Anyone that is familiar with medicine knows that it’s a long road to becoming a doctor. After undergrad, the MCAT, medical school, residency, and anything else, it’s roughly 600 years.
If you’re a medical student and aspiring professional, then it feels like 6000 years. The notes, books, study groups, late nights, and stress seem to leave no room for light at the end of the tunnel.
Even once you’ve gone through all of those steps, then it’s time to start your medical career. Even though you’ve been working towards this moment for the better part of forever, it might be time to take a break. One of the best ways to do that is through traveling.
Before you embark on scouring the internet for jobs, you can set off on your own adventure. You don’t have to have a heart and mind filled with wanderlust to enjoy traveling as there are plenty of other benefits to exploring the world besides getting to take your picture in front of the Eiffel Tower.
You Become a Better Problem Solver
There are some vacations that follow the plan perfectly. Your hotel is booked, the flight is on-time, and you never lose your way.
Unfortunately, that’s not always how vacations go. The restaurant is overbooked, your flight gets canceled, or it’s storming at the beach.
Being on vacation and having problems arise is usually not ideal. One, because you expected your vacation to be problem-free and relaxing and two, you’re well outside your comfort zone. You may not readily know where the nearest convenience store is. You can’t call someone to come pick you up. You may not even speak the local language.
Traveling gives you a chance to overcome unique problems in different situations. You’ll learn to find solutions when none seem readily available and make the most out of what you have.
You Can Relax
For the last decade or so, you have been both mentally and physically on a “go-go-go” mode. Everyone can sympathize with your plight and struggles so far.
Traveling is a time to relax, recharge your batteries, and rejuvenate your spirit. Turn your phone off, grab that book your started four years ago, or finally make that Vegas trip with your friends.
Make this time about you before you may not get another chance to have some you time for awhile.
Learn a New Skill
Depending on how long your travel time is going to be, you could always set off to learn a new skill that will help you in your employability. This new school could be a new language, learning about additional software, or even some form of training.
Many students that take out an entire year, or gap year, believe that their year will help with their future employability.
Whatever you can do to make yourself a better candidate may be worth the investment. Consider it a win-win; you get to see a new part of the world and add onto your resume.
Boost Your Confidence
Similar to the idea of becoming a better problem solver, traveling is a great way to boost your confidence. Even though it may seem like everyone’s social media pages are filled with white sands and mountain tops, not everyone is willing to take that step outside their comfort zone and go somewhere new.
Traveling, especially a trip that you organized, is a great way to build up your confidence and make yourself feel more comfortable in your own skin. You’ll be able to look back on your memories and times when you knew you had to make a decision for yourself or your group that led to a positive outcome.
Become More Empathetic
“Walk a mile in my shoes” is one of those oft-used, cliches that seems to weed its way into various conversations about perspectives and lifestyles.
By traveling, you’re going to be exposed to plenty of people who had vastly different lives than you did. Their experiences, upbringing, values, and knowledge could be completely opposite from what you know and treasure.
By interacting and being around such people, you’re going to increase your empathy and understanding of others, making you not only a better person but also a better medical professional.