Gap Years: To take, or Not to take

Hello! It seems it’s been quite some time since questions have been asked about gap years, so I wanted to put forth my plans for gap years and whether there are any suggestions on this!

I’m currently a senior undergrad in the Honors College at my university. I’m going to list out my experiences and such - not for comparison but simply so that there’s a full picture to consider here.

  • 2 volunteer medical/clinical
  • 3 volunteer nonmed/clinical, with one being a very major one
  • 2 extracurriculars, health-based clubs in which I’ve held exec leadership
  • 2 paid employment nonmedical/clinical
  • 1 research experience in a psych lab which I did NOT enjoy
  • 2 teaching/tutoring, one as a TA and one as a dissection assistant
  • 1 hobby as language learning/traveling. Note - I don’t have a ton of experience as all of my traveling trips are day-long trips, nothing immersive.

I am taking an extra semester to graduate. By the time I graduate I will have a B.S. Biology, B.A. Psychology, and minors in Analytical-Org Chemistry and Addiction Treatment. Currently, 3.8 GPA with an upward trend and have not yet taken the MCAT.

I am considering taking 2 full gap years.

For one gap year, I would be going to S Korea to teach English as a foreign language. For another, I would be focusing on medical/clinical paid employment and shadowing (which I have none). I have been teaching myself Hangul for a few months and aim to become as fluent as possible in Korean before medical school, and I also intend to apply for the HPSP scholarship and eventually join the USAF for medical school.

Any major thoughts or suggestions here? Any reasons why I shouldn’t continue as planned? I also would be happy to answer any follow up questions. TIA!

If you are fine with delaying medical school, then do what makes you happy :slight_smile: It doesn’t seem like you have any major red flags so feel free to apply when you feel ready for med school and have your application in order (MCAT, personal statement, LORs, etc.) :slight_smile: