2+ Year Member
Oct 10, 2016
  1. Pre-Medical
Undergrad senior, just submitted AMCAS a week ago. Alabama resident, applying IS and a couple OOS. Competitive stats for UAB and similar schools.

Rather suddenly I'm having some reservations about jumping into school so soon, so I'm now weighing my options. I'm heavily involved with a Christian campus ministry and have off and on considered the alternative of going into full-time ministry. As a result, I'm looking into the option of a yearlong internship (fairly easy to secure). However, as I said, I've already submitted my application. I suppose it's possible that I could change my mind completely in the coming weeks/months and become excited about starting med school immediately and just go along as planned, but at the moment I'm not so sure. I'm not doubting my desire to go into medicine any more than before (Doesn't everybody have just a little doubt?), but I think I would face some serious regret and "what-ifs" having not explored my other passion if I jump into school and have a really difficult time.

So, my question is pretty open. What is the best route?
Can I submit my application and then ask for deferment? How risky is that (I've read many threads on this, but for my case specifically)? I know you can't defer at every school or for any reason, but could I pose a ministry internship as a once-in-a-lifetime service opportunity (which it actually is)? Would I need to couple that with some form of research?
Or, should I withdraw my application now, bite the bullet, and take a year off regardless?
I suppose a third option would be to just wait it out and not submit secondaries if I decide to take a year off, but that seems a little rude and I'm worried how that might appear in a later application cycle (big concern of mine).

Thank you all for your input.


2+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2016
North Carolina
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
Sent you a message regarding others specifics of your post, but I also just saw the question on deferment. If you are unsure about this year, you are much better off withdrawing and reapplying at a later date. Most deferments are reserved for special situations such as finding out a family member was diagnosed with a rare disease and has only one year to live, or going abroad with the Rhodes scholarship, etc. It would be difficult and probably look really bad if you tried to defer because you were unsure.

I'm not sure how withdrawals look - I'm assuming it is as if you didn't actually apply? Would love some input from the adcoms here.

My advice as an applicant in my mid-30s (who has a similar background) is that you will gain a lot from a year (or a few) off from school where you can explore the possibility of working in ministry. That may lead you back to medicine and when you apply the next time you'll know exactly why you are there and you'll likely have a stronger application. You'll also still be in your 20s, so you certainly won't be too old to apply.
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