Gap years have grown in popularity among many students attempting to go to medical school in recent years. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), more than half of matriculated students now have taken time off between their undergraduate studies and medical school. While many claim benefits to taking gap years, research on the impacts of these experiences on medical students is largely nonexistent. This study aims to qualitatively analyze the gap year phenomena and its impacts on medical students through semi-structured interviews conducted at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. Through these interviews, the researchers collected in-depth responses that were thematically analyzed through a qualitative research methodology. Emergent themes (adaptability, professional identity formation, resilience, refocusing of goals, "real world" experience, reinforcement of motivation) were found which offer insight into the reasons and motivations for electing gap years, and how medical students view the impact of their gap year experiences.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Medicine
Rashid, Haroon, "Understanding Reasons for Electing Gap Years Between Undergraduate Education and Medical School and the Impact of Gap Years on the Student Experience of Medical Education" (2020). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1017.