Me? Take a gap year?  Yes!

70.1%. According to the AAMC, that’s the percentage of matriculating medical students who took at least one year off between graduating college and attending medical school. At my former university, more than 90% of our applicants took at least one gap (or bridge) year.  Let’s take a quick look at why gap years are so popular—and beneficial—for pre-meds.

By taking at least one gap/bridge year, you can:

  • Demonstrate academic consistency and success
  • Allow plenty of time to prepare for and take the MCAT
  • Obtain meaningful and relevant experiences
  • Demonstrate commitment to experiences
  • Reflect on—and be able to articulate—why you are interested in a medical career and what makes you a compelling applicant
  • Gain noteworthy experiences as an adult in the “real world.” Examples might include (but are not limited to):
    • Research
    • Clinical work—medical scribe, EMT, medical assistant, clinical research
    • National fellowship—Fulbright, Gates Cambridge, Goldwater, etc.
    •  Service work—City Year, AmeriCorps, Teach for America
    • Graduate school
    • Academic record enhancer

Whether you take one bridge year or seven bridge years—or no bridge years—it is important to follow a timeline that works best for you, for when you are applying at your strongest. Let’s discuss your application timeline and readiness to apply at your next appointment.