Thursday Born

The everyday life of a medical student (who was born on a Thursday).

My Last Summer

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I’ve figured out what feels so strange about this “summer vacation.” Four years ago I decided I wanted to be a doctor. 10 months ago, I finally really started becoming one, building my scientific knowledge base and even working a bit at developing my clinical skill set. And then all of a sudden it’s over for eleven weeks. We’re turned loose unexpectedly. Told by many not to bother pre-studying for next year/the Step 1 and to just enjoy the summer.

In high school and in college, summer vacation can be a valuable time for travel and for work experience, either for resume building, or simply because one needs the income. I get that. But in medical school, is this really worth it? I would definitely appreciate 3-4 weeks off to travel or just to recharge in general, but having an entire two months off is weird for those of us who aren’t particularly research driven. It feels like I don’t have enough of a clinical base to do anything worthwhile in the hospital (some people are just shadowing this summer though, and there is funding available for us to do so), and I didn’t get funding to go abroad. I would almost rather just be taking classes again for the rest of the time when I’m not traveling.

Well what about those who do want to do research?
There’s a few schools (I can think of 3 off the top of my head) that put you through a straight 1.5years of pre-clinical work, with the usual 1-2 week breaks here and there. They then have extra time built in later where students can either choose to do more rotations in the hospital, or to do research rotations, and I really like the idea of that option. Especially since it means this happens later when you know more and can do more useful research in the little time you have, or you can choose to to hone your (actualy existent!) clinical skills. We already have this option during fourth year, so it would just be adding more of the same.

Realizing what feels so odd about this summer, I’m going to try to make this a productive summer (outside of the research I’m doing and the traveling I will be doing). I have a long list of doctor memoirs that I’ve been meaning to read, and a lot of other fiction and non-fiction too. I’ve got some crochet projects to complete (well, start), and plenty of brewing/kitchen experiments too. That’s not quite enough though; those are all things I can manage to squeeze in while I’m in class, so I’m going to spend the next few days trying to brainstorm for something new to do that I’d be really proud to have spent my summer on.

Still, this summer is already looking to be far better than my last three. I was busy throughout my last three, but also very stressed for a variety of reasons. This summer is very low stress, and it feels amazing.


Written by Aba

May 30, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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