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emac1933

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Hi everyone, this is my first post here, but I've been reading quite a bit and haven't seen a thread asking quite this question. Basically, I am graduating in May and have decided I want to take a gap year--I applied to med school but only got into one school. I really want to go to California, but I'd be applying OOS with no ties to the state.

Would doing Americorps for a year in CA (starting in summer 2016 and ending summer 2017) allow me to gain residency or otherwise demonstrate my intent to live in California? And would people who have done Americorps in the past be able to comment on the advisability of moving to a state where I've never been and know no one, to do Americorps there for a year?
 
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gyngyn

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Hi everyone, this is my first post here, but I've been reading quite a bit and haven't seen a thread asking quite this question. Basically, I am graduating in May and have decided I want to take a gap year--I applied to med school but only got into one school and it was bottom of my list. I really want to go to California, but I'd be applying OOS with no ties to the state.

Would doing Americorps for a year in CA (starting in summer 2016 and ending summer 2017) allow me to gain residency or otherwise demonstrate my intent to live in California? And would people who have done Americorps in the past be able to comment on the advisability of moving to a state where I've never been and know no one, to do Americorps there for a year?
Of all the states one might consider re-locating to as an applicant to medical school, CA would be among my lowest recommendations.
You are ill advised to let an admission go.
 
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eteshoe

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While I'm usually an adamant proponent of students taking a gap year, I wouldn't advise taking the gap year in lieu of your one acceptance. The adcoms will see if you already got into med school. If Cali is your end goal you have residency, (or) fellowship and practice to get to the state.
 
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emac1933

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Of all the states one might consider as an applicant to medical school, CA would be among my lowest recommendations.

I know, it's super hard to get into, but it's kinda my dream state to be in, so I'm thinking of retaking my MCAT (I got a 34 this cycle) in the hopes of raising my chances. And I'd apply broadly so I'd have a plan B in case I didn't get in.

While I'm usually an adamant proponent of students taking a gap year, I wouldn't advise taking the gap year in lieu of your one acceptance. The adcoms will see if you already got into med school. If Cali is your end goal you have residency, (or) fellowship and practice to get to the state.

Will it reflect badly on me if I took a year off to do Americorps? I just want to get more volunteer experience (currently I have hardly any) and be able to broaden my options as to which school I go to.
 
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gyngyn

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I know, it's super hard to get into, but it's kinda my dream state to be in, so I'm thinking of retaking my MCAT (I got a 33 this cycle) in the hopes of raising my chances. And I'd apply broadly so I'd have a plan B in case I didn't get in.



Will it reflect badly on me if I took a year off to do Americorps? I just want to get more volunteer experience (currently I have hardly any) and be able to broaden my options as to which school I go to.

I should mention I live in Indiana right now and I'm pretty unhappy here, hence the gap year.
This is a bad plan.
 
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eteshoe

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I know, it's super hard to get into, but it's kinda my dream state to be in, so I'm thinking of retaking my MCAT (I got a 33 this cycle) in the hopes of raising my chances. And I'd apply broadly so I'd have a plan B in case I didn't get in.



Will it reflect badly on me if I took a year off to do Americorps? I just want to get more volunteer experience (currently I have hardly any) and be able to broaden my options as to which school I go to.

I should mention I live in Indiana right now and I'm pretty unhappy here, hence the gap year.

Not worth it. IU will get you into a good residency (Cali or wherever). You just have to get through med school plus depending on which campus you go to in the IU system, you can really enjoy your time there (I have a few friends at the Muncie and Indy campuses).
 
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emac1933

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Did you apply to the CA schools this cycle?

Yes, stupidly none of the private schools because I didn't realize they would not show in-state preference. I didn't get into any CA schools this cycle though. But I thought this would be a way to improve my chances?
 

eteshoe

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Yes, stupidly none of the private schools because I didn't realize they would not show in-state preference. I didn't get into any CA schools this cycle though. But I thought this would be a way to improve my chances?

Again IU is a respectable school (regardless of your feelings about the state or school). And the nice thing about med school in the US is that the curriculum is incredibly standardized - hence where you attend doesn't really matter as much. How you perform does. If you want to risk your chances, go ahead, but CA schools are a bit ridiculous so you have to ask yourself is Cali worth sacrificing your 'bird in hand' - i.e. acceptance - opportunity to become a physician?
 
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gyngyn

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Yes, stupidly none of the private schools because I didn't realize they would not show in-state preference. I didn't get into any CA schools this cycle though. But I thought this would be a way to improve my chances?
The only CA schools with a stated preference for IS are UCR and UCD and UCR takes about half of its applicants from their own undergrad.
The super-abundance of terrific CA applicants results in a surplus that makes CA the largest exporter of successful pre-meds in the country. Last year, out of 6520 CA applicants, only 910 got to stay in CA. 1528 had to leave to go to medical school. There is a high probability that even as a CA resident, you would be lucky to get into Indiana. As a re-applicant, this is especially true. Turning down an acceptance at your state school shows very poor judgement or evidence that being a physician is not as important as moving to CA.
 
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emac1933

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I see, thank you for the advice. I knew being a re-applicant would lower my chances, but I thought this could counteract that.

Not worth it. IU will get you into a good residency (Cali or wherever). You just have to get through med school plus depending on which campus you go to in the IU system, you can really enjoy your time there (I have a few friends at the Muncie and Indy campuses).

I know, the problem is I'm concerned about being placed at one of the less bearable campuses. Indy and Bloomington would be doable, the rest would be awful.
 

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OP, do you want to be a doctor or not? You got an acceptance and clearly did not follow the advice that you shouldn't apply to any school that you wouldn't actually attend if it was your only acceptance.

Turning down your acceptance would be foolish.
 
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Remember that every adcom at every med school you apply to if you re-apply will see that you had an acceptance and turned it down. Whats to stop you from turning down an acceptance to their school in the future? Especially in CA, there are wayyyyy more than enough applicants for not enough spots.

They will happily pass over the damaged goods (your app) for someone they think will actually attend their school if admitted.
 
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eteshoe

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...I know, the problem is I'm concerned about being placed at one of the less bearable campuses. Indy and Bloomington would be doable, the rest would be awful.

The key to surviving med school (and medicine in general) is having the right outlook. If you want to be a physician, then what's 4 yrs at a not so exciting place? Even if you were in NYC or LA, you won't have the same level of free time as you do in undergrad. So start to look at the positives in life and embrace the fact that sometimes life deals you a **** sandwich.
 
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emac1933

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Turning down your acceptance would be foolish.

I guess that seems to be the consensus. I thought gap years were generally looked upon well, I suppose its different if I've already been accepted. I had hoped adcoms would see it as an attempt to better myself but the other interpretations in this thread could happen too...

Admittedly some part of my drive to go to California is in an attempt to avert a long distance relationship. Maybe not the best reason.
 

Efflorescence

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Admittedly some part of my drive to go to California is in an attempt to avert a long distance relationship. Maybe not the best reason.

This is a question to ask yourself ... is this someone you think you're going to marry? If so, that's an unenviable position you're in and my heart goes out to you. Is there anyway your SO could realistically move to Indiana to be with you within a couple of years? Even if you by chance got a California acceptance, that state is so large you could still be in a LDR.

And would people who have done Americorps in the past be able to comment on the advisability of moving to a state where I've never been and know no one, to do Americorps there for a year?

I cannot recommend doing Americorps in your situation for multiple reasons, including the fact that you're holding an acceptance. I personally know people who have moved across the country for Americorps and they seem somewhat lonely. It's not like moving for school where you automatically meet people your age/stage 0f life. Also, sometimes the "service" aspect seems to be overshadowed by bureaucracy. Living on the stipend can be rough as well.

Still, Americorps can be a great gap year filler/app booster for the right person in the right location at the right program. That is why I did Americorps and it was a good decision for me. However, the idea of giving up an acceptance to do it sounds absolutely miserable in almost any circumstance.
 
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emac1933

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It's not like moving for school where you automatically meet people your age/stage 0f life.
This is definitely something I am concerned about...I really started this thread cause I wanted to know about the advisability of doing Americorps. I guess I figured it would look good enough on my resume that med schools would overlook the fact that I had to turn down an acceptance to do it. Starting to see that that may not be the case though...

I would very much appreciate hearing about peoples' experience in doing Americorps though.
 

neekzg

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This is definitely something I am concerned about...I really started this thread cause I wanted to know about the advisability of doing Americorps. I guess I figured it would look good enough on my resume that med schools would overlook the fact that I had to turn down an acceptance to do it. Starting to see that that may not be the case though...

I would very much appreciate hearing about peoples' experience in doing Americorps though.

I can answer this question for you but from all of the other advice given above I hope you can see that turning down an acceptance to try and re-apply in a very difficult state is a bad idea. As others have mentioned, it is not well looked upon to turn down an acceptance.

AmeriCorps is a great experience for the right person, as it demonstrates a commitment to service and gives you a lot of great things to write/talk about throughout applications and interviews. In that regard, it looks good on a resume but likely not great enough that adcoms are going to want to overlook the poor decision of turning down an acceptance. Overall, people's experiences tend to vary greatly not only between programs but within cohorts as well. There's no way of knowing how fulfilling or worthy of your time your particular service assignment would be. Also, it's possible that you might make great friends and do a lot of networking while in your service term, but it is also possible you won't.

Additionally, I do not see it feasible at all to move to another state and be able to live off the stipend. You're looking at making less than minimum wage.. this would translate to a rough lifestyle unless you are independently wealthy and for some reason want to use up saved money on this experience.

I hope you end up making the right decision for yourself--I'd be happy to elaborate on any of the above or my experiences either here or through PM.
 
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GrapesofRath

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So if I have this straight

a) You want to turn down an acceptance? Gonnif calls this the worst mistake a pre-med could ever possibly do.

b) Give up a good state to be a resident of(34% IS matriculation for Indiana) for a state that is probably the worst in the US in terms of favorability in CA?

c) You want to retake a very solid score(33) which to some ADCOMs will immeadiately call to question your judgment

Doing one of these things could be a bad enough decision to ruin your future medical career odds(especially a)). But doing all 3? I'm sorry and I dont use this word very often but this is as self destructive of a plan as I've ever heard of. If you still had some thought into doing this even after reading the posts before me, please dont do this.

Enjoy your MD acceptance, take it and run. Use the dream of practicing in CA to motivate you to do well enough in medical school to make desirale CA residencies realistic.
 
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raiderette

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There are good things about most of the IU Campuses NW is close to Chicago and has plenty of things happening in you like craft beer, and don't mind suburban life. Fort Wayne is not bad and they have tons of research money. South Bend campus and Muncie offer most of what you will get in Lafayette or Bloomington.
Yeah it sucks to be stuck in Indiana. I was born and raised in California but got no love from California with similar stats. But IU loved my stats. Take IU and run with it, then do away rotations in order to shoot for a residency spot.

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Efflorescence

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I would very much appreciate hearing about peoples' experience in doing Americorps though.

I'm in Americorps and I'm glad I did it. However, I did not turn down an MD acceptance to do it. Aside from the strong possibility that turning down an acceptance could end your career before it begins, Americorps is not a bouquet of roses. Of course this varies by program/person/situation, but I strongly believe this is not the right call for someone in your shoes. Please feel free to PM me! Best of luck to you.
 

emac1933

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Everyone, thanks so much for the replies. I'm really glad to have got this information now as opposed to after I'd made a decision! This thread can be closed or locked or whatever happens to these threads now.
 

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You do realize that most of us (well, maybe not on SDN) get into one school, and that tends to be our state school. IU is actually a good school. It has spent a lot of money on medical specialties like neuro and cancer, gets a good amount of money from NIH and in medical training is piloting programs on medical records and patient education). They will have a new curriculum this year, but it has basically been tested at South Bend and Muncie for years. Like it or not, it is cheap to live in Indiana. Take a look at the stats that show that CA is an exporter of medical students. Any of the ones that have your stats and didn't get in (and there are many) would kill for a cheap option for school.
Just make the most of IU (paid research in the summer, away rotations, possibly an MBA at one of the best business schools in the country. Study with one of the most revered medical ethicists in the country. Go to medical school.
Who knows, we may even be classmates.
 
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