Until just a few years ago, many parents and educators would dissuade students from taking a gap year. The reasoning was that once a student took a year off from studying, they were more inclined not to go back. Today, that thinking has changed, and gap years have become a common choice for students hoping to study all different types of subjects.
Some educational institutions even recommend that their students take gap years, due to the many advantages they have to offer. If you’re taking a gap year, there are certain things you should consider in order to make the most of your time.
Taking a gap year has a special significance for students who are considering a career in medicine, whether as a doctor, nurse, midwife, physician associate or dentist. Some of the many advantages include:
1. Acquiring new skills or enhancing existing skills that will help you in your dream career. Think communication skills, time management and budgeting.
2. Gaining experience that will prepare you for university – not just academically, but socially.
3. Getting a first-hand look at different specialties by spending time shadowing various healthcare professionals.
4. Spending time doing a medical placement in a developing country offers numerous benefits on its own. It helps you make more informed decisions about your specialty choices in medicine. It will also give your application a huge boost and significantly increase your chances of getting accepted.
5. A gap year gives you the opportunity to travel, become more globally aware and gain exposure to new cultures and meet professionals from across the world.
6. You can spend time volunteering with a national or global aid organization that is doing work in an area close to your heart.
7. You can take up a job and save your earnings to pay at least part of the medical school tuition fees, reducing the otherwise overwhelming financial pressure.
8. Whether you choose to spend time volunteering, working or at a medical placement, they all provide valuable work experience.
9. If you did not get the desired grades in one of your A-levels, this is the time to retake them and reapply while using the rest of your time to do something else.
10. This is the longest vacation you are going to get in a long time. Enjoy it! Spend some time doing things you enjoy and make time for family and friends, too.
If planned well, there is no reason not to take a gap year. Have you started organising yours yet? If you haven’t, maybe you could strengthen your University application with one of our medical work placements across the globe.
Uploaded by Gap Medics on 11 May 2016
Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.
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