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Dilemma: what to do for one year?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by foxycleop, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. foxycleop

    foxycleop 2+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Hey guys!

    I am new here and I just wanted to get some of your opinions regarding my dilemma. Some of you are probably also in a similar situation.
    I will be completing my fourth year undergrad studies this semester and graduating. Since I am applying to med schools this year, I do not have anything else to do for one year unless I continue University for one more year. I am not applying to grad schools because it requires a minimum 2 year commitment.

    What do you guys suggest I do in this situation? Looking forward to some good ideas!

    Thank You!
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  3. Kraazy

    Kraazy 7+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    This is a great chance to make yourself a stronger applicant. Granted, none of what you do in your year off will necesarily show up on your AMCAS, but you can include it at the secondary and interview stage.

    There are so many things you could do: get a job in healthcare, anything such as basic research, clinical research, and administrative or technical position, etc...Basically anything that is related to healthcare and allows you to work in a lab or hospital setting. By the way, you do not need previous research for a lot of clinical research positions.

    Or get a service-oriented job: coordinator for a homeless shelter, community health advocate, etc...As a bonus, working for a year will help you save some money for school (not necessarily tuition, but more the living expenses). Saving a couple thousand $$ might make the difference between ramen and real food during med school (certainly did for my grad school friends).

    Definitely take time to volunteer in community-oriented organization or a hospital. Ideally, do something healthcare-related and with actual patient contact, e.g. sexual assault counselor, meals on wheels for HIV+ people. Otherwise, anything that shows commitment to the community and helping others, such as mentoring. Maybe work part-time (if you can afford it) and volunteer the rest of the time?

    Take some courses at your local community college or university extension (demonstrate desire to learn, and diligence). You could round out your science background with an extra course in biochem, for example, or learn a new language, take a class on HIV or health economics...As a bonus, make sure you have some rationale as to how this class is going to make you a better med student/doctor. Sneak this into your secondaries and interviews.

    Take the time to really work on your secondaries. You could start looking for a job now, and delay the start date until August or September, and (assuming you apply early) spend the summer writing kick-ass secondaries before you get busy with your job.

    If you have the money and the time, travel!

    Basically, you get the point: there are TONS of things you can do during this year; use it to boost your chances in the app process, and make sure you enjoy yourself.;)
  4. kdburton

    kdburton Ulnar Deviant 5+ Year Member

    Sep 3, 2005
    Drink a bunch of beer, work and save money for some vacation before med school, and hang out with your old high school buddies. Thats what I've been doing so far and its worked out good haha. Of course I work as a nursing assistant for my job and I do a little community service too (both of which I was able to talk about in my interviews). You might as well try to have as much fun as you can because by the time you get into med school you won't have as much time on your hands, and when you get done your friends might be settled down with families and won't want to take that crazy vacation you've always wanted. You're only young once :)
  5. BigRedPremed

    BigRedPremed Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2005
    NIH IRTA (which is what I'm doing). So many possibilities for your year off...
  6. RollSkins

    RollSkins 7+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    I am also taking a year off. I am going to work construction, volunteer, travel, and drink alot after I get my first acceptance! (All of these are a certantity except for the last one and if I don't get accepted I will probably still drink alot!)

    From what I have heard is that as long as you are being productive that many medical schools look upon it favorably because you are more mature when applying and have some more life experience. Just make sure you have something to talk about when you are in your interviews other than saying "well I watch alot of TV and go clubbing"
  7. gary5

    gary5 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 24, 2003
    Do clinical research and ask to be included as a minor (or major) author in a published paper.
  8. Sunshine1025

    Sunshine1025 10+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2007
    Detroit, MI
    Have some fun!! =)

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