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What should I do in my summer break?

You can go on vacation, to the beach, travel the world, you can actually do whatever you want. But is that going to help you in your residency application?

Many medical students have this question in mind but they don't have any ideas. How about you do something to improve your CV?

Here are some ideas for things you can do during your spring or summer break:

1) You can shadow one of the attending physicians that you worked with. They will never forget that "you came to work on your summer break". They will see this as a sign determination and hard work. If it doesn't work, ask your mentor to connect you with any attending or resident in the specialty you like.

2) Join a research lab and inquire about ongoing studies that they need help with. Some labs need help with samples and you will need some basic science experience. Other projects may need someone to collect data and form spreadsheets.

3) Write an article in a medical journal. Ask your mentors if they have any project that is done but is needing someone to initiate writing a manuscript. That would be a great start for you career as a physician.

4) Learn Spanish! you can do that in short time! At least the most commonly used words in medical practice.

5) Invest in your future by learning statistics. That's one of the skills that you will never go wrong with. You can read a book about statistics but that's not high yield. We recommend that you get involved with one of the statistical programs that are used to perform statistics for research projects. It doesn't matter whether you learn SAS, STATA, SPSS, JMP or R. Pick a program that is available to you through your university so that you don't have to pay money. If you can's find a program, then go for "R" which is an open source free program. Use YouTube videos to learn about those programs and how to use them.

6) Volunteer at your teaching hospital.

7) Spend some time at your simulation lab to learn ultrasound, echocardiography, and ask about what your university sim lab offers.

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