5-year MD degrees, bias or not?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by LuchoLiu, Jul 3, 2002.

  1. I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this question, but here it goes: Most medical schools have special 5-year tracks for students where the 1st year can be completed in two years. As far as I know, there are two kinds of students that might consider this 5-year MD: those that experience academic difficulty and need to "slow down" the first year and those who need more personal time for family, research, etc. If I get admitted into med school, I might opt for a 5-year track to spend more time with my daughter as she grows up. Do residency PDs view a 5-year MD negatively? The 5-year alternative seems attractive at the moment, but not if it's going to make it more difficult later to obtain a residency. Any comments on this? Thanks.
  2. Smurfette

    Smurfette Antagonized by Azrael
    Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2001
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    Attending Physician
    At my med school, a bunch of us were wondering this same thing (there are a lot of students who opt for the 5-yr extended program).

    We asked a girl in our class what her father thought of this (her father is a residency program director). His initial reaction was shock, as he didn't know that there was a five-yr option at a lot of schools; he had never looked at dates on transcripts to see if it took someone four or five years either. After he realized it existed, he vowed to always check and to make it a point to specifically question such applicants who make the inital cut about it. He said that he would hesitate to hire someone who couldn't handle the load of med school and had to go on a 5-yr plan to cope, because he would question whether they could handle residency and its' stresses. His opinion was that having a family wasn't a good excuse since there are many people who can balance school and parenting and residency will only increase the stress on families. However, if somebody took 5 yrs due to significant illness, he would be more forgiving with that.

    Kind of a long-winded answer...bottom line from a residency director is to have a VERY good reason for doing an extended program. However, I think it also depends on what you want to go into--the less competitive the specialty, the less it will affect you--and of course, whether the programs you apply to are 'onto' the 5 yr program existing at your med school.

    =-) smurfette
  3. Jim Picotte

    Jim Picotte Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Nov 6, 2001
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    I took 5 years to finish medical school and didn't have much of a problem getting a residency. I was asked about it at 2 interviews and didn't mention it in my personal statement or anywhere else on my application. I took a year off because I wasn't sure if I really wanted to be a physician (had nothing to do with academics, illness, family, etc) right after my first year. I think I came back with more desire than I originally had and it worked out well for me.
  4. Joejitsu

    Joejitsu Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2000
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    When I interviewed at the University of Vermont they told us about their 5 year program ("decceleration") but they also told us that going that route is possibly the worst think you could do in the eyes of the residency directors. Don't know if that's true or not, but that's what we were told.


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