Medical students commit years to their education and often take out enormous loans to finance their career training. The stress of completing courses, fulfilling hospital residencies, re-paying debt and assuming responsibility for the health of strangers is great. If the opportunity to take a vacation arises, medical students need a break. However, they also cannot afford to fall behind. Fortunately, technology and pure creative innovation join forces to make continuing medical education possible while on vacation.
Medical students fulfilling core course requirements may do so online. Some students may do this by enrolling in virtual medical courses designed to be completed anywhere. Other students may make arrangements for meeting in chat rooms. They can also arrange to complete assignments via e-mail. In an age of social media, accommodating lessons for online delivery is reasonable with some advance notice. Students seeking to continue their medical education by going online should also plan the events of their vacation to include uninterrupted periods for study and should make sure that internet access will be available at their vacation destination. Fortunately, the prevalence of wireless hotspots and portable internet devices make internet access a minor concern.
Students continuing medical education while on vacation can touch base with local medical organizations about volunteer opportunities. Public clinics in remote tropical locations often seek volunteers to help them stay afloat. Vacationing students can log some hours at these and gain valuable hands-on experience. Medical students planning to volunteer at foreign clinics should also speak to their professors and academic advisers at least one semester prior to leaving. They may be able to use their field-based work for academic credit.
Hard copies of medical journals travel anywhere, and online versions are available everywhere with internet access. Medical students taking approved vacation time can stay up-to-date by supplementing their fun reading with reviews of the latest medical research. Alternatively, medical students who would normally be bound to the classroom but are desperate for a break may work with their professors and advisers to set-up an independent study course. Students complete independent studies on their own preset timeline from any location provided that the research materials they need are on hand.
Make an Exchange
University-backed foreign exchange programs and fellowships may be available. Schedule an appointment with your academic adviser to discuss options. Some programs that center on dual enrollment will allow students to receive credit from both their home school and the school where they attend classes overseas. This allows medical students to receive additional credit for taking the same number of courses. Look for programs that offer this option and are located in exotic locations or places that interest you personally so that you can transform your down-time into a vacation.
Confer with Colleagues
Consider joining professional organizations for medical students. In addition to allowing students to network with industry professionals, these also usually include an annual conference. Medical students attending conferences can learn by day and turn vacationing tourist by night.
This guest post was provided on behalf of MCE Conferences, the leading provider of continuing medical education conferences with the focus of improving the quality of health care around the world. http://www.mceconferences.com/