How a Pre Med should spend summer to boost their medical school application
While most students see the summer as an opportunity to relax and kick back, the pre-med should see it as an opportunity to boost their medical school application. Summer provides a great chance to boost your med school application and do things which can separate you from the average pre med. During the school year there isn’t always enough time to get done all of the many things a pre med should do. Making good grades usually takes priority over volunteering, shadowing, and research. Thats the great thing about summer, it gives the busy pre med time to get things done. And over the course of 3 to 4 summers , you can easily do everything you need to build up an amazing application. So what should you be doing during your precious summer if you want to get into medical school?
Six ways you can productively spend your summer to help make an awesome med school application:
- Do a lot of volunteering
- Shadow a physician
- Get medical experience
- Do research
- Study for MCAT
- Take summer classes
Do a lot of volunteering: One of the most underrated aspects of medical school applications is how many volunteering hours you have done. This is actually a huge deal to whether you get accepted or not. Applicants who have great GPA and MCAT scores don’t get accepted because they don’t have enough volunteer hours. This is great news for those who have lower and less competitive GPA’s because it helps even the playing field. Use summer as an opportunity to rack up a huge amount of volunteer hours and help give yourself a big boost to your application. Click here for help finding volunteering opportunities.
Shadow a physician: Every pre-med knows that shadowing a physician is very important for having a good medical school application. It is often very difficult to find a physician to shadow and also just as difficult to find the time during the week to shadow a doctor. Often most doctors start work early in the morning and a round can last several hours, which might interfere with your classes. If you have a busy school schedule then you might not have time to shadow during the school week and summer becomes the only viable time to do it. (Find out some of the best ways to find a doctor to shadow)
Get medical experience: Even if you can’t shadow a physician, just getting experience in a medical environment is definitely better than none. Working in the hospital doing almost any job, whether that is just desk work still counts towards medical experience in the eyes of the medical school. If you are doing desk work try to have a proper ergonomic office chair so that you take care of your posture. Most importantly , medical colleges want to know you have been exposed to the medical environment. Summer is a great time to get experience in the medical field while also earning some money. Things like being a tech or an EMT can be very rewarding but also hard to get into.Search online for possible job opportunities near by that will look good on your application.
Do research: This is another thing you can do to help spice up your medical school application. While it is not necessary to do research to get into medical school it is always welcomed and looks good. This could be what separates you from the other applicant they are considering. You can do research for one of your professors at school or you can find summer research programs. Check here for help finding research programs.
Study for MCAT: This might not be for everyone since some of you may have already taken the MCAT but for those of you who haven’t, summer can provide a great opportunity to prepare for it. The MCAT covers a lot of material so summer is a great because it provides the opportunity to really focus on the MCAT. There are many great resources for studying for MCAT and prep books that can really help. If you have the MCAT ahead of you , don’t waste this opportunity! (I will be posting a thorough guide on how to prepare for MCAT soon!)
Take summer classes: Summer classes are great for two main reasons. First, they will help you graduate and move through your pre-med program faster. This is important because it allows you to become a doctor that much sooner but also it might make a difference when you take the MCAT or you apply for medical school. It could mean the difference between getting in one year or the next. Second, summer classes provide a great chance to boost your GPA. Taking a class during summer is usually a lot easier than taking it during the semester. This is because during the semester you have to focus on about 5 different classes, while in summer you only have to focus on one or two. This gives you much more time to study and not be overwhelmed by too much coursework. Taking a class during summer can help give you an edge in making an A.
These are my recommendations on how you should spend your summer if you want to boost your med school application. I don’t recommend trying to do everything in one summer, while you certainly can, if you just focus on one or two things from this list you will do yourself a great favor. I hope this helps!