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Is this possible. A medical student told me not only is it possible, but very easy to do. I would like to do this to gain fluency in a language I have been studying. What do you guys think?
 

fsunavybabe

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I would certainly not use that reason in your application to your administration. Have you thought about it money wise? You might loose your scholarships and often will have to start to pay back your student loans/financial aid?

often times people defer a year to pursue research projects (like with NIH) or for health reasons, family health reasons or even to re-evaluate why they are in the profession (take a step back to see if they want to continue).

I would take a look at if and why you really want this.
 

njbmd

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Is this possible. A medical student told me not only is it possible, but very easy to do. I would like to do this to gain fluency in a language I have been studying. What do you guys think?
On your residency application, you will be asked if medical school was extended (which would be the case if you too a year off). This is a negative if you are not enrolled in a degree program such as MS, MPH, MBA or Ph.D. You can do your language studies during fourth year or between graduation and start of residency but don't take time off without a degree to show for it. This looks very bad to residency programs.
 

coldweatherblue

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spending next year in Florence bumming around Europe learning Italian, riding through tuscany on a vespa with some bellissima on the back is the thing I want to do more than anything in the world....

but ya residencies don't like med students who take years off. (just what i've heard through the grapevine)
 

RxnMan

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Is this possible. A medical student told me not only is it possible, but very easy to do. I would like to do this to gain fluency in a language I have been studying. What do you guys think?
Honestly, taking time off from school just to learn a language is a waste of your time. It is easy to do because your school's admin believes that as an adult learner, you can make your own decisions. If you want to gain fluency, then schedule electives in a same-speaking country as a MS4 or resident. It is not worth stopping your training just for this reason.

On your residency application, you will be asked if medical school was extended (which would be the case if you too a year off). This is a negative if you are not enrolled in a degree program such as MS, MPH, MBA or Ph.D...This looks very bad to residency programs.
As in the other thread, I disagree. Out of last year's class of 30 fellows, my program matched 4 into rad onc, 3 derm, 2 rads, 2 optho, 2 uro, and 1 neurosurg, at places like UCSF, Penn, Wash U, Stanford, and the Harvard hospitals. Every year 2-4 graduates of my program match at JHU in various specialties. This pattern has been consistent over the last decade. Similarly, HHMI, DDCRF, CDC Sarnoff - none of these programs grant degrees, yet they all have strong match lists.
 

twilightdoc

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"Interrupting" your medical education is usually frowned upon by prospective residency programs unless you are doing research or are enrolled in a degree-granting program. You don't have to get a degree, but your time off needs to add to your medical education or your development as a physician (or researcher). Not sure why interrupting your education is viewed in such a negative light, but it may be interpreted as lack of commitment to medicine as a career. And residency programs need their residents- they don't want to risk giving a position to someone who might leave mid-year. So I would carefully consider the implications of "time off" before you do it. The suggestion of doing electives in another country and learning the language at the same time would be a good compromise.
 

thesauce

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Not to mention forgetting things over the yr before you start clinicals....not a smart move in my opinion....that would be the worst time to take a break to me...
This is probably the least convincing reason not to do it. The height of your step 1 knowledge is short-lived as it is and your performance during clinical years is far more about your subjective qualities than what knowledge you bring to the table. MD/PhD students regularly take 3-4 years off between 2nd and 3rd and come back strong.

OP: I agree that taking a year off to attempt to learn another language is not going to open any doors for you in terms of residency. However, you could consider applying for a Fulbright to teach (or study something) in a country that speaks that language. This will be more 'PC' to program directors.