A gap year is the period of time between the end of your undergraduate education and the start of medical school. Many individuals choose to take one or more gap years, depending on their particular circumstances, which makes the national average age of new medical students hover around 24.
During their gap years, UChicago students commonly pursue:
- Clinical roles not requiring an MD (i.e., a Scribe or Medical Assistant)
- Consulting or other business fields
- Academic fellowships
- Research experiences
- Additional graduate or postbaccalaureate programs
A gap year can have many advantages, such as:
- Additional time to reflect on your goals and career interests
- A chance to recharge between UChicago and medical school
- Gaining research and professional experience (especially beneficial for MD/PhD applicants!)
- Demonstrating your 4-year undergraduate accomplishments on med school applications – such as advanced classes, graduation distinctions, and a more robust GPA
Professional schools like to see applicants who can demonstrate a variety of real-world skills and experiences that may not be afforded to applicants who go directly from undergrad to professional programs. Gap year experiences often help shape med school applicants’ future career, and define the “why medicine?” thought process in application essays and personal statements.
CIH SUPPORT FOR YOUR GAP YEAR
If you are considering a gap year, or already looking for an opportunity to fill your gap year(s), connect with your CIH adviser to make a game plan that fits your interests and needs. We facilitate hundreds of internships and full-time job opportunities for students each year, along with job shadowing and research positions!