Medical students: How to make the most of your winter break

Medical students: How to make the most of your winter break

Advice / December 4th, 2017


Winter break is a welcome relief from the stress of school. These tips will help you make the most of your time off.

Actually take a break

It’s tempting to buckle down during your breaks from school to get ahead of the competition, but you deserve some time to rest. Set aside a few days to reconnect with your friends and family at home and take your mind off school subjects. This time away from stress and studying will refill your mental reserves and ensure you’re ready to take on the next semester.

If you’re eager to get ahead, consider setting aside a few hours a day to do something non-school related that you love. You can finally finish watching that show everyone’s been talking about or work on a personal project.

Assess your goals

As you’ve likely learned in school, sometimes you need to step away from a problem in order to fully understand it. Being too close to a problem for a long time can actually obscure your understanding of it. Once you’re away from school, try to gain some perspective. What do you want out of your medical career, aside from a paycheck?

Assess your career goals and really think about your aspirations. Talk to your friends and family to see what they think, as well. A fresh perspective may help you decide what your next steps should look like.

Recharge your mental reserves by spending time with family and friends.Recharge your mental reserves by spending time with family and friends.

Consider volunteer work

Most people who choose a career in the medical field do so because they want to help others. When you’re not at school, you can channel that drive into volunteer work. Around the holidays, there is certainly no shortage of charity work available. You could buy toys for less fortunate children, serve meals at a shelter or shovel driveways for the elderly.

Not only will this satisfy your desire to help others, it can also look good on a resume.

Schedule residency interviews

If you’re nearing the end of your time at medical school, it’s about time to secure your residency. While it’s unlikely that you’ll land an interview during the busy holiday season, it’s a perfect time to set up interviews and reach out to your personal network. Then, when you return to school after the new year, you’ll be able to hit the ground running.

Look at job listings

It’s never too early to take stock of the employment market. To get a sense of what your future could hold, browse physician job listings online. Pay attention to what they say and strive to develop a skill set that matches industry needs.

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