Words of Wisdom: Hindsight and Planning Summer after First Year
Here are some things we know now that we wish we had known last September:
- Taking a little bit of time to get to know your classmates is more valuable than you think. It is VERY important to develop interpersonal skills, as it will be the nature of this profession.
- You can easily get completely absorbed by school. DON’T. Make the effort to maintain your interests. Keep track of world events; keep in touch with old friends; go out and HAVE FUN!
- The city’s express buses are a great way to get around and to get to the suburbs.
- Bread and Circus on Mass Ave has a good salad bar and health food.
- Friday is Mac ‘N Cheese Day and Wednesday is Quesadilla Day in the downstairs Chequers.
- Second semester gets a bit easier after Neuro.
- Keep on top of your readings and read before class.
- Exercise often. We get a free membership to the South End Fitness Center connected to the hospital. Also, the new Agannis Arena and student center at the Charles River campus is a modern work of art (bring your BU I.D. and there is a shuttle from school that will pick you up in front of the Albany St. parking garage and will drop you off at the gym).
- Intramurals are a great way to have fun and still compete.
- “Ask, and you shall receive”- if you want something (research, free food, curricular change, etc.), ask for it. The worse that will happen is that you’ll get a ‘no’
Summer After 1st Year
All the information we got during our 1st year indicates that residency programs don’t really care what you do between your 1st and 2nd year as long as you are trying to better yourself and/or your community in some way. Many students choose to do research through BU for two months during the summer. To peruse the Medical Student Summer Research website and many other resources please go to:
If you are looking to be in a competitive residency (Derm, Orthopedics, etc.) this may not be a bad idea, but it will probably take more than a couple months of summer research to really give you a leg up in applying to residencies. Here are some other things students have done with their summers:
- Gone abroad (Guatamala, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Mexico, etc.) to work in health care and learn the language. Some of these programs are great and Student Affairs can help you find one and try to secure some funding (the OSA website has a comprehensive listing). Make sure you attend all of Dr. Sarfaty’s required meetings if you are interested in international grants.
- Prosected for anatomy summer students (great review for anatomy, but usually volunteer).
- Shadowed physicians or in the Emergency Department.
- Worked as a nursing assistant at the VA or at BMC
- Taught Kaplan classes (We hear the money’s good) www.kaplan.com.
- Worked at the NIH http://www.training.nih.gov/student/index.asp.
- Worked at a summer camp with kids.
- Waited tables
- Read books
- Spent time with their families and friends
- Enjoyed their last real summer…