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Quitting in the middle of medical school

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by iceman132, Sep 5, 2011.

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  1. iceman132

    iceman132

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    I talked to my friend in M2 a little while ago and she told me that a good chunk quit during their first year.

    Some thought they weren't smart enough.... And the majority that quit had a spouse and children.

    So from medial school students and pre-meds... What are some stories you have heard about people quitting medical school?
  2. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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    From what I've heard, there's only a ~10-15% attrition rate for US allopathic schools.
  3. PeterPesto

    PeterPesto

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    Wow, I'm kind of surprised the attrition rate is that high. While the curriculum is rigorous the intent is not to "weed out" students.
  4. aSagacious

    aSagacious Send in the clowns Moderator Emeritus

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  5. blizzah

    blizzah

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    I was going to ask the OP, what school? Ross?
  6. PeterPesto

    PeterPesto

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    That seems more in keeping with my what I initially thought. This isn't law school, where the attrition rate is much higher.
  7. CodeBlu

    CodeBlu Van Wilder Lifetime Donor

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    This is correct.
  8. iceman132

    iceman132

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    Alright, a "Good chunk" may have not been the best choice of words.

    You guys are missing the point. The point of this thread was to see what kind of stories people have of the reasons ppl quit medical school. I thought it was interesting ppl thought that they were too "dumb" when they already made it in medical school.
  9. aSagacious

    aSagacious Send in the clowns Moderator Emeritus

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    Anything under the sun. There is the occasional student who slipped through the screen who probably shouldn't have been in med school in the first place. The majority (at least at the two schools where I have experience with med school faculty) are for family reasons or unanticipated life events. Since it's such a small fraction it would be hard to make generalizations though.
  10. CodeBlu

    CodeBlu Van Wilder Lifetime Donor

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    Family reasons are a big one... or the student just realized medicine wasn't the place for them.
  11. iceman132

    iceman132

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    I'm not really asking for specific generalizations (Although they can be included). Just any type of story you've heard.

    For instance, a doctor told me that a couple of medical students he knew just quit after the first year because they had no passion for medicine whatsoever. They just couldn't think of a better option.

    Any story is fine.
  12. Gigantron

    Gigantron Robot

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    I know of a medical student at my program who quit in his third year. He was an OOS student so at that point, he was already 150k in debt. As it turns out, he decided that 110% that medicine was not for him, yet he waited until his THIRD year to actually make a move. Nobody really knows where he is at the moment. :lame:

    Apparently he had really good stats too. Like he had great preclinial grades, a pretty good STEP 1, etc.
  13. CodeBlu

    CodeBlu Van Wilder Lifetime Donor

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    Not surprising... but I agree though... usually after M1 is when a lot of the cuts happen.

    Then again... some people really like science... then M3 hits and it's no longer enzymes and memorization charts... it's applied science with dirty, smelly people.

    Hence the lovely LizzyM's "If you can smell the patient, it is a clinical experience"
  14. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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  15. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Useless PGY2 Moderator Emeritus

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    It says ~80% after 4 years and ~96% in 10 years.
  16. iceman132

    iceman132

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    Unless his parents are loaded I don't see how he could just quit like that.

    Even if you quit during M1 or M2 I don't see what a person would do. Just so much expense.
  17. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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    :nod:
  18. aSagacious

    aSagacious Send in the clowns Moderator Emeritus

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    First page
  19. CodeBlu

    CodeBlu Van Wilder Lifetime Donor

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    If it was me... I would go through and finish the MD... lots of pharma companies want consultants... not to mention you could go and get an MBA from PEMBA at UTennessee online... 50k and you can open your own medical school or become head hospital administrator and never have to touch people.
  20. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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    So it took them 10 years to graduate at 3-4%...

    The majority of people will be following the cohort that expects to graduate after four years.
  21. aSagacious

    aSagacious Send in the clowns Moderator Emeritus

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    After you consider the fact that MANY students participate in one year research externships, others participate in dual degree (MPH, MBA, etc) programs, and yet another cohort participate in MD/PhD programs you'll see why this is not comparable to 'attrition.'
  22. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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    So it's not really feasible to estimate attrition unless we have the % of people in dual degree programs.
  23. aSagacious

    aSagacious Send in the clowns Moderator Emeritus

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    - You know the 4-year graduation rate is ~80%
    - You know the overall attrition rate is ~4%
    - Subtract their sum from 100% and you can estimate the average 'non-traditional' med student population to be ~16%
  24. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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    Ok, but that 16% could be comprised of dual degrees who finish somewhere between 5 and 9 years OR people who drop out somewhere between 5 and 9 years. Right?
  25. aSagacious

    aSagacious Send in the clowns Moderator Emeritus

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    No it can't because when all is said and done 96% of the people who stepped foot into med school graduated with an MD in no more than 10 years.
  26. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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  27. aSagacious

    aSagacious Send in the clowns Moderator Emeritus

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    No, approximately 16% are (or something equally time consuming). :p
  28. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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    I know. Still seems a little high...
  29. aSagacious

    aSagacious Send in the clowns Moderator Emeritus

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    Oh, I get what you were trying to say. Still, if someone asks 'what is the attrition rate' it would be more accurate to say 4% than 10-15%. The latter doesn't tell the whole story and is quite misleading.
  30. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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    Neither are completely accurate. I'd like to see statistics on students pursuing an MD separate from students pursuing dual degrees.

    I'd also be interested in seeing the attrition rates of each individual med school because I'm sure the numbers at UPenn are a bit different than those at SGU...
  31. CodeBlu

    CodeBlu Van Wilder Lifetime Donor

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    I'd like to see these numbers also... but I'd like to mention that I support those who want to go to the Caribbean, especially SGU. Anywhere else... I'd think twice.

    Reality is... even excellent Carib schools like SGU are diploma mills. They have 3 start dates, Sept, Jan and May... sort of ridiculous if you ask me.

    Thing is... they can afford to do this. There just isn't enough money/resources to do this at US allopathic schools.

    I foresee things becoming MUCH more difficult for IMGs in the next 10-15 years, especially with the increased medical school enrollment numbers slated for 2016-2020.

    Medical school seats are increasing, but residency spots are not increasing proportionally. Most hospital systems in my area are privately funding 50-100 residency spots per year. Just to keep up.
  32. aSagacious

    aSagacious Send in the clowns Moderator Emeritus

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    Why is this relevant? To answer your other question, 15.7% of MD graduates had another graduate degree (p.6)

    That's a safe assumption.
  33. UnclePhil

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    Med schools try to keep you from leaving. They are investing a ton of effort and money into you, even if you are flunking, you will have chances to remediation. Leave of absences are also granted if you find that you need to take some time away.
  34. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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    Well, for starters, some students decide to quit their MD/JD or MD/PhD programs and dropout completely while others simply switch to straight MD. Do you chalk that up as a dual-degree dropout or an additional MD student or...?
  35. aSagacious

    aSagacious Send in the clowns Moderator Emeritus

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    Like I said, at the end of the day 96% of MD matriculants eventually end up with an MD. To the lay man, 4% is the attrition rate. Case closed.
  36. Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin KFBR392

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    :laugh:

    fair enough
  37. Tired

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    I recall my class had a student who had withdrawn and re-enrolled twice during the pre-clinical years. We had none that know of who willingly quit, though I'm sure on paper most (if not all) of those who were "asked" to leave will be recorded as voluntary withdrawls. I'm not sure what the impetus is to get students to "quit" rather than just expel them, but residencies do the exact same thing so it must be something to do with the lawyers.

    I was miserable in my pre-clinical years and desperately wanted to quit. I couldn't, since I was on military scholarship, but if I had had any other options I would have.

    My medical school was very good at supporting the weak students, and very good at the whole touchy-feely hugging thing. They were not good at dealing with someone like me. I did not understand why my aggressiveness was discouraged, or the desire to do more than what was offered was considered some kind of sin. Everything was focused on public health and primary care, and any suggestion that you weren't considering these fields was something of a heresy to the regular teaching staff. It was all very . . . and forgive me for saying this, but I can't think of any other way to describe it . . . feminine.

    After enduring nearly two years, I was emotionally done. I explored options on how to withdraw without ending up as an unrated Seaman chipping paint on a destroyer, but there were none. Fortunately I stuck it out, because I blasted Step 1, got my specialty of choice, and am moderately satisfied with my current surroundings. Still, if I could go back and do it over again, I would never have started in the first place.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I have a world of respect for people who quit this field, especially when they are in medical school, with all the financial and emotional pressure trying to force you to stick it out. Anyone who decides to bail in their pre-clinical years has my undying admiration.
  38. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Useless PGY2 Moderator Emeritus

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    Doesn't mean that all 15.7% got those graduate degrees during their medical education either.

    I'd estimate my school is about the same as the quoted stats. My original cohort is around 70-80% graduate in 4 years.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  39. iceman132

    iceman132

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    Why were people usually "kicked" out for?
  40. Tired

    Tired Boned. Again.

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    All those that I know of were academic failures or inability to pass a Step exam. I never saw anything else (misconduct, failing the OSCE, etc).
  41. CodeBlu

    CodeBlu Van Wilder Lifetime Donor

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    I've heard of a student being asked to leave because they had inappropriate relations with hospital staff AT the hospital, during duty hours.
  42. sector9

    sector9 'He's a loathsome, offensive brute' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    pics or it didn't happen... oh wait
  43. CodeBlu

    CodeBlu Van Wilder Lifetime Donor

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    :laugh:
  44. Tired

    Tired Boned. Again.

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    Since when does that get you in trouble? Weak...
  45. iceman132

    iceman132

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    Boning on the job will get you kicked out of whatever company your doing work for
  46. Tired

    Tired Boned. Again.

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    Get real. This stuff happens every day in hospitals and everyone knows it. People brag about it. No reason to toss someone out of med school for something that residents due with impunity.
  47. dermocrat88

    dermocrat88

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    Why is the attrition rate so high for law school than medical school? I thought medical school will have a higher attrition rate
  48. Political

    Political

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    speaking from experience? :D
  49. Hotshy

    Hotshy

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    I feel as if it takes a much greater investment of time and energy during the undergrad years to acquire a medical school acceptance vs. a law school acceptance. I have friends that didn't do anything during undergrad, got a 3.3 and did okay on the LSAT and are in law school. Where as a pre-med ideally wants a 3.7+, score well on the MCAT, research, medically volunteer, non-medical volunteer, and have leadership positions. Big difference at least in my opinion, unless you are talking like top law schools. It's easy to bail on something when your commitment was never tested before grad school.

    What I'm getting is that those who make it to medical school really want to be there, and if they find out that it may not be the best fit for them they stick it out anyway because they have already invested so much time into the process.
  50. iceman132

    iceman132

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    You watch a lot of day time soaps don't you?

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