Check out these helpful tips from Rachel Rizal and Rishi P. Mediratta, MD at Prospective Doctor. Read the full article here.
If you are pre-med or thinking about going to medical school, use your summer wisely to strengthen your application. Here are a few activities that you can explore to make your summer fruitful and beneficial for your future career as a physician!
- Apply to be a medical scribe.
- Shadow a doctor. Ask your own doctor to see if you can shadow them. Ask anyone you know who is a doctor to see if you can spend time shadowing them. If you do not know anyone, you could also e-mail physicians in your area or who are affiliated with a medical school. Ask to spend one day with them so you can learn about their field and what it’s like to care for patients.
- Volunteer with children. Some hospitals have schools where you can teach children or read to them. Some hospitals have hospital BINGO programs or other activities that students can pursue with children.
- Volunteer with the elderly. Veterans Affairs Hospitals are the largest integrated health care system in America. VA Hospitals have volunteer programs for students. Additionally, nursing homes are places where you can spend time with the geriatric population. Lastly, if you are interested in fields of medicine like oncology or hematology, then volunteer with a local hospice. Hospices are programs for people who are terminally ill, and volunteers are needed to spend time individuals who are dying.
- Get involved with research. Research experience is helpful in a medical school application because it shows your academic curiosity and ability to delve deeply into problems. Research can range from basic sciences to public health research. The best way to get involved with research activities during a summer is to contact Principal Investigators and ask them about short-term research opportunities. Search departments in medicine that interest you and look for the faculty members and their research experiences.
- Volunteer with children. Even outside the hospital or clinics, there are numerous opportunities to work with children. For example, you can be a camp counselor. You will learn how to motivate children and work in a team. Additionally, you can work with organizations that support children with special needs.
- Summer classes. You can use your summer to tackle some of those pre-med requirements. Many students take physics or organic chemistry over the summer. Remember, these classes can be very demanding since they are 1-2 semesters worth of work compressed into 6-10 weeks. So balance your time wisely among classes, extra-curricular activities, and jobs.