hospitaldoctor1

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out of curiosity, what are your reasons for taking a year off before medical school?
why do students usually take a year off? what are their reasons?
 

ensuii

10+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2006
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Attending Physician
As life goes on and the further you get in your training, the more responsibility you get and the less time off you have. In college, you get breaks for EVERYTHING. Spring break. Winter break. National Holidays. Fatty 2-month summer break. You still get those summers in M1 and M2 to an extent...but after that it's all business. You get vacation days in residency and when you get a job as an attending...but its not the some. Some people take a year off to relish it and travel, see the world, etc., because they might never have the oppurtunity to do so again.

Personally, I took two years off to do Teach For America. I had an acceptance to med school but after see the materials from my roommate who had recently joined TFA, I couldn't pass up the oppurtunity (I came from an at-risk school so doing something for similar communities was a big plus). I came away from undergrad feeling burned out but with a good sense of what I was doing. These last two years, I've worked harder than I ever have in my life but I've never felt more impassioned and confident. I taught class in Compton and it wasn't always rainbows and sunshines but I think the experience reminded me why I chose the path that I did. I'm going into med school with a chip on my shoulder and fire in my stomach. All in all...good use of 2 years imo, highly recommend ppl taking time off to enjoy their youth.
 

DrYoda

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Jun 22, 2008
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I think for more traditional students extra years are often people strengthening apps.

Under certain scenarios I was planning on taking time off to make money. But those scenarios never came up.
 

ensuii

10+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2006
630
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Attending Physician
I think for more traditional students extra years are often people strengthening apps.

Under certain scenarios I was planning on taking time off to make money. But those scenarios never came up.
Nooooooooo I don't want to be a nontrad :( jk
 

mvenus929

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Jul 6, 2006
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I applied my last year in school and got rejected. By the time graduation came around, I was so burned out that I really needed the break. So, I took a year completely off from medical school applications and school, and just spent the time working. My application is now a lot stronger, and I feel more prepared for med school. I know what it's like to work days on end with no break in sight, and I really relish the times when I have more than one day off in a row (which only comes every two weeks).
 

pitt1166

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Jan 21, 2006
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1) I didn't have much of a "feel" for medicine after undergrad. I had done the usual volunteering/shadowing/research, but I didn't want to get into such a demanding field unless I was pretty darn sure about it.

2) I didn't have enough money to apply.

And I've spent my year "off" doing research at a medical school and taking some post-bacc classes.
 

dw2158

10+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2008
5,268
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As life goes on and the further you get in your training, the more responsibility you get and the less time off you have. In college, you get breaks for EVERYTHING. Spring break. Winter break. National Holidays. Fatty 2-month summer break. You still get those summers in M1 and M2 to an extent...but after that it's all business. You get vacation days in residency and when you get a job as an attending...but its not the some. Some people take a year off to relish it and travel, see the world, etc., because they might never have the oppurtunity to do so again.

Personally, I took two years off to do Teach For America. I had an acceptance to med school but after see the materials from my roommate who had recently joined TFA, I couldn't pass up the oppurtunity (I came from an at-risk school so doing something for similar communities was a big plus). I came away from undergrad feeling burned out but with a good sense of what I was doing. These last two years, I've worked harder than I ever have in my life but I've never felt more impassioned and confident. I taught class in Compton and it wasn't always rainbows and sunshines but I think the experience reminded me why I chose the path that I did. I'm going into med school with a chip on my shoulder and fire in my stomach. All in all...good use of 2 years imo, highly recommend ppl taking time off to enjoy their youth.
cool story.

as for me... i had kind of had med school in the back of my mind since high school. when it came to the end of my junior year (time to apply), though, i realized that i wasn't ready-- not mature enough, not confident enough, etc. so i decided to take one year off, not with specific plans in mind, just with the goal of growing up a little. then at the end of senior year i felt sort of the same and decided to make it two years. best decision ever. working full time is VERY different than being in school, so i've been able to take this whole app process very slowly and carefully. so far i've had virtually zero stress, and to be honest i'm kind of enjoying myself. i have tried to be very deliberate in my decision-making over the past couple of years and i think it's paid off. i feel totally ready to start medical school now, and totally ready to accept the responsibilities of being a physician (in a few years, of course :)).

as far as what my job is... i'm doing an americorps-affiliated program. i work (for no money, basically) with mentally ill people helping them access their public benefits, namely medicaid. it's been a great, life-changing job.
 

ensuii

10+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2006
630
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Attending Physician
cool story.

as for me... i had kind of had med school in the back of my mind since high school. when it came to the end of my junior year (time to apply), though, i realized that i wasn't ready-- not mature enough, not confident enough, etc. so i decided to take one year off, not with specific plans in mind, just with the goal of growing up a little. then at the end of senior year i felt sort of the same and decided to make it two years. best decision ever. working full time is VERY different than being in school, so i've been able to take this whole app process very slowly and carefully. so far i've had virtually zero stress, and to be honest i'm kind of enjoying myself. i have tried to be very deliberate in my decision-making over the past couple of years and i think it's paid off. i feel totally ready to start medical school now, and totally ready to accept the responsibilities of being a physician (in a few years, of course :)).

as far as what my job is... i'm doing an americorps-affiliated program. i work (for no money, basically) with mentally ill people helping them access their public benefits, namely medicaid. it's been a great, life-changing job.
Anything that has to do with AmeriCorps gets a :thumbup: in my book!
 

jackson1

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May 28, 2008
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When they don't have much of a choice...
Ya I didn't have much of a choice-my mcat score from last summer was terrible so I was forced to retake and apply this year.
 

dw2158

10+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2008
5,268
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When they don't have much of a choice...
i hate that attitude. my decision to take two years off was NOT forced. my GPA was just as good (actually maybe like 0.01 better) when i was a junior. and i don't think i would have done any worse on the MCAT than i did when i took it after graduating. so... just so ya know, there are people out there who take time off because they think it will help them grow.
 

Narmerguy

Moderator Emeritus
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Jul 14, 2007
6,878
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I plan to take a year off and it has nothing to do with my academic performance. There's a whole planet out there with things to do, people to help, food to eat, chores to ignore...there's no way I could go straight through schooling from the time I'm 5 to my early 30s. No way.
 

dw2158

10+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2008
5,268
2
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Pre-Medical
I plan to take a year off and it has nothing to do with my academic performance. There's a whole planet out there with things to do, people to help, food to eat, chores to ignore...there's no way I could go straight through schooling from the time I'm 5 to my early 30s. No way.
:thumbup::thumbup: