Gap Year Map (4)

If you had asked me in the beginning of undergrad if I would ever consider taking a gap year, I would have said, “heck no!” I didn’t want to waste any time becoming a doctor! Flash forward to my senior year of undergrad and my answer completely changed. I was mentally drained and knew that it wouldn’t be fair to my body and mind to try to push myself straight through to med school. Some people have the ability to go straight through, but I was not called to be one of those people. My story looked more like this:Gap Year Timeline

The big question that I was asked in my interviews was why I took time off before applying. My answer was simple: I wasn’t ready. I needed time to recover from an intense four years in undergrad before jumping into an even more intense four years in medical school. When I graduated, I was disenchanted and the fire inside me was dimming. I needed to remember why I wanted to be a doctor. My time off helped me do just that. I will always be a proponent of taking time off in between undergrad and med school. It allows you to mature, to really think about why you want to go to medical school, to explore other options, to take your time studying for the MCAT, to change your mind about applying to medical school, to change it back, to find yourself outside of academia, to choose what you want to do for YOU.

If you are someone who is going straight into medical school with no time off, I admire you. If you are someone who is going to medical school after taking time off, I understand you. Whatever path you take, it is wonderful because it’s your path. At the end of the day, we are all going to be incredible physicians in our own way and in our own time.




  1. Hey Ariana, really been enjoying your blog so far! I’m interested to know, if you don’t mind sharing, what made you want to move to South Carolina and get the job that you got? Thanks!

  2. Thank you so much! Oh gosh prepare yourself for an essay answer here…I actually visited Charleston back when I was maybe 14 years old and fell in love with the city. After college I just needed a change of pace and I knew that South Carolina had 3 med schools, so my chances of getting into an in-state med school wouldn’t be terrible. I don’t think I even fully realized what I was doing until my car was packed up and I was in New Mexico driving to a place where I knew nobody and didn’t have a job {yikes}! Right before I left California I had applied for jobs all over Charleston. I initially wanted to work as a scribe, but I couldn’t support myself on the salary that they were offering so I looked into research jobs since my experience {and publication} helped give me a boost in that department. It fortuitously happened that a few days after I got into town I got a call for an interview helping on oncology clinical trials and ended up getting the job. If you’re interested in hearing more of the details, I could definitely do a post about it all! I never know if people care to hear about my personal life in depth, but let me know 🙂 thank you so so so much for reading!!

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