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A few questions that I would be grateful if anybody answered...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by boxasaurus, May 3, 2012.

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  1. boxasaurus

    boxasaurus

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    Hello, so I'm currently ending my first year of college, and wanted to know when people started asking for letter of recommendations for their applications.

    Since I want to go straight to medical school after graduating, when would be the best time to start applying? Would it be June of my Junior year?
  2. AKamM

    AKamM

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    April-June is around the time people start asking (at least in my circle of friends), depending on the deadline for the application. I would suggest though that if there is a professor you would like one from, to keep in contact with them up until the time you are ready for a letter. My professors told me they hate when someone pops up out of nowhere that they do not remember to ask for a letter. They may write one but it may not be a whole-hearted letter. That is the best advice I can give as an undergrad. I hope it helps :)
  3. theseeker4

    theseeker4 MS 3

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    Start building relationships now with professors you will ask for LOR's in the future. Ask in the winter/spring before you apply.

    You would apply the June between your junior and senior year to avoid a gap year. Plan on the MCAT that winter/spring, or in July at the very latest (to be avoided if at all possible).
  4. MMADoc

    MMADoc

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    I know you just started your freshman year and this is not addressing your question exactly, but I would highly recommend taking a gap year to apply to medical schools instead of applying during your junior year. Taking that gap year will pay cash money (not literal money, per say) in reduced stress and the ability to enjoy life.
  5. Ismet

    Ismet MS-3! Moderator

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    I don't think this is a good excuse to take a gap year (if your sole reason to take a gap year is to reduce stress). If you're going to work for money, research, build ECs, etc., then a gap year is great for that, but the cycle is really not that stressful if done during school. I did all my secondaries in September when I had school, and I missed a lot of class for traveling to my 8 interviews, but my professors were fairly understanding and I was able to complete assignments without feeling overwhelmed. If OP applies early and gets all his secondaries done before school starts, that's even less stress during school.
  6. NeuroLAX

    NeuroLAX Discere faciendo Gold Donor

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    OP: I agree with the posts above me regarding the time frame in which you should apply and continuing communication with your professors. Save yourself the trouble of filling out all the secondaries by applying early and looking on these forums for ideas on what questions are typically asked. The prompts sometimes change year-to-year but just get an idea of what is asked so you can jot down a few points that you wish to address in your responses.

    And trust me, secondaries will easily begin to pile up the later you apply. I wish I had given myself more time to prepare my secondaries by applying early. Alas, hindsight is 20/20.

    Good luck!
  7. MMADoc

    MMADoc

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    Actually, I have a ton of reasons besides reducing stress during the senior/application year as to why taking a gap year is benefitial...I was/am too lazy to list all of them :). However, I will mention that I was talking more abour the stress of graduating from undergrad and then going straight into medical school vs taking a year off to "enjoy" life and apply before starting medical school. For most of us at least the next eight years of life is going to be a rollercoaster of stress and long hours.
  8. boxasaurus

    boxasaurus

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    April-June of my junior year, right? Also, would it be late then if I started getting closer to m professors during my sophomore year? I'm at a public school, and so the classes are typically filled with hundreds of students... Currently the person I'm closer to was just a TA who's getting his PhD at the moment, but I've read that he can't really write a rec for me.

    I'm thinking about applying to a few schools during my junior year, and if that doesn't work then spending the extra year to work on outside activities, but I'm trying to not do a gap year so that my study habits don't slip, if that does happen.
  9. FattySlug

    FattySlug

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  10. theseeker4

    theseeker4 MS 3

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    Plan on applying once. By "during my junior year" I hope you mean AFTER your junior year, since you apply to matriculate the next fall, not two years later.

    Get your application in order, be ready to apply after your Junior year, or don't apply at all and take a gap year to strengthen your application. If you do apply the summer after your junior year, make sure you apply with a strong enough application, and to enough schools in your realistic range, that you get in on the first try. :luck:
  11. biomaj

    biomaj

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    I can totally understand where you're coming from. I can understand both sides though, its more of a personalized choice. Would you rather take your time, get a job, maybe take a vacation and take a break after four years of vigirous work before you start another four years? Or would you rather grin and bear it, start applying, stay on track, and breathe a little your summer before you've been accepted to your dream school (;))?
  12. Ismet

    Ismet MS-3! Moderator

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    Haha I get where you're coming from now, your OP wasn't too clear.

    I chose to keep the momentum of school going :) It's definitely a personal choice, though. Most med students I talked to were pleased with their decision to either go straight in or take a few years off. My senior year was relatively lax compared to my first 3 years of undergrad, though, so I guess I got a bit of a break.

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