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Making the most of your gap year

Updated: Jun 5

Written by Dr.Moya Medical Director

The road to becoming a doctor is demanding, and after years of pre-med classes (I know students must endure many challenges), the thought of diving straight into medical school might seem appealing. But what if there was a way to gain invaluable experience, boost your application ,and enter your studies with fresh eyes? Enter the gap year – a strategic pause in your academic journey that can be incredibly enriching, especially if you dedicate it to volunteering.

Here's why a gap year focused on volunteering can be a game-changer for aspiring doctors:

Tip #1 - Gain Real-World Experience

Medical school applications often seek evidence of your passion for medicine. Volunteering puts you face-to-face with patients, healthcare professionals, and the realities of the medical field.

Tip #2 - Develop Essential Skills

Volunteering fosters empathy, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills – all crucial for a successful doctor.

"It is important to remain humble in order to become a good doctor and not forget why we are choosing this career, which is to help the patients" – Dr Moya, Medical Director

Tip #3 - Explore Diverse Fields of Medicine

Expose yourself to different medical specialties through volunteering. This can help refine your career goals and show medical schools your well-rounded interests.

Tip #4 - Boost Your Application

A well-planned volunteering experience demonstrates your dedication and initiative, making your application stand out.

Tip #5 - Renew Your Passion

The demanding pre-med journey can be draining. Volunteering allows you to rediscover your passion for medicine and enter medical school with renewed energy.

Should I take a Gap Year?

So, is a gap year for medical students the right choice? It depends on your individual goals and circumstances. But for those seeking real-world experience, a chance to explore their passion, and a way to strengthen their application, volunteering during a gap year can be an incredibly rewarding investment. Don't be afraid to take a strategic pause – it could be the push you need to launch a successful and fulfilling medical career.

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