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Any Med Students, or residents take 1 gap year?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by vokey588, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. vokey588

    7+ Year Member

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    I'm planning on taking one gap year between college and medical school, and I assume this would be considered "non-traditional" but most of the topics on this forum are about applying many years after college.

    Anybody here know in college that they wanted to go to medical school but opted for a gap year? I have the stats to get into medical school so I'm not doing this to improve my resume, just because I think it will be a good experience to take a break before a long period of intense education. So for those of you who did it, how good of an experience was it? Do you think it helped you ward off getting "burned out" in med school? Did you find that you were more focused when you started classes again? What did you do during the gap year? Does it have to be medical related? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion
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    A gap year does not in any way make you non-traditional. It may, however, make you more interesting.

    The average age of first year med students isn't 21 - it's more like 24. Go ahead and take a few years off if you find something you really want to do.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  3. PunkmedGirl

    PunkmedGirl Freshman Member
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    But wouldn't the OP still be considered non-trad because he/she didn't take the usual route to medical school?? I thought and believe that non-tradition is not define by age alone.
     
  4. Rutgers06

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    In this day and age, taking 1 yr off isn't really non-traditional. In my med school class, the average age is around 24 and more than half the people in the class didn't come straight from college. I have friends and a brother who are in other med schools and have a similar experience. I personally opted for a gap year even though I had the scores and EC to apply right out of college and really think that it helped me to gain a better perspective on things. Interestingly enough, I find that my classmates who didn't come straight from college have a greater tendency to want to learn the material because it's important, while my classmates who came straight from college have a tendency to focus more heavily on the grades.

    During the gap year I worked at a job that was pretty far from medically related (I worked for a cosmetics company), and I have a friend in med school who did construction during the gap year, so it doesn't really need to be medically related, but just be prepared to answer some questions on what you did during the gap year and why you did it. You don't necessarily have to work...I know a handful of people who just traveled for a year and they turned out fine. The key is to figure out what's best for you. If you feel that the year off will help, then you should totally do it.
     
  5. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    It depends on the school, but I don't think any school would consider the OP a nontrad. Mine definitely would not. What s/he is proposing to do is so common these days that it's getting more unusual for people to start med school straight out of college.

    OP, most schools would probably consider you a nontrad if you are over age 30, have had a previous career, or otherwise have significantly deviated from the normal pathway from college to med school. Taking a year or two off is not at all frowned upon, and will not make you a nontrad in most cases. Many students choose to do things like do full-time research, work for a year or two, volunteer for organizations like Peace Corps or Teach for America, get an MS, etc. You can do any or none of those options. Just make sure you use that year wisely, as you probably *will* raise a few eyebrows if you take it off to drink your way across Europe or something. ;)
     
  6. aunt ethel

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    Whether or not you will be qualified with the label of "non-traditional," taking a year off is a stellar idea. Make some money, travel, read some non-textbook books, and have a good time. I suspect that when you apply the next year, you will feel refreshed and confident.

    Good luck!
     
  7. PunkmedGirl

    PunkmedGirl Freshman Member
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    Gotcha.:)
     
  8. Bleurberry

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    I mean non-trad's typically HAVE a gap year (I mean 28+ yrs old) since they may have gone back to finish pre-reqs, and then need to apply. There's exceptions, like some kind of post-bacc linkage programs that get you in right away. Actually, I opted for a hybrid... I took an extra elective semester by pushing out my graduation date (I returned to school at 28 to finish my bachelors in Spanish and do my pre-reqs). Now I graduate and work till August. It's all good.
     

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