Iâ€™m trying to decide how to spend the 2nd half of my summer when I wonâ€™t be in school. Here are my 5 choices:
- radiation oncology externship â€“ 6 weeks in duration w/ a $1500 stipend. Iâ€™m ultimately interested in an oncology fellowship way down the road and think this could be a good learning experience. Iâ€™ll be assigned to a staff member and be able to observe and assist in the follow-up clinic and treatment area. Iâ€™ll have an opportunity to be involved with a research project, attending daily planning conferences, lectures, and journal clubs. The downsides are that no housing is provided and my nearest family is 70 miles away. Itâ€™s in a large (read expensive) city and the $1500 stipend would not cover my out-of-pocket costs especially with no other source of financial aid during those 6 weeks. Deadline: February 28.
- family practice clerkship for pre-clinical students â€“ 2 or 4 week rotations. This is 130 miles away from where I live and a stipend, complimentary lodging and meals may be available. I could go home on weekends. I was also thinking Iâ€™d be a TA for our anatomy lab on weekends and this would allow me to do that. I would like to do apply to an IM residency; although family practice is not exactly internal medicine, they are both primary care fields and so I imagine there would be relevant overlap between FP & IM. This might give me a slight competitive edge at residency application time. This option would be lower cost to me than option 1 and would allow me to be close to home. Deadline: May 1
- research â€“ I could stay on campus for the summer and try to pair up with a faculty member that wants a research assistant. Iâ€™ve had substantial work experience as a research associate prior to medical school. This is a low to no cost option to me especially if itâ€™s a paid position. The downside is that after having worked in a research lab for so many years, I might be bored with it if the faculty member is not doing research that I find particularly interesting. I would not have the expense of maintaining separate households during the summer break, but I may not find a paying position (or any position).
- teaching assistant â€“ I could work (earn money) helping students and faculty in our anatomy lab over the summer. The TAs that were in my lab were a lifeline and Iâ€™d like to pay it forward for the next batch of students. I like teaching. This would be the least cost option to me as I would not have to maintain separate households during the summer break and could actually earn money.
- do nothing â€“ I could just enjoy the time off and most importantly study for boards! I wonâ€™t have any out-of-the-ordinary expenses, but will have no income for those 6 weeks either. I could also become very bored. I would like to serve on my schoolâ€™s orientation team for the incoming class (2015) during the last week of the summer and options 2-5 would allow me to do that.
Any suggestions, comments, or recommendations?