Taking A Gap Year: Is it Right for You?

January 22, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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It’s not surprising that today, more and more students are choosing to take a year off before they join medical school. Take a look at some of the ways that a gap year may benefit you.

Helps you improve your CV

 During the gap year you can start working or interning or you could get into research or do a medical placement in a developing country. All these experiences will be an added bonus on your CV. If you manage to make the gap year a useful one, you will have four whole years of achievements to show to a medical school when you apply instead of just three years of college.

Laura assisting her mentor in the obstetrics and gynaecology department in Tanzania Gives you the opportunity to discover yourself

A gap year is the one year you can get through without having a lot of school or job responsibility on your shoulders. This is the perfect opportunity to spend some time to discover yourself. If your am is to attend medical school, use this time to volunteer or shadow doctors in different specialties to see what area of medicine interests you the most. Research different medical colleges and visit them for a school tour if possible. Volunteer for a cause you support or even travel overseas on a medical placement.

Helps you decide your future path

During your time in college, you will always be pressured into taking decisions about your future and what you should do after you graduate. During your gap year you can actually sit down and take time to think clearly and decide what your plan of action will be. Is medical school right for you? Are you sure you want to work in the field of medicine? You can try working part time somewhere to get a peek into the life of someone you want to become like. It is much better being sure about joining medical school before you start it rather than waiting till you have a huge debt and have almost finished medical school.

Take some time off

While it is not advisable to waste a year after college, you should keep in mind that if you plan to join medical school, you will not have a moment to rest for years to come. Not only do you need to go through three years of med school but after that you will have anywhere from four to seven years of work as a resident after which you will become a medical practitioner. And of course, you will have to work off your med school debt during this time. Use a gap year to have a little fun and relax a bit so you can start med school refreshed and recharged.

Make some money

Another great thing about a gap year is that you have enough time to take up some work. In fact, if you volunteer or work in a medical field, you will not only add to your CV but you will also be able to earn a little money. This money can then be used to cover your existing college debt or you can save it up to pay for part of your med school fees.