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Gap Year 101

It is common for pre-med students to take a gap year before applying or entering medical school. Pre-med students may also take a gap year if they do not get accepted into medical school on their first try. Though reasons vary, a gap year is most commonly to gain more clinical experience, volunteering opportunities, and shadowing. Some students may not know entirely what to do in a gap year, so here are a list of potential things you can accomplish if you decide to take a gap year before pursuing medical school.

Study for/take the MCAT

  • If you haven't already taken the MCAT during your undergrad, you can prepare for the MCAT and take it in your gap year. Students can also utilize this time to retake their MCAT if they wish to improve their score.

Graduate Programs

  • Some pre-med students will pursue a graduate education before applying or reapplying to medical school. Showing medical schools that you have education from a graduate school will also help indicate that you are able to handle difficult coursework.

Volunteering

  • Volunteering in a healthcare setting is very ideal for students taking gap years. It will allow you to gain more experience in a clinical setting and make you a stronger candidate for medical schools.

Post Baccalaureate Programs

  • Some students may choose to pursue a second bachelor's degree to grow stronger academically and strengthen their GPA.

Research

  • Participating in research labs is another way to make you a strong medical school applicant and demonstrating understanding of research processes.