Summer is quickly approaching. You spent all semester listening to lectures, studying and cramming for exams. But there should be no idle time if you want to become a doctor someday. So, what should premeds do in the summer to keep the momentum going?
Becoming licensed to practice medicine takes hard work and dedication. This means you must Prepare While Others Dream. For premeds, that means while others are enjoying summer break, you must take part in extracurricular activities that improve your chances of getting into medical school.
But which activities should you look for and participate in this warm season to enhance your med school application?
What Should Premeds Do in the Summer to Keep Them on Track?
With all the hard work you put into your studies this semester, you probably deserve a break. You probably think this is a good time for you to recharge. But if you want to stay on track and get into the medical school of your choice, you don’t have time to relax.
Summer is the perfect time for you to find opportunities and extracurricular activities that help your med school application stand out. Your competition is fierce. And there’s an abundance of it. So, it’s important that your application shines above the rest.
What should premeds do in the summer? Here are six ways to spend your summertime rounding out your applications for med schools:
1. Volunteer in Healthcare
Med school administrators place emphasis on volunteering in the healthcare industry. Provide volunteer services to a healthcare organization, clinic, hospital, doctor or other professional or entity. You get the chance to practice working in a medical environment, as well as network with other students and mentors.
This allows you to take on more professional responsibilities while taking on more and more leadership roles. All of this boosts the impression your med school application makes on admissions administrators. Learn how to find volunteer opportunities from AAMC.
2. Participate in Lab Research
Summer is a great time to find medical research opportunities for pre-med students. Some are paid, while others are unpaid volunteer positions. Working on research projects or gaining lab experience gives you a competitive advantage as a medical school applicant.
This also gives you insight into the medical research field. You may find that you like working in a lab setting conducting research. This could help you determine your field of interest early on in your pre-med career. Learn more about lab research from AAMC.
3. Take Part in a Medical Program for Premeds
You’ll find an array of summer medical programs for premeds with various focuses, including:
- Academic Improvement
- Clinical Exposure
- Medical Research
- MCAT Test Prep
AAMC has a database filled with different summer enrichment programs, including some for premeds.
4. Find a Mentor in the Medical Industry
This is an excellent time to find a mentor to act as your professional role model. You want someone with expertise in the industry who can help you develop your medical skill set.
A good mentor helps you meet new people in the industry, make valuable connections and find opportunities to enhance your skills and med school application. Find out what the experts at AAMC say about finding and working with medical mentors.
5. Shadow a Physician
What should premeds do in the summer? Want to understand what the typical day of a practicing physician looks like? Then, why not shadow a doctor all season?
Shadowing a physician helps you become familiar with numerous types of medical environments, including lab and research. Your horizons are also broadened as you’re introduced to a variety of specialties, one of which just may pique your interest. AAMC has tips on how to find shadowing opportunities.
6. Prepare for the MCAT Exam
Summertime gives you freedom to prepare for the MCAT without worrying about falling behind on your premed studies. Check out AAMC’s MCAT exam prep tips.
You can also take an MCAT exam preparation course. Most are taught by licensed medical professionals. They give you the tools you need to prep for the MCAT in a classroom setting. There are also some great MCAT tutors who help pre-med students prepare to take this US medical exam. Try to find one that offers one-on-one MCAT tutoring sessions for the best results.
What Should Premeds Do in the Summer? Stay Busy & Prep for the MCAT
Are you planning to go to summer school or join a summer research program? If so, volunteer during your free time. Or shadow a doctor and/or take part in a medical research project. Look for a variety of summer programs, both structured and formal. The more you do, the more impressive your med school application.
Make good use of your free time this summer. Do what it takes to prepare for the MCAT exam to improve your chances of getting accepted into the medical school of your choice. You must ace the MCAT to get into a good med school.
MedSmarter offers one-on-one online MCAT tutoring as well as in-person on the Suwanee, Georgia campus, about 30 miles from Atlanta. MedSmarter also offers a comprehensive MCAT exam prep course for premeds in the Atlanta area.
Our MCAT prep programs have proven track records of helping pre-meds get good scores on their exams. We provide our students with a smarter approach to learning.
Click the button below to learn more about MCAT prep online and in Suwanee, Ga.