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Ode to the gap year(s) before medical school

Gap years before med school aren’t failure but opportunity for personal growth and strengthening candidacy. The author’s initial one-dimensional focus on academics shifted after pandemic-related disruptions and med school rejections. Three gap years later, she gained clinical experience, an additional degree, and personal development. She explored hobbies, attended events, presented at a conference, improved her diet, and prioritized health check-ups. Regular exercise and mindfulness practices improved her well-being. She believes these experiences will make her a better, more humanistic physician, emphasizing the importance of personal well-being in a profession with high burnout rates.

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