When you look back on your first year of medical school, you realize just how much you’ve learned. How do you make sure you retain that material and make sure you are well equipped when MS2 begins? Below we list two important ways to approach summer break while you’re in medical school.

Between the summer of my first and second year, I reviewed everything we covered in class. That included Biochem, Pharmacology, Physiology, Microbiology, Immunology, and Neurology. You want to read these sections from First Aid until you know every line.

Corey, USMLE Step 1 Score: 260, COMLEX Level 1 Score: 700

Approach 1: Refresh Your Memory Between Years

We asked Corey, a Cram Fighter user and medical student, how he stayed sharp over the summer after his first year of medical school. Corey told us that he reviewed topics from the school year during the summer between MS1 and MS2. Corey used First Aid to reinforce the concepts he learned in MS1. If you haven’t heard of First Aid yet, it will practically become your bible as you begin to study for Step 1.

“Between the summer of my first and second year, I reviewed everything we covered in class. That included Biochem, Pharmacology, Physiology, Microbiology, Immunology, and Neurology. You want to read these sections from First Aid until you know every line,” Corey said. “I studied just about six hours a week to review those topics in First Aid.”

Approach 2: Remember Why You’re Studying Medicine!

Our second recommendation comes from a physician who traveled frequently over the summers between years of med school. As you progress through your medical school career, it can sometimes be hard to rekindle the passion you had at the start. The summer can be a great time to volunteer in your local community or take a trip to provide medical assistance abroad. You may even discover something new about yourself and your career trajectory.

For example, Gaurab Basu, primary care physician at the Cambridge Health Alliance, tells us that he took several trips in medical school, including a trip to Peru over the summer. By traveling to Peru, India, and Liberia, Dr. Basu realized he had a passion for global and women’s health. “I think travel in medical school a real opportunity to reconnect with your passion, and leads to really fascinating experiences learning how different cultures approach health,” he said.

No matter what you choose to do, make sure you are taking stock of your accomplishments and setting yourself up for success next year. Refreshing your memory of everything you learned and finding ways to engage your passion for medicine can both help you do just that.

To find out how Cram Fighter can help you keep track of your progress, visit cramfighter.com.