Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
Mac the Marauder

What should we do the summer before medical school?

Recommended Posts

Not sure that I'm qualified to give this advice yet because I'm in the same boat that you are... but I'm just trying to relax by pursuing other interests that I had to put on hold, or at least put on the back burner, while absorbed in the rat race of undergrad. It's nice to catch up on subjects like literature which my program didn't offer me the flexibility to take courses in. It also feels great to not constantly have to turn down invites to social events / spend time with family.  

Take time to dabble with things you enjoy guilt-free!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Relax, have fun, travel. That's what I've been told, anyways, as a fellow incoming med student :)

Things will get very hectic for us starting this August so I'm taking some self-care time to pursue my own interest and spend time with some loved ones. You should think about doing this too! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The summer before medical school and the summers during medical school are the only time you will have for total freedom and enjoyment until retirement at the end of your career. So, great this time as a precious gift for you to be able to enjoy with friends and family. That is what I did, I did not work, rather allowed myself to enjoy life.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol I have to move across the country, so my summer will be spent with a mixture of working and trying to find a place in Ontario (I live in BC), and then moving all my stuff across the country. I will have most of August to relax though, since I am trying to find a place for August 1st. I hope to explore my new city and settle myself in to my new place. It's all exciting though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Persephone said:

lol I have to move across the country, so my summer will be spent with a mixture of working and trying to find a place in Ontario (I live in BC), and then moving all my stuff across the country. I will have most of August to relax though, since I am trying to find a place for August 1st. I hope to explore my new city and settle myself in to my new place. It's all exciting though!

Same, moving provinces and furnishing my apartment! I consider my summer as a mini vacation exploring/getting acquainted with the new city and relaaaxing :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Persephone said:

lol I have to move across the country, so my summer will be spent with a mixture of working and trying to find a place in Ontario (I live in BC), and then moving all my stuff across the country. I will have most of August to relax though, since I am trying to find a place for August 1st. I hope to explore my new city and settle myself in to my new place. It's all exciting though!

sounds like a good plan :)

don't stress out too much about the summer before - I posted a few times on that. I want to remind people they have really only a few remaining large blocks of time (1-2 months) of freedom left without serious consequence until basically retirement (maximum of 4 actually to be exact). I would urge you not to wasted them. Plus there are exactly two of them that don't have stress on them to do something else relevant to your training - this is one of them, and it happens to be the longest. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, rmorelan said:

sounds like a good plan :)

don't stress out too much about the summer before - I posted a few times on that. I want to remind people they have really only a few remaining large blocks of time (1-2 months) of freedom left without serious consequence until basically retirement (maximum of 4 actually to be exact). I would urge you not to wasted them. Plus there are exactly two of them that don't have stress on them to do something else relevant to your training - this is one of them, and it happens to be the longest.

Well maybe I will quit my job a little bit earlier then! :) I was concerned with dipping into my LOC earlier than need be, but perhaps I should prioritise my sanity and actually enjoy a summer off since I won't have those at Mac.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Persephone said:

Well maybe I will quit my job a little bit earlier then! :) I was concerned with dipping into my LOC earlier than need be, but perhaps I should prioritise my sanity and actually enjoy a summer off since I won't have those at Mac.

yeah I mean I think everyone here knows I am a pretty frugal kind of guy but.....

Seriously - you have this summer, and depending on the school summers after first and second year - both of which you could and maybe even should be working on figuring out the specialty of choice/research etc depending on what you are going for etc, and lastly the 6 weeks post graduation before residency where you have to move potentially. Nothing, no other time, is as free as this point is. You may honestly not realize even how special it is because well you have had summers pretty much your entire life until now - you may have needed to do something in them but you had a lot of flexibility in that regard compared to the future.  That is about to change.

So time wise that is it. Seriously that is it.

After that you will have at most 1 week off at a time in residency for 2-5 years with important things to do during them, and 1 week off at a time at most for your fellowships if any. After that any time you take off will cost you income and you will have pressures coming at you from life - getting into your partnership or starting your practice is consuming, starting a family perhaps, you may have staff that work under you that need to be paid etc, investing for the future................ You will have vacations of course but it would be unlikely any of that would be continuous free time without responsibilities. To get more you would always be sacrificing something.  

But now, right now, you don't have those things to worry about. You have 2 maybe 3 months or so with nothing in particular you have to do, and if used well an LOC that could potentially support any such thing, and a wide world of things you could potentially do. You very likely will never have such a time again. Is there something you always wanted to do but haven't yet?

Tick toc................

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Persephone said:

Well maybe I will quit my job a little bit earlier then! :) I was concerned with dipping into my LOC earlier than need be, but perhaps I should prioritise my sanity and actually enjoy a summer off since I won't have those at Mac.

I would! Not sure how your provincial student aid works but I think they take some of your income away from what you can get in loans/bursary 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Eudaimonia said:

I would! Not sure how your provincial student aid works but I think they take some of your income away from what you can get in loans/bursary 

Yeah that is the other thing - you have to really careful with the student aid because you can literally be 1:1 cutting down the bursaries you can get in med school by having a job. Literally wasting your time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay so I don’t have any student debt anymore, and been working at a pretty decent job. I couldn’t apply for queens bursary. I’ve been told tonwork until the end of June but I definitely wanted to end mid June lol. Any other aids from queens? I used OSAP for six years so idk if they’ll accept another year, would they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can anyone comment on loans/bursaries being limited for BC Student Aid / UBC? My current plan is to work through most of the summer, probably till the first week of August, but if the amount of loans/grants I receive end up being reduced, seems like a no-brainer to cut out early.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do what you enjoy the most. If you enjoy traveling, then travel (take out some loans if necessary), it's worth it since you won't have time like this and FREEDOM until a very long time. What we often forget is that by going into medicine, we gain a level of certainty (good job prospects if you're considering family med, well payed) but you pretty much lose all control of your life (it will be a while until you get to decide what you want to do with your time without feeling any guilt). 

Nothing you do "in preparation" for medical school will be productive, there is plenty of time to learn medicine in med school. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rmorelan said:

yeah I mean I think everyone here knows I am a pretty frugal kind of guy but.....

Seriously - you have this summer, and depending on the school summers after first and second year - both of which you could and maybe even should be working on figuring out the specialty of choice/research etc depending on what you are going for etc, and lastly the 6 weeks post graduation before residency where you have to move potentially. Nothing, no other time, is as free as this point is. You may honestly not realize even how special it is because well you have had summers pretty much your entire life until now - you may have needed to do something in them but you had a lot of flexibility in that regard compared to the future.  That is about to change.

So time wise that is it. Seriously that is it.

After that you will have at most 1 week off at a time in residency for 2-5 years with important things to do during them, and 1 week off at a time at most for your fellowships if any. After that any time you take off will cost you income and you will have pressures coming at you from life - getting into your partnership or starting your practice is consuming, starting a family perhaps, you may have staff that work under you that need to be paid etc, investing for the future................ You will have vacations of course but it would be unlikely any of that would be continuous free time without responsibilities. To get more you would always be sacrificing something.  

But now, right now, you don't have those things to worry about. You have 2 maybe 3 months or so with nothing in particular you have to do, and if used well an LOC that could potentially support any such thing, and a wide world of things you could potentially do. You very likely will never have such a time again. Is there something you always wanted to do but haven't yet?

Tick toc................

Well, I haven't had summers off in a VERY long time, lol, I finished my undergrad in 2011 and have been working more or less steadily since then, and then my med school pre reqs I did year round. So it's not anything new to me to not have more than a week off here and there....BUT that being said it's still an opportunity I won't get for a while, and I should probably take it if I can afford to!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Persephone said:

Well, I haven't had summers off in a VERY long time, lol, I finished my undergrad in 2011 and have been working more or less steadily since then, and then my med school pre reqs I did year round. So it's not anything new to me to not have more than a week off here and there....BUT that being said it's still an opportunity I won't get for a while, and I should probably take it if I can afford to!

ha, in your case then you would appreciate even more the time sensitive nature of things :)

I was similar - was working for quite some time prior to medical school. It was an opportunity (these breaks) to cross a few things off the master list of life experiences 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Persephone said:

lol I have to move across the country, so my summer will be spent with a mixture of working and trying to find a place in Ontario (I live in BC), and then moving all my stuff across the country. I will have most of August to relax though, since I am trying to find a place for August 1st. I hope to explore my new city and settle myself in to my new place. It's all exciting though!

 

4 hours ago, Persephone said:

Well, I haven't had summers off in a VERY long time, lol, I finished my undergrad in 2011 and have been working more or less steadily since then, and then my med school pre reqs I did year round. So it's not anything new to me to not have more than a week off here and there....BUT that being said it's still an opportunity I won't get for a while, and I should probably take it if I can afford to!

 

1 hour ago, rmorelan said:

ha, in your case then you would appreciate even more the time sensitive nature of things :)

I was similar - was working for quite some time prior to medical school. It was an opportunity (these breaks) to cross a few things off the master list of life experiences 

I was initially thinking of quitting my job in late July. However, from reading all the above comments, I’m now thinking I should quit at the end of June instead. I’ve worked full time for most of last 6 years since I graduated in 2012. I kinda feel like a kid again now that I’m talking about summers and back to school, lol.

Since I’m also moving to another province (though not sure which one yet at this moment), I’m definitely planning a Canada roadtrip/stuff moving trip. Like Persephone, I’m also going to try and rent a place beginning August 1 so I can settle in and get used to the new city! 

And in the midst of all this, I wanna squeeze in a trip to Cuba and Hongkong/Japan. Sounds a little insane, but I have a strong gut feeling that if I don’t travel my heart out now, I won’t be able to do it until I’m finished med school!

Writing all this has me feeling all giddy right now! This summer is gonna be crazyyyyyy!!!! And I still can’t believe I’m going to medical school.  :lol:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rmorelan said:

ha, in your case then you would appreciate even more the time sensitive nature of things :)

I was similar - was working for quite some time prior to medical school. It was an opportunity (these breaks) to cross a few things off the master list of life experiences 

I wish I'd really done that, i.e. cross off a few things..  But like you both, it's been well over 10 years I think since I had a "vacation" of more than a week or two or so - even a week of pure vacation somewhere seems like a luxury - even more so than visiting family during christmas holiday say.  

otoh, sometimes it seems best to move ahead with whatever seems the most rational choice at a given moment and also solo vacations don't have the same appeal to me at least..

the summer before med school I had no expectation of being accepted and thus had employment and even coursework lined up, which I didn't feel was fair to break with the company, given that I was a new hire and had just been trained, which was an investment on their part.  Wasn't so much the company per se, but the staff, etc..  who I felt would be left in the lurch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Butterfly_ said:

Writing all this has me feeling all giddy right now! This summer is gonna be crazyyyyyy!!!! And I still can’t believe I’m going to medical school.  :lol:

Ahhh right? My body has been on a straight adrenaline trip since Tuesday. Being anxious/excited/in disbelief every waking moment of the day is starting to do a number on my body!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, rmorelan said:

Yeah that is the other thing - you have to really careful with the student aid because you can literally be 1:1 cutting down the bursaries you can get in med school by having a job. Literally wasting your time. 

Hi rmorelan can you elaborate on this? I’m headed to UofT in the fall and I’m scrambling to find a waiter/labor job to get extra money.... but I totally would relax and reflect/read/travel more if I knew that every dollar of minimum wage I made will be taken from me later :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still stuck on whether or not to travel. I dont have the money lined up and it would therefore be dipping into my LOC. I can probably scrape together a couple thousand in the next 6 weeks if I budget furiously, but it wouldn't be enough. I did line up 3 jobs for this summer to strengthen my application, that I am now in the process of slowly quitting haha. I should be unemployed entirely by early to mid July to give me time to relax before things get hectic again. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, premed176 said:

Hi rmorelan can you elaborate on this? I’m headed to UofT in the fall and I’m scrambling to find a waiter/labor job to get extra money.... but I totally would relax and reflect/read/travel more if I knew that every dollar of minimum wage I made will be taken from me later :(

It depends on your provincial program, so best you check on their website for guidelines and do the simulation if they have one. For example in Quebec, something like 30% or 70% (I can't remember) of your employment income is considered as income that you will contribute towards your education, so it isn't that for every dollar made you'll get 1 dollar less in government funds. However I'd still opt to enjoy my time as explained above.  

31 minutes ago, AM22476 said:

I'm still stuck on whether or not to travel. I dont have the money lined up and it would therefore be dipping into my LOC. I can probably scrape together a couple thousand in the next 6 weeks if I budget furiously, but it wouldn't be enough. I did line up 3 jobs for this summer to strengthen my application, that I am now in the process of slowly quitting haha. I should be unemployed entirely by early to mid July to give me time to relax before things get hectic again. 

Especially since it's harder to find last minute travel deals- I might just settle for exploring the quaint corners of my city 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Eudaimonia said:

It depends on your provincial program, so best you check on their website for guidelines and do the simulation if they have one. For example in Quebec, something like 30% or 70% (I can't remember) of your employment income is considered as income that you will contribute towards your education, so it isn't that for every dollar made you'll get 1 dollar less in government funds. However I'd still opt to enjoy my time as explained above.  

Especially since it's harder to find last minute travel deals- I might just settle for exploring the quaint corners of my city 

I've thought of that too. I may just enjoy some time at home, see my family, go camping, basically do whatever the hell I want to do. I haven't had that freedom in forever (or ever, in fact haha)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Eudaimonia said:

It depends on your provincial program, so best you check on their website for guidelines and do the simulation if they have one. For example in Quebec, something like 30% or 70% (I can't remember) of your employment income is considered as income that you will contribute towards your education, so it isn't that for every dollar made you'll get 1 dollar less in government funds. However I'd still opt to enjoy my time as explained above.  

Especially since it's harder to find last minute travel deals- I might just settle for exploring the quaint corners of my city 

Not just like that but many school have bursaries for medical students - and those bursaries require evaluation of income - so you could lose money in Ontario say on OSAP and then lose money again on bursaries because you were over a thread hold of income. I even had on bizarre situation where the combination of both resulting in a net LOSS of total money by working at one school. 

This is where you NEED on the ground information from other senior med students. What are offered, when, how likely are you to get it and what exactly is the criteria. You get to use your premed mind once again with its obsession with rules ha to learn and use the school's rules to your advantage. Not be afraid to push for what you can - after all there is an extremely high chance the school will in turn be going after you for the rest of your life to donate to their cause. It is almost more of  a loan in a sense. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×