The most common question I see from prospective medical students is what should you read during summer holiday to prepare for medical school. To be completely honest: you don't need to do any pre-reading unless the medical school specifically told you so (which is unlikely). If you are a gap year student and haven't studied in a long time - then just quickly look over your biology notes. I don't think looking over your notes will really get you ready for medical school. I don't think it is that big of a jump from school to medical school. I guess it varies from university to university, but for me - there was a gradual introduction to medicine. What did I do the summer before I started medical school? I traveled with parents as I know once I get to university, I won't see them as much - so I spent quality time with them. I did a lot of sleeping. Played social basketball and hockey. Chilled with friends before we all split up across the world for university. Essentially I did a lot of relaxing..I don't think I did anything related to medicine or prepared for medical school. The most preparing I did was probably reading the intro/welcome guide that the university sent.
Another common question from prospective medical students: What books will I need to buy for medical school? I personally won't buy any books until a few months into medical school. Most medical schools will give you a recommended reading list. Go to the library and take a look at all the textbooks and see which one suits you. Textbooks are expensive so choose wisely. I made the mistake of buying books too early and ended up only using a few of them. Some of my textbooks are still sitting on my shelf
So you're a medical student and you're sitting around at home feeling that you should be doing something productive and medically related. If you're in 1st or 2nd year and you've still got a long summer holiday - go enjoy your holiday. As the years progress - your summer holiday will get shorter and shorter. This year, my summer holiday is only 3 weeks. Stupidly short. In first year my summer holiday was 3.5 months! Most of the doctors that I have talked to all told me to not work during my summer holiday as I'm currently doing an audit project. I was quite stressed about it before holiday started trying to get it done so I don't have to worry about it, and I'm glad I did get it done before holiday. Now, I can relax and just sleep as much as I want. Actually might be taking the whole sleeping in to a whole other level. Thinking about it, it's nice to sleep in. Before holiday, I was getting about 4-5 hours of sleep per night. Now I'm well rested as I'm getting about 10-12 hours of sleep...doing some major catch-up. Knowing that my holiday is only 3 weeks, I'm glad I didn't bring any work with me as I'm spending as much time as I can relaxing and doing the things I love to do. Hanging out with friends. Eating good food. Sitting around. Just doing absolutely nothing. Need to get the brain rested as exam season is coming up. So my biggest tip to current medics: RELAX when you can! Enjoy your holidays while they last! Take a break as you'll just end up burning out. Medicine is mentally and physically demanding - give yourself the needed break!
Okay so you're not convinced and you HAVE to do something during summer holiday. Try to avoid doing something medically related. Go volunteer for summer camps. Go volunteer for an activity that you enjoy doing. Do the things that you love to do. For medics: I really advise against shadowing a consultant during your holiday at your local hospital. You'll get to spend all the time you want in the hospital in the near future. For some, your next 30+ years will be working in the hospital. You can follow/observe as many consultants you want when you get back to medical school.
Anyways that kind of gives you an idea what I'm usually up to during holidays and what I think is the best way to enjoy your holiday.