Guidelines for Planning Your Summer

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The following is a set of guidelines for first-year students planning the summer after their first year of medical school.

Start Planning in the Fall Semester: The planning process should begin in the fall semester of your first year of school. As you will discover, some deadlines for summer internships or research experiences are early January. Applications for some of these experiences can be lengthy and may require letters of recommendation from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs; The Office of Student Affairs requests two weeks of lead time for these letters. Click here for “How to Request a Letter of Recommendation.”

Consider the Big Picture: When making a decision regarding your summer plans, consider your financial situation, your emotional needs, and your professional development. Do you need to earn money during the summer? Do you want to be near your family? Are you interested in undertaking research? Do you need to undertake military training (if you have a military scholarship)? Ask yourself these questions before you begin planning your summer.

Search for Information: Once you have an idea of what you would like to do, start searching for information. The Internet is a good place to start. You may want to browse the Healthcare Opportunities for Medical Students maintained by the Office of Enrichment. The databases include research and enrichment opportunities inside and outside of BUMC. The database will give you an idea of “what is out there.”

Talk to Your Advisor or One of the Deans: Discuss your summer plans with your Academy Advisor or your Peer Advisor, make an appointment with one of the deans in The Office of Student Affairs for discussion, or make an appointment with Suzanne Sarfaty, M.D., Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs with Ana Bediako (; 617-638-4167).

Attend the BUSM I Class Meeting during the fall semester: This class meeting is sponsored by the Office of Enrichment; Suzanne Sarfaty, M.D., Assistant DeanĀ of Academic Affairs, will speak about the issues on this page and answer questions from students. She will highlight the Medical Student Summer Research Program and the International Health Summer Scholarship Program.