Why I Took A Gap Year

Should you do a gap year before applying to med school?

In this post, we’ll go over some of the benefits of doing a gap year.

I’ll also share my own experience. That’s right – I did a gap year!

Really quickly I’ll give you my experience and then I’ll provide you a general perspective on gap years.

My Own Experience Taking A Gap Year Before Med School:

People often forget that I took a gap year.

But my gap year has been one of the most influential in my life.

I graduated with my bachelors in 3 years. I didn’t have the financial capability to afford a 4-year education without requiring loans.

But I also didn’t feel prepared to jump straight into medical school.

I still felt mentally immature and inexperienced.

So I made it a decision to take a gap year and apply to med school during my “4th year of college”.

What did I do during my time off?

I worked part-time a behavioral therapist one-on-one with autistic children.

It’s by far the best job I’ve ever had!

I had a light schedule, had a great salary, and developed my interpersonal communication skills with one of the toughest crowds out there.

Working with my kiddos (clients) was a life-altering experience.

But it also helped me on my med school interview.

On every interview I went on, they asked about what my job entailed.

I was able to give them content and depth through my various of experience. And the interviewers were truly intrigued.

Because it was such an easy topic to talk about and was asked so often, I believe you can point my interview success to my gap year.

It helped me get accepted at every school I interviewed at.

Is A Gap Year Before Med School Worth It?

Hopefully, from the previous tangent, you know my answer is a big yes!

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard “I wish I took a gap year” from a fellow classmate.

It’s a year which allows you to grow as a person and as a medical school applicant.

You can work, do research, volunteer, or travel.

But yes it’s absolutely worth it.

If you’re at all considering it, give it some serious weight.

Should I Do A Gap Year Before Med School?

If you have a steller application and can’t wait to be a doctor – go to medical school.

If you’re not sure if your application is strong enough – apply and use a gap year as a backup plan.

If you’re not sure if medicine is for you or are feeling burnt out – take a gap year or years.

Also if you have a second passion you want to pursue – take a gap year(s).

This is the time to discover your lost self.

Medical school is not the time to bank to find yourself. It can consume you if you intend it on creating you.

You have to feel a strong attraction towards medicine.

What Should I Do During My Gap Year Before Med School?

The choices are endless. But remember one key concept.

Tie your activity into your desire or exploration of medicine.

I recently was talking to a fellow pre-med who is looking to do a business internship during his gap year.

It’s a great experience but the medical admission board will want to know why he decided to go to medicine.

So do whatever you want, but have a way to tie it into your why you want to go into medicine.

Use it, like my friend, to explore a different passion and see if you rather pursue it versus medicine.

Or you can improve your application by spending time doing research or one meaningful community service project.

Hope these answers helped you!

Here are a few other articles I think would be good for you to read:

How Hard is Medical School? (How To Survive)
What To Know Before Applying To Medical School
5 Things You Need To Get Into Medical School
Tips for The First Year of Medical School

Have A Question For Me?

I’m growing my pre-med content and I want to hear from you!

What is what thing about being a pre-med that I can help you with?

Let me know! I’m coming up with weekly blog post and YouTube Videos. Maybe I’ll answer your question in the next week’s content!

Tweet me with @themdjourney with your biggest struggle of being a pre-med. I’ll pick 4 winners to receive a free copy of my book The Preclinical Guide which will give teach how to succeed during your first two years in medical school!

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Thanks for reading!

Until next time my friend…

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Lakshya Trivedi, TheMDJourney

My name is Lakshya (pronounced Luck-sh) and I’m a third-year medical student at UT Southwestern in Dallas, TX. TheMDJourney is my effort to give helpful advice and personal experiences to anyone on a similar journey. It is also my dedicated form of self-reflection and a project I hope to keep on going for a while.