In addition to rest and relaxation, here are six activities for premeds to consider over winter break.
As the holiday season approaches and the semester comes to an end, we hope many of you have plans for rest and relaxation in mind. However, winter break is also an opportune time to start strategizing the completion of your medical school applications. Whether you are just beginning your premed journey or are preparing to matriculate into medical school next year, these six tips can help you make the most of your winter break.
Become a Knowledge Expert
Understanding what information and resources are available and how to use them will allow you to determine what fits with your goals. Check out the AAMC Premed Resources collection which includes various links throughout the Students and Residents webpage for easy navigation, as well as print-friendly handouts of all items normally distributed at premed events. Most importantly, check out the Premed Webinars webpage to discover AAMC tips, resources, and guidance on topics from exam preparation to financial wellness and more in one centralized location.
Find a Volunteer Opportunity
Volunteering in a health care facility or organization not only enhances your medical school application, it provides you with a taste of what it is like to work in a medical setting. It’s also a great opportunity to network with peers and possible mentors, take on increased responsibility and leadership roles, and build your resume. Learn how to find a volunteer opportunity.
Study for the MCAT® Exam
Don’t forget to mark the upcoming MCAT® exam testing dates on your calendar. If you plan to test in 2023, start your preparation by reviewing our study plan guide to help develop strategies and a schedule that fits your studying style and needs. The AAMC offers a variety of low-cost and free resources to help you prepare for the exam. All MCAT Official Prep products are written by the developers of the actual MCAT exam.
Interested in hearing directly from current medical students? Watch the From Premed to Med Student webinar to learn from three first-year medical students about how they prepared for the exam.
Look into Financing Your Medical Education
It’s no secret that financing a medical education can be expensive. It’s never too early—or too late—to become a knowledge expert in financial literacy. The AAMC Financial Information, Resources, Services, and Tools (FIRST) service advises medical students on money management, loan repayment strategies, and financial wellness throughout medical school and beyond. Take the first steps to learning more about financing medical school by reading FIRST’s Six Financial Tips for Premedical Students card and the 5 Things I Wish I Knew as a Premed About How to Pay for Medical School article.
Don’t forget to check out the AAMC Fee Assistance Program to see if you are eligible for program benefits that assist with the cost of applying to medical school. If you plan to take the MCAT or PREview® exams in the upcoming year, be sure to apply for fee assistance prior to registration. Benefits are not retroactive.
Get Advice from Experts
As a premed, it can be motivating to learn about the medical school journey from those that have experienced it firsthand. The perspective of current students, doctors, researchers, and other experts can help you make decisions regarding what schools to apply to, clinical experiences you may be interested in pursuing, and much more. However, getting in touch with an expert for a one-on-one conversation can be difficult to manage. Thankfully, there are many excellent books, articles, and other media forms available to you. Check out our recommended podcasts, books, and blogs!
Create a Plan to Maintain Your Well-Being
Applying to medical school can feel overwhelming at times, especially when you are balancing the application process with school, work, and other responsibilities. Explore the AAMC’s Medical Student Well-Being webpage and learn through the personal stories of current medical students about resilience, resources for maintaining well-being, and programs, practices, and strategies to help you navigate your journey to becoming a physician.
A well-rounded medical school applicant also needs to prioritize their mental health. Make sure to take mental and physical breaks to recharge and do things you enjoy. Spend quality time with family and friends, find some time for personal activities, or create a list of goals for the new year during your winter break!