Do Medical Students Get Summers Off?

Everyone believes medical students’ schedules are always tight, with little or no time to breathe fresh air. It’s true somehow, but medical students are human beings, not robots. Hence they can explode if they don’t get enough rest with their heavy workload. So?

Yes! Medical students do get Summers off. For most Medical schools, summer breaks are between the first and second year, and other holidays are year-round.

Above all, The summer break depends on your studying course and the medical school you’re attending. The holiday starts in late May/early July and ends mid/late August for US students, while European medical students have their summer break from early July to early September.

You might have to find your school calendar to determine how they operate regarding summer breaks.

How Much Time Off Do Medical Students Get?

First, I’d love to stress that medical school calendars differ, so their breaks aren’t the same.

However, similar summer breaks given to all medical students include:

First-Year Summer

The first year is the main break. Medical students get their first summer break just after their first year before they begin their second year.

Second Year

students receive little time off in the second year because they’ll take board exams during this time, so they’ll be busy preparing for the exam. Thankfully, the school does give them a one-two weeks period to cool off after exam stress before the third year begins.

Third and Fourth Year

At this level, students receive training from various specialists. So there’s no break for students because they’ll be working in the hospital, except the hospital gives them some time off.

You don’t have to get all worked up. Aside from the main summer break, there’s winter break in the first and second year, from late December to early February. There’s also the weekend.

Sure, they’re essential holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and new year. These breaks are for a few days, but at least you can use them to refresh your brain or study the courses you need to understand better.

What Do Medical Students Do in Summer?

There’re various options for medical students during the first summer break. It’s left to you to make a choice.

You can choose to spend the break with your loved ones because this is the major break you’ll have before returning to your studies or using that time for travel.

If you don’t like the sound of that, you can dedicate this time to engaging in research projects. Your research outcome may even help you decide your specialty.

What Do First-Year Medical Students Do in Summer?

Aside from spending quality moments with the family, traveling, or taking on research projects, medical students can venture into basic science or clinical opportunities with the help of the school.

The good thing about going this route is that it helps you build your portfolio from the onset. Hence when it’s time for job hunting, you’ll not be searching for someone without experience.

Do Medical Students have Free Time?

Definitely! Like I mentioned earlier, you’re a human being, so no hospital or school will keep you occupied 24 hours without a break.

In medical school, you’re free to sleep, eat, do other personal stuff and even hang out and have fun with friends. The minor setback to this is that those times are limited. It all boils down to how organized you are!

Can Medical Students Work in the Summer?

Absolutely Yes!. Although many believe that medical school is a full-time job on its own, the reality is that it depends on you. How well can you organize yourself and squeeze some time off to work?

And if you want to work but having a hard time finding a job. Make inquiries from your school on how to work as a summer student.

How can Medical Students Make Extra Money?

Most medical students live on scholarships, student loans, or are lucky enough to have parents sponsoring them. Having extra cash at hand as a student will help you save for the rainy days.

And no medical school will stop you from trying to make extra cash like I’ll continue to stress. It all boils down to you. So if you’re ready and want to know how to make some extra money, keep reading!

Ways You Can Make Extra Cash Includes:

  1. EMT (Emergency Medical Technician): This is a brilliant way to gain more knowledge in your field. When you work as an EMT, you’ll understand what it’s like to be a first responder to a patient. To achieve this, you can decide to drive the ambulance at leisure, and you’ll make great money.
  2. Medical Tutor: You’ll often find people willing to go the extra mile to learn in a medical school, so working as a medical tutor could be lucrative. Start with teaching college students who want to study MCATs. Or you can offer to teach your classmates who are way behind you.
  3. Medical Research Assistant: Thankfully, many academic physicians are into research projects which need medical students like you. Find them and choose the one that suits your free time.
  4. Phlebotomist: This is someone that draws blood, and you’re qualified as a medical student to work as one. Luckily, they’re so many independent Phlebotomy companies that need your service. Apply with any that suits your free time.

Perhaps, you don’t like any of the above job offers. The good news is that you can work anywhere. You have to make sure it won’t affect your studies or well-being. Once you’re sure of the two, start working right away.

What are the Requirements for Medical School?

Getting into medical school requires hard work and determination. Don’t get discouraged if you want to get into one because it’s time to prepare your mind and get to work, and everything will be worth it.

Medical school requirements differ with schools, so you must make more findings from your preferred school.

However, here are primary medical European and US schools’ requirements:

  1. High School Certificate.
  2. Excellent scores in core science subjects. Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics.
  3. Letters of Recommendations.
  4. Work experiences related to health care.
  5. Candidates interested in (IB) International Baccalaureate Diploma must take Biology, Chemistry, three other courses at higher institutions, and three subjects at the standard level.

Note that not all schools use nor will require an IB from you. It depends on the school you’re aspiring to study.

The entry requirements differ by school. To help guide you better, I’ll advise you to make appropriate inquiries from the school you want to study. Working with their specific requirements in mind will help you get ready.


Here you have the answers to the fundamental questions about going through medical school. And I’m optimistic you can make it through one if you decide to join the medical field. These tips will help you prepare for the task ahead.


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Written By Michael Larry


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