For those who took a year off before applying to med school

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by tatabox80, Jun 30, 2002.

  1. tatabox80

    tatabox80 Super-Duper Member

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    For those of you that were done with college before applying to medical school, what did you do? I decided that I'm going to wait until after I graduate to apply due to illness and family crises. thanks!
     
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  3. JmE

    JmE Member

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    I applied both DO and MD. Being a non-tradtional student, I did not begin the process until after graduation. No one ever asked why or even brought it up. I don't think it really affected the process in my case. I was accepted right away at my first choice school. :)

    With that said, I worked as a Medical Assistant (MA) as well as kept the business we own going while trying to prepare for the MCAT during that time.

    If you are going to take time between, I would recommend doing something clinical in the medical field. Moreover, I guess it wouldn't hurt to earn a wage doing it (I did in all of my clinical experiences).

    Remember, this was my experience, your mileage may vary. I wish you luck in your adventure!

    -JmE-

    BTW: Since you are an Ohioan, I would strongly recommend investigating OUCOM.
     
  4. ItNeverEnds

    ItNeverEnds Senior Member

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    Hi Tatabox,

    I worked as a psychometrician for the Alzheimer's Disease Anti-Inflammatory Prevention Trial at the Boston University Medical Center and am now pursuing an MPH at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine while working in the Dept. of Psychiatry. I plan to apply to medical schools -- I am particularly interested in osteopathic medicine and neuropsychiatry -- next summer for Fall 2004 admission. By no means am I in any rush to apply. The medical training process is VERY long and I want to be able to pursue my research interests, obtain a professional degree (MPH), and then move on to medical school. In a sense, I feel that taking a couple years off will better prepare me for medical school insofar as I will have gained additional experience in the medical field while developing my talents in medical research.

    INE
     
  5. microserf

    microserf New Member

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    Hey, I wouldn't worry too much about what you do with your year off. It's all about how you do it, and your ability to demonstrate excellence and learning from the experience. I worked in software (non-related to medicine)and had no problem with most med schools. I had planned on doing some medically related volunteer work, but I ended up doing a bunch of other things like volunteer coach a 6th grade football team, teach skiing to 4 year olds and then just hanging out as much as I could--backpacking, skiing, and partying.
    I applied as an out-of-stater to the West Coast schools and they definitely showed me more love than my native East Coast. I'm not sure if there's some sort of relationship here between my software background and love from the West Coast.

    Best of luck.
     
  6. CaptainAmerica

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    I didn't even decide to go into medicine until 5 years after graduation. I think for the most part, most schools have no prob with non-traditional students, especially if you do something interesting in your interim years (i.e., start a family, become an adult, hold down a job, solve world hunger, etc <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> ). Also, it may make for some fun interview questions. I wouldn't worry too much about it. Besides, a year out of school may give you some additional perspective. I certainly wasn't ready to jump into ANY graduate program straight out of college.

    Good Luck!
     
  7. md03

    md03 Senior Member

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    I graduated from college in the early 80's, and now am M4. It really doesn't matter, as long as you aren't just being a bum during that time. Many med schools actually like people with a little real life experience under their belts.
     
  8. liesie59

    liesie59 Member

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    I graduated last year and decided to take a year off to do a year of service. I've been working as a case manager in a community health clinic since Aug. through a program like Americorps and will be heading to school this fall. Good luck to you! :)
     
  9. Heezy

    Heezy New Member

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    well it goes like this...I took a year off and taught 5th grade. It was a great experience and I made some nice money before my first year. You'll be fine.

    -Hez
     
  10. The Mysterious Stranger

    The Mysterious Stranger Senior Member

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    I'm doing AmeriCorps this upcoming year, working 50+hrs/week in an amazing program which tutors disadavantaged children in an intensive literacy program. We will also design and supervise an after-school program along with other projects that benefit the elementary school such as book drives, renovating the playground....To reiterate what everyone has stated it most likely it doesn't matter what specifically you do. Some med school representatives I have talked to mentioned they prefer students who aren't straight out of college and who have life experiences. One of the reps stated it's correlated with maturity but I don't know if you can really judge a person's maturity by their age...
     
  11. missbonnie

    missbonnie floating

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    I highly recommend not going to med school right away. There is so much to see and experience outside of school (where you've spent most of you life since 5).

    I started a job 2 months after graduation at Morgan Stanley in IT (unix systems support/engineering), what appealed to me was that it started out in London for the first 4 months! I got my travel fix from those 4 months going all over europe on my weekends.

    Working, making my own money, and living on my own has taught me alot about myself. If you really want to go into medicine, you'll go back (you'll be dying to go back) And if you don't, then you'll be happy that you didn't go through the process. It's a win/win situation in my opinion. I do alot of outside volunteer work and still have time to enjoy city life and my 20's :)

    -bonnie
     
  12. trouta

    trouta Senior Member

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    I did some serious volunteering (i.e. three and a half months in a foreign country) and then got a job to make some money.

    The volunteering was great. It was a total change of pace and took my mind off all of the academics and the getting into med school worries. I highly recommend it.
     
  13. tatabox80

    tatabox80 Super-Duper Member

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    Thanks a lot you guys for all the input. I just came to this decision a couple days ago. I think it is definately the best decision. The only thing is that I was kinda scared because I never planned on having a "void" without classes after graduation. Thanks again!
     
  14. Assassin

    Assassin Assassin

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    i played othello :p but hats off to everyone else who's actually done something meaningful; i was a bum for 2 years and damn proud of it :D
     
  15. Tweetie_bird

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    oh TATA,
    sorry to hear about your family crises, that can be tough.
    It's so important to have a peace of mind when you're going into medical school. I graduated in 2000, and hopefully wil start med school in 2003. The three years off have been wonderful.

    the first 9 months I did nothing but work 9-5 job where I paid off all my loans etc. That was a #@[email protected]#. After that, I was so yearning for a good clinical experience that I started working with terminally ill people. That got me a handful of publications. I also met the love of my life and thinking of getting engaged/married this Dec!!! Even if all you do is laze around for a few months, I say DO IT. If you need it, you need it. And by the time you're back into gear, you will be so ready to start med school. I am currently thinking of taking a few classes just because I can't wait to start med school..that's how much I miss school. The year off will be good for your soul. :)

    My best wishes to you,
    Tweetie
     
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  17. tatabox80

    tatabox80 Super-Duper Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Tweetie_bird:
    <strong>oh TATA,
    sorry to hear about your family crises, that can be tough.
    It's so important to have a peace of mind when you're going into medical school. I graduated in 2000, and hopefully wil start med school in 2003. The three years off have been wonderful.

    the first 9 months I did nothing but work 9-5 job where I paid off all my loans etc. That was a #@[email protected]#. After that, I was so yearning for a good clinical experience that I started working with terminally ill people. That got me a handful of publications. I also met the love of my life and thinking of getting engaged/married this Dec!!! Even if all you do is laze around for a few months, I say DO IT. If you need it, you need it. And by the time you're back into gear, you will be so ready to start med school. I am currently thinking of taking a few classes just because I can't wait to start med school..that's how much I miss school. The year off will be good for your soul. :)

    My best wishes to you,
    Tweetie</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Question, what are different types of paid medically related jobs? How does one go about getting them.
     
  18. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    I took an EMT course. I worked as a rehab technician. I am now working as a phlebotomist and volunteer EMT.

    The training for rehab technician and phleb were on the job.
     
  19. Tweetie_bird

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    depends on your experience.

    1. clinical research coordinator (do any clinical research, and you'll be next to human subjects/patients)
    2. EMT training through any community college will allow you to be trained as an EMT and you can be placed with either an ambulance or even work in an ER.
    3. Volunteer in an ER, and usually they hire you from that pool as an MA within 2-3 months.

    I personally like the clinical research job b/c it also allows you to be published if you give enough help on a manuscript.
     
  20. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    you can either go the clinical route (EMT, phlebotomist, nursing assistant?), the lab research route, or the clinical/epidemiologic research route. research jobs are most easily found through universities or hospitals (e.g. va hospitals). go to university websites and look for job openings. there are other things you could do as well like work in a non-profit or work for a state/local health dept. these aren't quite as medically related, but they are still health related and would be looked upon favorably i think.
    btw, i definitely think taking some time off is the way to go. during my year off i worked at a county public health dept. then i went to grad school for a couple of years. now i'm working at a university and do not regret the last 5 years at all. i've had some time to enjoy my 20's and am now ready to buckle down again!
     
  21. The Mysterious Stranger

    The Mysterious Stranger Senior Member

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    I work as a CA (clinical assistant-or a nurse's asst.) on a cancer unit in a children's hospital. Most of the CAs I work with had no training or degrees. One girl worked at Blockbuster before the hospital. Anyhow, the work is hands-on--you do everything from taking vital signs and comforting patients to performing glucose analysis and transcribing doctor's orders. Most of the residents are friendly and will discuss med school with you. If you are interested in pursuing this route (I know there are tons of different med. related jobs) you need to apply at the right time. We seem to hire a bunch of CAs at the start of the collegiate school year because a lot of the CAs cut down their hours then. Good luck.
     
  22. neil

    neil New Member

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    Hey,
    I've been reading for over a year now. It's been awesome to have a community to deal with this process. I'm on deferral for a year and in the meantime I'm going to be traveling. I've put up a web site and if you want you can check it out at www.wheresneil.com

    Cheers
     
  23. PrincessCKNY

    PrincessCKNY Crown Royal Member

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    I graduated in June of this year. I am pretty much working part time as a phlebotomist and I am also training as a pathology assistant. I anticipate once secondaries and interviews have died down, I can make both of those jobs a full time thing. I also tutor 2 girls in math, am taking a calc course at a local JC, babysit my 8 month old niece, and volunteer here and there.

    Taking a year off is by far the best decision I have made. Last year, I was completely unprepared for the application process. The year I took to mature and get my application up to par was totally worth it. Also, making some extra money before med school helps...if only my secondaries and interviews didn't keep stealing it away! :p

    I agree that you don't have to do something clinical for it to be a good experience. Whatever you choose to do, do it to the max and show that it's something you can learn and grow from.

    Good luck in your endeavors!
     
  24. nkow

    nkow bouncin' here and there

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    wow...some of you guys are doing some pretty cool stuff...

    I am doing clinical research on herpesvirus-8 and KS at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. It's pretty interesting and I agree with everyone else in saying it doesn't hurt that it pays a salary...that money will be useful...
     
  25. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    I graduated in 2001, and while I'm ready to go back to school (I'd start tomorrow if they'd let me), taking time off was probably the best decision I've ever made. Unlike most of the other posters, I moved back home. I don't make enough money to be able to afford rent, my post-bacc classes, the Kaplan class, and med school apps!!:laugh:

    My first year off was really busy-- I was working close to full time (30+ hours a week) doing clinical research on arthritis in a rural county, while taking 3 post-bacc classes, and preparing for the MCAT. I was a volunteer EMT in college, and I kept up my volunteer status and helped teach the EMT classes at the community college. I'm not taking any classes this year, but I'm more involved in my arthritis research, and have more time for EMS and teaching. I've also managed to regain my social life ;).

    Whatever you decide to do, I suggest doing something you enjoy. If you can get paid for it, even better!! Enjoy your time off, and do something meaningful to you. Not only would I have been a sub-par applicant if I had applied straight out of college, but I honestly don't think I would have been ready for med school. Good luck in whatever you decide to do, and I wish the best for your family.
     
  26. PluckyDuk8

    PluckyDuk8 Pluck of all Plucks

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    Question, what are different types of paid medically related jobs? How does one go about getting them. [/B][/QUOTE]

    Well, I graduated undergrad in three years (combo AP credit and summer school) and am now spending what would be my 4th year off. I was a psychology major, which made finding a job interesting (no obvious bio lab research type job). What's your major and would you want to do something in the direction of it? For me, while I studied abroad, and again this summer, I volunteered abroad as an emergency medical technician, and my state just decided to allow the transfer of my certification from there. So now I ended up working as an EMT for a private ambulance company. Here's some things I found during my job search I wanted to work badly in a clinical setting, and not in research, but since I live near Chicago I have U of C and NWU by me with several clinical research positions for those right out of undergrad. I got some interviews but wasn't hired. Trying to get a job in a hospital (or at the med schools for research for that matter) has been a frustrating process, most of the applications are online and then they spread them out to the various departments, who are in charge of hiring. I never heard back from a lot of the places I applied, and you can't contact the individual apartments because hr won't give out that information. The closest I got (interview but they didn't have correct hours for me) was being an ER tech/patient care technician at my local small hospital, and this didn't require EMT training but a just premed or pre-nursing background and CPR certification. As for working as a medical assistant/tech, which I also wanted to do, lots of places require phlebotomy skills to be hired, and if you want to do this then look into local colleges. In general I found that most positions require certification of some sort and coming right out of u.g. I didn't have it. Feel free to pm me for more details, including wages for the several types of jobs...
     
  27. crazyA

    crazyA Senior Member

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    hey, ive taken a year off, and am working a clinical research job in a hospital

    i think the year off is a great way to break the monotony of academia, and i think it has made all of us mature, focused candidates

    id say do something that will address whatever deficiencies you may have your app, if you dont have any research, try that, if you have the research, maybe try Americorps if you'd be itnerested in that sort of thing
     
  28. chopsuey

    chopsuey miss independent

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    Where did you get your EMT training? That sounds like an awesome opportunity to both be abroad and stay involved in medicine....what did you think of the experience? What were you allowed to do as compared to US EMT's? I'm guessing similar things as you were able to transfer your certification, but i'm still curious...
     
  29. ::Seabass::

    ::Seabass:: bringing burkas back!

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    Sweet Tea, I agree completely. BTW, I think I quote you more than anyone else. :)

    My undergraduate major of civil engineering didn't allow me to complete my requirements so I have been working full time as a civil engineer designing levees. This worked out really well for my interviews during the hurricanes because the people I talked to were super impressed. I think this experience has also taught me how to handle many competing commitments and excel while doing it. I feel so much more prepared to enter school next year and I know I will be about 200 times more enthusiastic and motivated. (a little secret, the real world sucks after awhile)

    I think working has also made interviewing so much easier for me because I know how to go into one and present myself to them as their peer. Working has made me feel like I have the ability to be an equal of those who are 10, 20, 30, etc years older than me and it shows. I always get compliments on being relaxed.
     
  30. PluckyDuk8

    PluckyDuk8 Pluck of all Plucks

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    I got my training while studying abroad in Jerusalem, Israel. It was an absolutely amazing experience, only because it makes writing my secondary essays that much easier (just kidding around). I took a 2 month course a year and a half ago (following the same guidelines as the US) and this summer when I was there again I took a continuation course to learn how to put in iv's (with just saline, I don't have an EMT-I in the states, just an EMT-B because the I wouldn't transfer). They have an official foreign volunteer program for college aged students there. What was much different was there I worked on the public ambulance service, it is much more run on volunteers and obviously due to the problems in the region it is much more hectic. I would never be able to work public in the chicagoland area with just a basic certification. In terms of what I was allowed or not allowed to do, it is about the same and uses the same guidelines, it's just that you get to see a lot more. You can work on the ICU ambulances there (with special training), which is staffed some with doctors and all with paramedics. Amongst many others, I saw a birth, many cardiac and respiratory cases, and unfortunately I was on shift and got sent to a terrorist bombing. I would love to continue writing, and I could go on about this all day, but I have to get going. Chopsuey, I'd love to chat with you if you like so pm me and I'll give you my email or aim sn.
     

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