6 Tips for Summer – FUN & PRODUCTIVE

6 Tips for Summer – FUN & PRODUCTIVE

November 8, 2019 40 By Peter Engel


Summer is upon us! While having fun and enjoying yourself should
be a top priority, having fun and being productive are not mutually exclusive. Stay tuned for tips on how to maximize your
summer vacation. What’s going on guys! J from MedSchoolInsiders.com. I’m gonna split this video up into a few different
parts: first, I know that many viewers are not necessarily on a pre-med or healthcare
track, so I’ll first go over general summer tips. These pieces of advice will be applicable
to all students regardless of major or career trajectory. Next, I’ll go over specific topic for pre-meds
and med students. So let’s get started with the general tips. Time is your most precious resource. Therefore don’t waste it. Focus on spending your time doing one of two
things: either having fun or being productive. Try to do both if possible. So, the first tip is on Lists/Scheduling. As many of you are well aware, I am a systematic
guy and I love being organized. As I’ve grown older, I realized that one
of the best ways to stay on track and deliberate with your time is with lists and scheduling. Create a list of goals at the beginning of
your summer break. This list should include not only professional
goals but personal as well. Do you want to exercise 5 times per week? Are you planning on taking the MCAT? What about research or a job – set goals
early on in whatever it is you decide to do and work towards them. 2. Don’t forget to Enjoy Summer! There’s a spectrum with regards to how much
each person likes to work versus have fun. Most people tend to be pretty good at having
fun and relaxing and not as good with staying focused on work. Other people work too hard at the expense
of their happiness and mental health. This piece of advice is for the latter group
of people. Be sure to properly unwind, relax, and give
yourself a mental break from the stress of the academic year. Again, be deliberate with your time. Plan out ahead how you want to relax, otherwise
you may waste it and may neither have fun nor being productive. By being deliberate with how you want to use
your free time, you will end up feeling more refreshed, recharged, and happy with how you
spent your time. The third tip is to Get Outside of your Comfort
Zone. During the school year we tend to fall into
routines for better or worse. Due to class schedules, homework, studying
for tests, and other responsibilities, it is much more difficult, although certainly
not impossible, to make meaningful changes in our lives. Summer break is one of the best opportunities
as a student to make changes, to get outside your comfort zone, to try something you’ve
always wanted, to learn a new skill, or to pick up a sport. Set out a plan of action on how to incorporate
these changes and add them to your list and schedule. Consider having an accountability partner
if that helps you stay on track. Now onto the tips for pre-meds, med students,
and other students seeking a career in healthcare. 1. Use your summer to Get Clinical Experience. Hands-on experience in the hospital, clinic,
or other healthcare setting not only helps you by padding up your CV and your med school
application, but also gives you the much needed insight to decide whether this career is right
for you. I f you haven’t already, check out my video
on deciding whether a career in medicine is right for you. If you can’t imagine yourself becoming an
emergency physician after volunteering in the ED, consider getting involved in a different
healthcare setting. For example, surgery is pretty awesome! There is a variety of ways to gain clinical
exposure. Volunteering in the hospital is the most basic
and common method, where you approach your local hospital or clinic and sign up to be
a volunteer. While not a bad place to start, there are
better options that provide you with more health-focused tasks rather than scutwork. Some ways to gain greater clinical relevancy
with your volunteer work is to join an organization designed for pre-meds. At my undergrad, there were several organizations
that offered clinical volunteering for pre-meds. They also had a fairly competitive application
process. Some of these organizations are also tailored
for clinical research that you perform, with the added benefit of increased exposure and
interaction with patients and physicians. More on that in a little bit. Next you can do Shadowing. Shadowing physicians is important, but it’s
mostly to demonstrate to the admissions committee that you are committed to medicine and understand
what it means to be a physician, not what’s portrayed on TV. However, shadowing is a fairly passive process
where you just observe. While you are still learning, you’re not
pushing your own limits, learning new skills, or accomplishing a great deal. This is important, but don’t spend too much
time on Shadowing. Next, you can also get certified to work in
healthcare and other areas such as a scribe, EMT, ER Tech, Medical Assistant, etc. I didn’t do this, but these are certainly
great ways to get immersed and make money while you’re doing it. If you want to take up a job as a pre-med,
this is not a bad option. Last, mission trips can be a good way to gain
exposure while traveling and helping in underserved communities. I participated in one of these programs. The ethical discussion of such trips is beyond
the scope of this video – just know that not all mission trips are created equal. You ultimately want to be making a positive
impact on the place you visit. Next up is Research. Research is not mandatory for gaining admission
into a medical school. However, if you are going for a highly ranked
med school, research becomes increasingly important. Research demonstrates that you understand
the scientific process, that you will likely continue performing research and producing
publications moving forward, and that you are committed to progress and improvement
of the medical field. Research for pre-meds is primarily divided
into basic and clinical research. Basic includes benchwork where you are pipetting,
working with mice, etc. Think wet lab. Clinical research on the other hand is where
you are performing research with actual patients. Think databases, surveys, etc. I ended up doing both while in college. So, my basic science research position was
in a cancer lab, and I was paid hourly at a fairly good rate. Most research positions, however, do not pay,
they are usually volunteer positions. You may have to start with an unpaid volunteer
position and build up your experience to qualify for a paid position. My clinical research position overlapped with
volunteering. I worked in the ED and enrolled patients who
met inclusion criteria into a study. I was able to interact with patients, physicians,
and the whole healthcare team. Equally important, during down time I was
able to explore patient care outside of the OR, which is where I witnessed a neurosurgical
intervention for the first time and got exposed to surgery. Like many things in life, you get out what
you put in. Last, don’t forget to pursue and cultivate
your fun extracurriculars. Like I said earlier, be sure to enjoy your
summer as well. You can do this while also building your CV
and application. This should be something you enjoy outside
of Medicine. All applicants are going to have clinical
experience volunteering, most will have research, they’ll have an MCAT score and a GPA, but
these fun extracurriculars will be unique to just you. They make you more three-dimensional. For example, I had a friend who started a
longboarding Club which has nothing to do with medicine, but it demonstrated initiative,
passion and leadership abilities and he had a blast while he was doing it. Now, I joined a competitive dance team and
picked up graphic design using Photoshop Illustrator and InDesign. I ultimately obtained a leadership position
and we went to place at several competitions. This similarly demonstrated leadership skills
and creative or artistic qualities which were very fitting for plastic surgery. Alright guys, those are my six tips for your
summer break. I hope you found them helpful. Let us know in the comments of what your summer
break plans are. Thank you all so much for watching. If you liked this video, make sure you press
that like button. New videos every week, so hit subscribe if
you have not already and I will see you guys in that next one.