Oct 17, 2014
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Pre-Medical
Hey everyone,

I was wondering if any current med students or pre-med students currently applying/interviewing withdrew from school at some point during their undergrad years. If so, how did you go about explaining it during the application process? Was the topic brought up during interviews? I might be withdrawing from school this semester (possibly Spring as well), and I am concern on how this would impact my chances of getting into med school since I will have W's for this semester. If I finish this semester, my grades would probably be Cs for most of my courses.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 
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DermViser

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Depends on the reason, depends how long.
 
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DermViser

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It would be for medical reasons...at this point is very likely that I will not be back to school until Fall 2015.
Is it psychiatric in nature? Yes, a year off from school will definitely be asked. The key is to word it properly and vaguely if it is psychiatric.
 
OP
L
Oct 17, 2014
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0
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Pre-Medical
Is it psychiatric in nature? Yes, a year off from school will definitely be asked. The key is to word it properly and vaguely if it is psychiatric.
Unfortunately it is psychiatric in nature...I could try to finish this semester, but my grades would definitely be very low (shooting for C's in most of my courses at the moment) and my GPA will drop significantly. I am not sure which one would be "easier" to explain: a really bad semester (with many sciences class as part of my coursework) or a year off from school...? My previous semesters went well.
 

Pacna

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Med schools aren't unreasonable. If you've performed well until this point and something happened which hurt your mental well-being (which is much easier to explain) and thus grades, starting college again after addressing the problem and continuing to perform very high, then you have little to worry about.

However, if it's a serious psychiatric issue that could recur and/or possibly affect your performance in medical school, then it would be much harder to sell.
 
OP
L
Oct 17, 2014
8
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Status
Pre-Medical
Med schools aren't unreasonable. If you've performed well until this point and something happened which hurt your mental well-being (which is much easier to explain) and thus grades, starting college again after addressing the problem and continuing to perform very high, then you have little to worry about.

However, if it's a serious psychiatric issue that could recur and/or possibly affect your performance in medical school, then it would be much harder to sell.
Being this the first time I am experiencing issues related to mental health, I am not sure how serious this could be, but I am doing everything that is in my power to fight it, using resources within my reach to help me overcome it and get back on track...Thank you and DermViser for taking time to reply to my post!
 

Snoopy2006

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First off, I'm glad you're using all available resources and doing your best to stay on track. If you're reaching the point where you really can't handle another semester without reaching the breaking point, you have to do what's best for your mental health.

That said, medical schools can be both reasonable and unforgiving at the same time.

If it's a personal tragedy that led to your poor semester or need to take some time off, most adcoms would be able to accept this, provided you excelled before and after the tragedy.

If it's something more chronic, and your entire last 2 years of college are littered with so-so grades because you're struggling with depression, then it might make them wary.

Look at it from their perspective: a medical school curriculum is difficult. They want to select for people that will make it through a rigorous curriculum. If someone has no great tragedy but just struggles with a pre-med curriculum due to general anxiety, that person may not do well in medical school. But if a strong student hits a blip on the road due to personal tragedy, takes some time to overcome it, and then returns to school and performs well again, most would view that as OK and a sign of character.

Still, a full year off is a lot. If you can get away with just a semester off, I'd choose that option.
 

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Moving to pre-allo
 
OP
L
Oct 17, 2014
8
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Pre-Medical
First off, I'm glad you're using all available resources and doing your best to stay on track. If you're reaching the point where you really can't handle another semester without reaching the breaking point, you have to do what's best for your mental health.

That said, medical schools can be both reasonable and unforgiving at the same time.

If it's a personal tragedy that led to your poor semester or need to take some time off, most adcoms would be able to accept this, provided you excelled before and after the tragedy.

If it's something more chronic, and your entire last 2 years of college are littered with so-so grades because you're struggling with depression, then it might make them wary.

Look at it from their perspective: a medical school curriculum is difficult. They want to select for people that will make it through a rigorous curriculum. If someone has no great tragedy but just struggles with a pre-med curriculum due to general anxiety, that person may not do well in medical school. But if a strong student hits a blip on the road due to personal tragedy, takes some time to overcome it, and then returns to school and performs well again, most would view that as OK and a sign of character.

Still, a full year off is a lot. If you can get away with just a semester off, I'd choose that option.
I am not very keen on taking the full year off, but depending on when I decide whether to withdraw from this semester or not, I might not be able to be readmitted for the Spring semester on time (there are certain things that I need to do at least 1.5 months in advance before being cleared to register for classes again). This is my senior year, and being so close to graduation makes it very tempting for me to just try to pull through, get Cs, and try to do better next semester, but I am not sure if that would be wise and there is not way for me to know if the things that are preventing me from doing well right now will be in a better situation by Spring. Before all this happened I had already decided to take a gap year, and if I do finish this academic year, I am considering using that time to enroll in a post baccalaureate program...Thank you Snoopy2006 for your insight!
 

AspiringERMD

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I had a one semester medical withdrawal (psychiatric nature) spring of freshman year, but I had all As before and after it. I've also done a post-bacc since I graduated with no less than an A-. So far it hasn't come up at any of the interviews at three schools. It's fine as long as you can demonstrate that it's not likely to recur.
 

Tappinfool66

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Hey everyone,

I was wondering if any current med students withdrew from school at some point during their undergrad years. If so, how did you go about explaining it during the application process? Was the topic brought up during interviews? I might be withdrawing from school this semester (possibly Spring as well), and I am concern on how this would impact my chances of getting into med school.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
I left my university for a year and a half when I was in UG to go home to take care of my dad. It came up in all of my interviews, but that might be because of the bigger situation and the fact that I wrote about the whole experience in my personal statement. That being said, I'd still expect time off to come up pretty frequently. Med schools aren't unreasonable though so if you have a good explanation, they'll be understanding of that. Doing really well in your courses while you're in school and just in general having as strong an application all around as possible can only help too.

Edit: I just re-read your post. I'm not a med student yet but I'm going through the application process now and I've already had a lot of interviews with an acceptance at this point.
 
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Pacna

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Being this the first time I am experiencing issues related to mental health, I am not sure how serious this could be
It can be very serious, depending on what it is. If you experienced a sudden psychotic break in which you had extreme difficulty preventing yourself from harming others, for instance, that would be very serious and likely hurt your chances at med school.
 

DokterMom

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Being this the first time I am experiencing issues related to mental health, I am not sure how serious this could be, but I am doing everything that is in my power to fight it, using resources within my reach to help me overcome it and get back on track...Thank you and DermViser for taking time to reply to my post!
Frankly, your approach is the right one to take. Recognize the problem, solve it, move forward. Far easier said than done, of course, but better to take action before your academic record is trashed than after.
 
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OP
L
Oct 17, 2014
8
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I left my university for a year and a half when I was in UG to go home to take care of my dad. It came up in all of my interviews, but that might be because of the bigger situation and the fact that I wrote about the whole experience in my personal statement. That being said, I'd still expect time off to come up pretty frequently. Med schools aren't unreasonable though so if you have a good explanation, they'll be understanding of that. Doing really well in your courses while you're in school and just in general having as strong an application all around as possible can only help too.

Edit: I just re-read your post. I'm not a med student yet but I'm going through the application process now and I've already had a lot of interviews with an acceptance at this point.
Thank you for sharing your experience, Tappinfool66...In my original post I was asking for advice to current med students because I initially posted this thread under the Allopathic Forum, but it later got moved here. My situation is kind of similar like yours in that I have a relative that is very sick and far away, and that has affected my performance at school.
 
OP
L
Oct 17, 2014
8
0
Status
Pre-Medical
It can be very serious, depending on what it is. If you experienced a sudden psychotic break in which you had extreme difficulty preventing yourself from harming others, for instance, that would be very serious and likely hurt your chances at med school.
The issues I am experiencing are related mainly with having loss motivation for school...I have a very dear relative of mine whose health has declined severely, and that has hit me hard...I am very far away from my family and dealing with this practically alone, on top of the stress that school has by itself, has just made extremely difficult for me to concentrate.
 
OP
L
Oct 17, 2014
8
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I had a one semester medical withdrawal (psychiatric nature) spring of freshman year, but I had all As before and after it. I've also done a post-bacc since I graduated with no less than an A-. So far it hasn't come up at any of the interviews at three schools. It's fine as long as you can demonstrate that it's not likely to recur.
Thanks for your post, AspiringERMD. If you do not mind me asking, which post-bacc program did you do and why you picked that one?
 

AspiringERMD

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Thanks for your post, AspiringERMD. If you do not mind me asking, which post-bacc program did you do and why you picked that one?
Actually, my choice of post-bacc was just limited to one in the area that was still taking applications when I made an abrupt and late decision to return to school and quit my 14 month-long programmer career. Honestly, anywhere with the pre-reqs should do.