincott or Lehninger Biochemistry
First Aid book series
 
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All the preclinical courses are ones you have taken relatively recently, so I wouldn't waste time studying them again. You're going to see that stuff again soon enough, why bore yourself? You could consider brushing up on conversational skills in a second language (if you have one) or taking a medical Spanish course. Other than that, enjoy your time off!
 

Rogue42

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Netter's Human Anatomy
Lippincott or Lehninger Biochemistry
First Aid book series
Yeah, I'm still going to wholeheartedly disagree with you. Unless someone wants to dive in, with absolutely no direction on what is relevant or needed for their courses, then this is still a waste of time. It might help you on boards if you can remember it, but boards would still be two years away and no longer scored.

Finally, there is no reason to burn yourself out earlier than you should. I don't know if you're in medical school or not, but your advice to start early has absolutely no scientific background evidence in it to the success of a medical student.
 
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RangerBob

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I’ve yet to meet a single med student or physician who said “I wished I pre-studied for med school.”

If you don’t need to work, enjoy the time. Like the summer between M1-2 and parts of M4, and perhaps between jobs later in life, you likely won’t get this kind of time off ever again until you retire. Go on a two-month long camping trip. Start a new hobby. Watch a lot of Netflix. Volunteer. Do whatever you’ve been wanting to do.
 
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May 21, 2020
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I’ve yet to meet a single med student or physician who said “I wished I pre-studied for med school.”

If you don’t need to work, enjoy the time. Like the summer between M1-2 and parts of M4, and perhaps between jobs later in life, you likely won’t get this kind of time off ever again until you retire. Go on a two-month long camping trip. Start a new hobby. Watch a lot of Netflix. Volunteer. Do whatever you’ve been wanting to do.
N=2, but I asked my boss (MD, graduated from Harvard Med) for advice in med school after I got accepted this cycle, and the first thing he said was to brush up on anatomy and physiology for med school. So did my mom, who is a former physician.

I'm hella burned out from secondaries and interviews though, so I think I'm going to just enjoy the 10 months before med school starts next August.:D Maybe I'll crack open a textbook next year but definitely not now when all these essays have sucked my soul dry....
 
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catnip12

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Get organized if you aren’t already. Cognitively prepare yourself for a life of work on a strict routine, meaning you should consider standardizing a few meals, workout plans, etc so you don’t have to exert cognitive effort / waste time on this (unless you want to use cooking as a fun study break which is a different thing altogether)

Develop a routine for how you will keep in contact with your loved ones, but let them know that you’ll probably have to adjust it often.

consider self exploration to see what quirks you may have. These may be accentuated with increased stress which could be alarming...
 

catnip12

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Enjoy your break. Heavens know there are already too many stressors in the world today.
 

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Figure out a schedule and meals you can cook when you're tired and don't feel like doing anything. Make time for yourself to relax. If you really want, you could look through an anatomy coloring book or something like that but honestly just spend time doing stuff you like that makes you happy.
 
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Damson

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Enjoy hobbies and pasttimes
Spend time with people you care about / go out and meet people
Address aspects of yourself you aren't satisfied with
Maintain consistency in routine; sleeping and eating
Practice meditation and mindfulness. Mental health is just as important as physical health.
Keep your mind sharp. Occasionally do engaging stuff that requires deep or rapid-fire thinking (books / math)
 

Kumorebi

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Watch some anking videos and practice using a premade deck with a language you want to learn! Also just relax. I was just like you and I chose to do some bnb biochem. Honestly those cards actually did help and I missed like a total of 7 questions the whole biobiochem block. If you do want to study, do sketchy micro. I don’t recommend prestudying though but micro might be worth it if you’re a gunner.
 
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Assassin’s creed Valhalla, cyberpunk, gta 5 remake... it’s a great year to do nothing but game if you’re into that kinda thing
 
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Finally, there is no reason to burn yourself out earlier than you should.

I wasn't suggesting that he treat it as full time study time. There is plenty of time for play time too. Many of you are creating a false dichotomy of all work versus all play.
 

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Yeah, ultimately I'll be making the final decision for myself, but just wanted to know what someone who has been through that process would recommend. I'm privileged in that I don't absolutely NEED to work in that time, but I don't want to have regrets as to how I spent my time during this freedom period.

You could probably have your cake and eat it too to a certain degree. If you don't need to work and hate the job, bail on it. If I were you, I would set up a system why you're just doing some low-level reading for like 2 hours a day and then go travel and have fun for the rest of the time. it's what I did and those little 2-hour sessions everyday really add up over a period of months. Focus on physiology which is something that is foundational for medical school yet amenable to being self-taught and reviewed.

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