It is very common for those interested in pursuing a health profession to take time off after graduation before applying to and/or entering a health professional program. While most students initially expect to apply to health professional programs in their Junior year, 75% of Barnard applicants apply in their Senior year or 1-2 years post-graduation. The year(s) between when you graduate and when you apply to health professional school is known as a "glide year(s)," and during this time, there are a number of ways you can better prepare yourself for your programs of interest. If you are considering taking one or multiple glide years, meet with Dean Cohen to discuss a plan for your glide years, see the AAMC's "Making the Most of Your Gap Year" page, and consider the following:
One beneficial opportunity during a glide year is to participate in an internship or research assistant position in a university or medical laboratory. This will give you the opportunity to refine your research and scientific inquiry skills, learn from your fellow peers and supervisors, and gain hands-on experience. Admissions committees when reviewing applications will look for applicants who have research experience and knowledge and who can work well both individually and as part of a team in a laboratory.
Visit our Available Resources page to search for research opportunities.
Given that health professional schools' admissions committees will look for applicants who have immersed themselves in clinical work and truly understand the work of medical professionals, gaining additional clinical experience is a way to demonstrate your preparedness for the profession. Consider this option if you are seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the health care profession, are looking for an opportunity to serve individual patients, and are seeking to partake in additional clinical work. Two beneficial clinical options are to volunteer in the medical field at a hospital or medical professional's office and/or shadow medical professionals. Visit our Available Resources page to search for clinical opportunities.