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Clap on, year off ?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by RemyArgo, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. RemyArgo

    RemyArgo 2+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    I was wondering whether or not taking a year off to possibly do an ESL gig overseas would affect competitive standing when applying for 2010. I graduated last fall and plan on retaking the MCATs this July. Is the ad board gonna see this as a negative, in terms of dedication to medicine ?
    Like, to clarify, the earliest my app for the 2009 year could be finished is early july-august. Since with my current MCAT score, I'm not as competitive as I'd like to be, deciding which schools to apply for is getting to be a beech. And then theres the cost to get to the interviews. Some ESL programs I've heard of start in the fall, which'd interfere with interviews. (Although I'm aware that I could get in with a later interview, I believe that'd decrease my chances of acceptance.) So yeah.
    Also, I'm guessing that med schools aren't cool with phone interviews.
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  3. Martin Prince

    Martin Prince 2+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2008
    Who knows if an ESL year will be seen as good or bad. I had some interviews see two years of AmeriCorps as a waste of time and others who thought it was a great decision. Some schools won't care, and it's up to you make your case to the rest as to why the experience was beneficial to your goals.

    Your bigger problem is being absent during interviews. I think you'll likely delay your chances a year. You're going up against so many people, and it will be hard to demonstrate dedication to the process if you have to decline or delay an interview. You want the primaries and secondaries in early to get an early interview. If you delay an interview, you're only shooting yourself in the foot. It won't be impossible, but it's already hard enough as it is.

    Good luck.
  4. RemyArgo

    RemyArgo 2+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    Thanks for the reply.

    Well, I was actually considering skipping applying this year, in favor for the next, and doing an ESL gig overseas. Partially to travel while I still have the chance and partially to garner some cash for the whole app process (flights, etc.) Plus, how I see it, since (assuming it all goes through smoothly) I'll be in the medical field for the next xx years, it'd be fun to do something else.
    I guess I was wondering whether or not the year off would be a detriment, beneficial, or neutral in terms of apps. (I've been reading around the boards and I'm getting the vibe that app boards are generally looking for activities related to med and any deviation has the potential to be construed as a sign of a lack of commitment.)
  5. Lacheln

    Lacheln Cavorting in the Hills 10+ Year Member

    Mar 31, 2005
    Hmm. Well, from what I've seen being a well-rounded person is a positive. If you have strong clinical ECs from undergrad then I would not worry about it. If you are light on those then maybe a non-med option isn't the best idea. A year teaching ESL certainly isn't a substitute for med experience.
  6. RemyArgo

    RemyArgo 2+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    Mmm...over half a year volunteering at an ER, 2.5 years of "research" (altho it probably won't fly as research), katrina relief, a muscular dystrophy camp (over 5 years ago tho), a semester in the university EMS group. ?
  7. jelly476

    jelly476 7+ Year Member

    Feb 10, 2008
    hey I am doing an ESL gig right now (the JET program in Japan), and I have enjoyed it immensely. I think that the majority of schools would view such an experience as a positive attribute, as you are getting real worldly experience that alot of med applicants dont get. I actually applied this year as well, and while flying back from Japan the United States was an incredible pain in my ass, it was worth it as I got into 2 med schools. If you arent going to apply until after the ESL experience, then have something lined up for when you get back because as much as sitting around for a year while applying sounds good, it gets very very boring. You could always squeeze in more med related stuff then but from the list of your ECs you dont need it. My advice, do the ESL program (perhaps JET or a private company in japan? haha) as you get to travel and experience life in a country different from your own. ESL life is its own creature and is vastly different from study abroad. If you have any questions, send me a PM.

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