As the semester comes to a close, many medical students are faced with the conundrum of whether to power through and start studying for Step 1 or to take a break. Since medical students become so engrossed in their studies after three straight months of classes, taking a break may seem like a foreign idea. With so much more to learn, the question arises: Do medical students take breaks over the holidays?

Of course they do! Joshua Kim, a student at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, advises “Take your breaks when you need them because they’re important for your sanity. Personally, I think Thanksgiving is too early to start seriously studying for Step 1.”

On the other hand, you might be considering jump starting your Step 1 study plan. When we asked Hazel Asumu, a medical student at the University of Florida, whether or not students should study over Thanksgiving, she said “I think that depends on your family! If I were studying over Thanksgiving break, my family would say ‘You’re studying? That’s awesome!’” “If you have a long stretch, like over winter break, it’s good to spend some time studying,” she says. However, Hazel acknowledges “it’s important to spend time with your family and take breaks when you need to.”

Rachel Zemtsov You can use this break as an opportunity to familiarize yourself with these tools so that when you are ready to study, you can hit the ground running

Raquel Zemtsov, Indiana University School of Medicine

If you still can’t shake the feeling that you should be studying, Raquel Zemtsov of Indiana University School of Medicine suggests that you start familiarizing yourself with Step 1 resources. “Something useful to do over Thanksgiving would be to take some time and determine what resources will best suit you for your Step 1 preparation if you have not yet already done so”. “When making my decision, I read reviews, skimmed materials (I found many ebook versions through my school’s library), and talked to friends the year above me about their experiences. You can use this break as an opportunity to familiarize yourself with these tools so that when you are ready to study, you can hit the ground running,” says Raquel.

Whatever your plans are, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving from the Cram Fighter team.