4 year graduation rate for medical students really this low?

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taeyeonlover

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Incoming MD student here. I was just curious and looked up the percentage of MD students who complete medical school in 4 years. I noticed that it's only in the 80s. Is this really reasonable?
Do many students fail and remediate classes during their medical education? I thought that getting in is the hard part and almost everyone graduates on time.

Just a little bit nervous here I guess especially since I have been out of school for 5 years.
 

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kb1900

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The 5 year rate is 94%. It’s also very hard to fall a particular class in medical school. People tend to take research years for competitive specialties or to make up for a failed board exam (commonly step 1)

also unsure if this includes Carib schools
 
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collegestud2013

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A lot of people take gap years for research, extra degree (eg MPH, MBA, PhD) so that's probably why. And yes some do remediate and since the med school schedule is already packed, remediating multiple classes often leads to graduating a year late.
The schools with higher attrition rate are probably the Caribbean M.D. schools, which are easier to get into.
 
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EmilKraepelin55

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Incoming MD student here. I was just curious and looked up the percentage of MD students who complete medical school in 4 years. I noticed that it's only in the 80s. Is this really reasonable?
Do many students fail and remediate classes during their medical education? I thought that getting in is the hard part and almost everyone graduates on time.

Just a little bit nervous here I guess especially since I have been out of school for 5 years.
One thing I had to learn the hard way, even before I got into medical school: don’t worry about everyone else. The data here are not representative of you, or any other individual. Just work your butt off, pass your classes and boards, and move forward. There are plenty of reasons why the 4 year graduation rate has decreased over the years than “they all failed out” I am sure. I have had people in my class take a year long LOA to adopt children, perform research and reorient themselves after a loss. Of course I have also had friends fail and retake. Either way, their choices don’t define you. If you can get through in 4 years then good, and if you need a little extra time then good. Work on yourself, and come back prepared to be a better physician in the long run.
 
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libertyyne

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My school is a Mid tier MD school , roughly 10% of my class had to decel to a 5 year degree program.
 
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NicMouse64

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My school is a Mid tier MD school , roughly 10% of my class had to decel to a 5 year degree program.
I don't know a single person in my low tier MD school that has had to do that. WTF is wrong with your school's curriculum?
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Maybe some schools are harsher than other schools? Hopefully my school isn’t like this :(

It’s not always being harsh. A couple people in my class who decelerated requested it, and for one person it was because of life circumstances that would have negatively affected their performance.
 
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Davidfromcali

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Roughly 33% of the students take an extra year to do research/get another degree at my school.

I think repeating a year is generally pretty uncommon across all US MD schools but there’s always those few students
 

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The 5 year rate is 94%. It’s also very hard to fall a particular class in medical school. People tend to take research years for competitive specialties or to make up for a failed board exam (commonly step 1)
Also, women get pregnant, and people get sick. It's not always about failing.
 
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libertyyne

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I don't know a single person in my low tier MD school that has had to do that. WTF is wrong with your school's curriculum?
5 % attrition is the national average .
so a 10%decel in that context is not too terrible.
You mean because of academic issues? Wow. Is your school super strict about preclinical grades or are the students really struggling?
I think the problem was that our curriculum was not preparing people for step. Our school does have a strict policy surrounding passing an nbme exam prior to sitting for the real thing .
 
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M&L

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also, schools have different remediation policies. This is why when someone asks me about factors that are important in choosing a medical school, i always tell ppl to look at remediation policy. In my school if you fail a specific exam, you can retake it in a week, and retake it again a little later. There is a limit to how many retakes are allowed in an academic year, but it is sort of not a big deal. I have not failed anything yet, but it is so comforting to know that it is ok. Because sometimes you were maybe sick, or had something bad happening in your life, or something else. It is great to know that it is not the end of the world, you know? if you fail exam in my school, and sit down with you, and work out a new studying strategy (if this is what you need help with), help you find a free tutor, etc. I love that they really care about us improving and getting information into our hands, vs just passing and moving on.
 
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Lucca

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More than half of our class graduates in 5 or more, historically, maybe even as many as 2/3. Easily funded research years / dual degrees make it cost neutral and you can’t be charged full tuition after 4 years, cutting tuition rate by >85%. For residency and personal life (getting married +/- having kids, burnout) it just ends up making a lot of sense and it’s just part of the culture. We refer to eachother has MD X/Y, entering class of 20YY as opposed to Class of 202X for that reason.
 

NicMouse64

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also, schools have different remediation policies. This is why when someone asks me about factors that are important in choosing a medical school, i always tell ppl to look at remediation policy. In my school if you fail a specific exam, you can retake it in a week, and retake it again a little later. There is a limit to how many retakes are allowed in an academic year, but it is sort of not a big deal. I have not failed anything yet, but it is so comforting to know that it is ok. Because sometimes you were maybe sick, or had something bad happening in your life, or something else. It is great to know that it is not the end of the world, you know? if you fail exam in my school, and sit down with you, and work out a new studying strategy (if this is what you need help with), help you find a free tutor, etc. I love that they really care about us improving and getting information into our hands, vs just passing and moving on.
Yeah I failed a couple exams my first year. Medical school is hard to adjust and manage the stress. My M2 year was much better but if my school hadn't been supportive I'm not sure I would've made it. Glad I got lucky with the school I go to.
 

altblue

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5 % attrition is the national average .
so a 10%decel in that context is not too terrible.
that still seems pretty high, and maybe even punitive, for a mid-tier.

our school is pretty average academically and the worst I've heard of is a 4-5% decel one year. typically it's 1-3% for academic performance, with one or two more leaving permanently for non-academic or legal (!) reasons
 

ginsengreset

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Incoming MD student here. I was just curious and looked up the percentage of MD students who complete medical school in 4 years. I noticed that it's only in the 80s. Is this really reasonable?
Do many students fail and remediate classes during their medical education? I thought that getting in is the hard part and almost everyone graduates on time.

Just a little bit nervous here I guess especially since I have been out of school for 5 years.
With some schools (e.g. CCLCM and Yale, among others) requiring or essentially requiring a 5th year of research in order to graduate, I'm surprised this number isn't lower than 80%.
 
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deleted1005514

So far during OMS-1:
  • started with 162 people
  • 3 left during orientation/before the white coat ceremony (3 weeks in)
  • 6 took LOAs during the 1st semester
    • 2 of those were mental health issues
    • 2 were physical health issues
    • 2 were grade related
  • another 5-7 took LOAs or failed or failed rememdiation during the 2nd semester.
    • I know for a fact we had one girl who was going to be having a baby in March, so that's potentially one person who might need an LOA
  • 16/162 = 9.8% of my starting class will take more than 4 years to graduate. Another 4 will do a fellowship year in either Anatomy or OMM after year 2, a couple will probably remediate year 2, and a couple more might have to take an extra year to graduate due to match issues.
I can see where a 4-year graduation rate of 85-90% can look like a school doesn't know what they're doing, but consider that I had a classmate who's child has cancer, another classmate fell ill and had to be hospitalized, another found out she had cancer, one had an unexpected death of a parent, one found out his father had cancer, one (at least) is pregnant, etc. Life happens, and fortunately there are systems built into our programs to help students navigate difficult times when they do arise.
 
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taeyeonlover

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So far during OMS-1:
  • started with 162 people
  • 3 left during orientation/before the white coat ceremony (3 weeks in)
  • 6 took LOAs during the 1st semester
    • 2 of those were mental health issues
    • 2 were physical health issues
    • 2 were grade related
  • another 5-7 took LOAs or failed or failed rememdiation during the 2nd semester.
    • I know for a fact we had one girl who was going to be having a baby in March, so that's potentially one person who might need an LOA
  • 16/162 = 9.8% of my starting class will take more than 4 years to graduate. Another 4 will do a fellowship year in either Anatomy or OMM after year 2, a couple will probably remediate year 2, and a couple more might have to take an extra year to graduate due to match issues.
I can see where a 4-year graduation rate of 85-90% can look like a school doesn't know what they're doing, but consider that I had a classmate who's child has cancer, another classmate fell ill and had to be hospitalized, another found out she had cancer, one had an unexpected death of a parent, one found out his father had cancer, one (at least) is pregnant, etc. Life happens, and fortunately there are systems built into our programs to help students navigate difficult times when they do arise.

Why did people leave during orientation? That seems odd.
 

NonTrad16

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Why do people know the breakdowns of what’s happening with other students? Are your schools being super transparent or is this word of mouth or a combo?
 
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olderbrooklyndoc

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Around a third of my class takes an extra year, either for research or a dual degree, both to bolster apps for competitive specialties and for intellectual interest (MBA, MPH, various master’s). No one in our class has had to repeat the year. So, I agree that for many med students, 4 year graduation isn’t the best metric.
 
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deleted1005514

Why did people leave during orientation? That seems odd.
I can think of a few reasons...got into a 1st choice school (our orientation is mid-July, so still time for schools that start later to pull from their waitlist), had some unexpected emergency come up, just changed their minds about medical school as a whole (it happens).
 
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deleted1005514

Why do people know the breakdowns of what’s happening with other students? Are your schools being super transparent or is this word of mouth or a combo?

I'm going to assume that's directed at me since my comment was so detailed. Our school (and most schools, I'm sure) would NEVER tell you why another student was repeating a year...that's a FERPA violation. Our class was fairly close, so everything I quoted above the students in question either told me themselves, or posted to our class FB page. We're pretty supportive of each other.
 

NonTrad16

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I'm going to assume that's directed at me since my comment was so detailed. Our school (and most schools, I'm sure) would NEVER tell you why another student was repeating a year...that's a FERPA violation. Our class was fairly close, so everything I quoted above the students in question either told me themselves, or posted to our class FB page. We're pretty supportive of each other.
Yours, but also the others. I’ll admit to keeping more than fair distance from most of my classmates and the school itself, but I’m just surprised that people can figure out the deceleration rates, extra degrees, etc.
 
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deleted1005514

Yours, but also the others. I’ll admit to keeping more than fair distance from most of my classmates and the school itself, but I’m just surprised that people can figure out the deceleration rates, extra degrees, etc.
Most people are over-sharers.
 
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altblue

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Yours, but also the others. I’ll admit to keeping more than fair distance from most of my classmates and the school itself, but I’m just surprised that people can figure out the deceleration rates, extra degrees, etc.
Lol, I mean as long as you're not at a massive program like Wayne or Jeff, it isn't too hard to figure out who's decelling
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Yours, but also the others. I’ll admit to keeping more than fair distance from most of my classmates and the school itself, but I’m just surprised that people can figure out the deceleration rates, extra degrees, etc.

Most people in my class are close with each other and very open.
 
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