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Harvard Med just went online for fall semester

Pluto98

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Looks like other schools will probably follow suit. My prediction is that schools will allow a lot more people to defer this year because of this thereby making the app cycle for next year even more competitive and opening up waitlist spots within the next month or two.
 
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AnonymousDoctorGuyPerson

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If, say, all medical schools announced Fall semester will be online I still don't think you'd see a huge amount of deferments. Why lose a year of being a physician if you don't have to?

Maybe people personally impacted by COVID will, but deferments aren't super common and honestly, M1 isn't greatly impacted by a semester going online. Most med students learn from home as-is. The main impact will be clinical skills and early clinical experience, but I'm sure they'll incorporate an online supplement (as some schools have been) and/or they'll keep lectures online but then transition to clinical skills/experiences being in-person if and when they find it safe to do so.
 
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Nugester

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If, say, all medical schools announced Fall semester will be online I still don't think you'd see a huge amount of deferments. Why lose a year of being a physician if you don't have to?

Maybe people personally impacted by COVID will, but deferments aren't super common and honestly, M1 isn't greatly impacted by a semester going online. Most med students learn from home as-is. The main impact will be clinical skills and early clinical experience, but I'm sure they'll find something to supplement online and/or they'll keep lectures online but then transition to clinical skills/experiences being in-person if and when they find it safe to do so.

Not a reason to defer, but don't forget the social impact.
 
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AnonymousDoctorGuyPerson

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Not a reason to defer, but don't forget the social impact.

Yeah of course. I mean, as an extroverted "social butterfly" I'm pretty damn crushed about how all the cool social engagements and excitement of starting M1 is going to be affected. Though like you said, it's not a reason to defer, and even if I could I personally wouldn't. I'm sure we as a class will make up for it as soon as we can.

Assuming that's what you meant by social impact :p
 
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Will other schools follow suit soon? Students are signing leases, and I’d personally rather stay home with family than get locked into a lease in a new place where I don’t have any relationships established.
 
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TheDataKing

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New Harvard medical, dental students to start fall semester remotely



“Per guidelines announced on May 13, fall 2020 courses will commence remotely for our entering classes of medical, dental and graduate students, as well as for our HMS-directed external education programs that would have been held on campus. We hope to have all of our students back on campus by January, but we are mindful of the many unknowns and will update our projections as new information becomes available.”
 
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deleted850921

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If, say, all medical schools announced Fall semester will be online I still don't think you'd see a huge amount of deferments. Why lose a year of being a physician if you don't have to?

Maybe people personally impacted by COVID will, but deferments aren't super common and honestly, M1 isn't greatly impacted by a semester going online. Most med students learn from home as-is. The main impact will be clinical skills and early clinical experience, but I'm sure they'll incorporate an online supplement (as some schools have been) and/or they'll keep lectures online but then transition to clinical skills/experiences being in-person if and when they find it safe to do so.
Agree with this. There are plenty of people who want to be be doctors now, and next year will be just as competitive, if not even more, because of the tanked economy.
 
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Pluto98

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Agree with this. There are plenty of people who want to be be doctors now, and next year will be just as competitive, if not even more, because of the tanked economy.

Yes but if you are a kid coming straight out of college, no gap years, and you could defer your acceptance for a year while all this passes, wouldn't you consider it? This likely wouldnt apply to older students who want to start ASAP
 
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AnonymousDoctorGuyPerson

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Yes but if you are a kid coming straight out of college, no gap years, and you could defer your acceptance for a year while all this passes, wouldn't you consider it? This likely wouldnt apply to older students who want to start ASAP

Whether you're 21 or 32, I'm sure a lot of people applying to medical school are excited to become physicians and want to be one ASAP. Not to mention the impact deferring by a year has on your loans/interest.

I also don't see how much a gap year benefits a person under these circumstances. Med school would remain online for a reason, what could someone do during their deferment gap year if the situation is bad enough to force schools to still be online?
 
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Pluto98

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Whether you're 21 or 32, I'm sure a lot of people applying to medical school are excited to become physicians and want to be one ASAP. Not to mention the impact deferring by a year has on your loans/interest.

I would rather defer an extra year at 21 than at 32. Also, deferring has no impact on your loans/interest. You dont take out loans before you matriculate. Perhaps for undergrad loans although with corona, who knows when those will start accruing interest again
 
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u_raptor

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Yes but if you are a kid coming straight out of college, no gap years, and you could defer your acceptance for a year while all this passes, wouldn't you consider it? This likely wouldnt apply to older students who want to start ASAP
Many of those that went straight through (like me), did so because the path is already long enough and didn't want to put off a year of physician salary. That reasoning hasn't changed, and COVID wouldn't make one more likely to defer. It is a semester online, it isn't like all of med school is going online.
 
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AnonymousDoctorGuyPerson

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I would rather defer an extra year at 21 than at 32. Also, deferring has no impact on your loans/interest. You dont take out loans before you matriculate. Perhaps for undergrad loans although with corona, who knows when those will start accruing interest again

I was speaking about undergrad/grad loans, along with any personal debt someone may have accumulated along the way. Some people also have private loans for school, which are accumulating interest. And personally I doubt the halt on federal student loans will last the entire 2020-2021 academic year, unfortunately.
 
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Yes but if you are a kid coming straight out of college, no gap years, and you could defer your acceptance for a year while all this passes, wouldn't you consider it? This likely wouldnt apply to older students who want to start ASAP
Is Harvard allowing people to blithely defer a year?
 
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Supahchungus

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Yes but if you are a kid coming straight out of college, no gap years, and you could defer your acceptance for a year while all this passes, wouldn't you consider it? This likely wouldnt apply to older students who want to start ASAP

I’d imagine if you are elite enough to get into Harvard with no gap years, you are incredibly driven and would want to start now. Meanwhile those who are a bit older and had time away from school have cooled off a bit and are more willing to take a gap year. Just my take as someone who has taken a few gap years.
 
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AnonymousDoctorGuyPerson

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How are students going to do anatomy labs? Is there an alternative online anatomy resource students could use?

It'll most likely be virtual, I believe some schools don't even use cadavers anymore either as-is. Honestly of all the hands-on M1 things, anatomy being affected is probably the least detrimental or impactful.
 
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rosegoldkitten

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This is a good question, and one that incoming students would like to know ASAP.

Definitely my worry as moving across the country to a very high rent area will be MUCH more expensive than remaining where I currently am and sharing rent with my SO... pushing back a lease signing if we don't have to be in the city for a lot of us will be much cheaper and I'd definitely like to know before I sign a lease soon.
 
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JSD2

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My school so far seems somewhat confident that they'll do a hybrid semester since they place a lot of value in their smaller discussion classes and cadaver labs, but they also said that they may change that later in the summer depending on how things go. Personally I'd really appreciate some sort of in person instruction since I don't learn as well online, but if it's not safe it's not safe.
 
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OchemOficionado

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Looks like other schools will probably follow suit. My prediction is that schools will allow a lot more people to defer this year because of this thereby making the app cycle for next year even more competitive and opening up waitlist spots within the next month or two.

Even if deferment increases how would that make the following cycle more competitive? (Those students won’t need to reapply) Because a few seats would be taken at the start of the cycle? Schools may just increase the next class size by a few students. I’ve seen schools slowly increase . . . by 2, then 10, then 40 in just three cycles. I say don’t worry.
 
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domer83

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Has anyone seen a school release a detailed official or tentative plan for the hybrid model suggested above? I've heard murmurings of a similar nature from the 2 schools I am listening to info about but am curious if any school has been more explicit so far.

It would be unfortunate if this Harvard decision set a trend so early in the summer. :(
 
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deleted987519

My school so far seems somewhat confident that they'll do a hybrid semester since they place a lot of value in their smaller discussion classes and cadaver labs, but they also said that they may change that later in the summer depending on how things go. Personally I'd really appreciate some sort of in person instruction since I don't learn as well online, but if it's not safe it's not safe.

hybrid as in online lectures, in-person small group?
 

Schedar

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Is Harvard allowing people to blithely defer a year?

No, and they're certainly not accepting deferrals after this announcement unless there is a truly unprecedented crisis

How are students going to do anatomy labs? Is there an alternative online anatomy resource students could use?

They're talking about either shuffling the curriculum to push them to spring or doing it online with a few "major" areas deemed important conducted in the spring. (we were told that) one reason this decision was made so early was to allow time for planning for issues like this.
 
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JSD2

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hybrid as in online lectures, in-person small group?
Yeah. M1 days (at this school anyways) are usually structured with big lecture hall classes in the morning and small group discussion classes in the afternoon (+cadaver labs at some point). Given the usual number of people in the discussion classes and the size of the classrooms, the administration thinks that they may be able to devise a method for minimal-ish risk small group classes. What I'm really hoping we still get to do are the cadaver labs since that's the part of my undergraduate anatomy class I found to be the most helpful.
 
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Isoval

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It’s weird lol

My school cancelled all interviews except for those who were required to remediate the most recent encounter.

Apparently, the call had your facilitator and the standardized patient, the patient would leave following the interview, and your facilitator would ream you for half an hour on the travesty he/she just witnessed.
 

lacrossegirl420

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how do you all think this online business will affect II's for the next cycle? will they be given out earlier / later, will more be given out (since there are less logistical issues), interview "day" shorter, etc.
 
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juliannewman

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how do you all think this online business will affect II's for the next cycle? will they be given out earlier / later, will more be given out (since there are less logistical issues), interview "day" shorter, etc.

You could potentially schedule all interviews in like a 1 month span. Cause it’ll be strictly zoom calls, so it’ll go faster. Maybe all ppl with IIs get a time slot in like November, and then all decisions come out in March.
 

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Do you think some schools will allow incoming students to defer a year? Completely virtual for M1 would suck.

I highly doubt it. Deferment is usually made in exceptional cases (illness, major project-some scholarship activity abroad etc) and given that EVERYONE is in the COVID-19 boat right now, it is hardly a convincing argument. If they grant one student a deferral, a wave of similar requests will follow.
 

DeanK

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Okay, M2 here. I just read everyone’s comments on this post and I just have to put in my 2 cents. There is absolutely no good reason to defer your admission. I’m sorry for being so insensitive but that is such a stupid decision. 50-70% of the medical students at my school don’t even go to class. Pre-clinical is pretty much all at home anyways. You get up, do your Anki reviews, shower, eat breakfast, go to the gym, come back, go to the library or wherever you study, pop in some headphones and listen to the lectures. Do your cards. Move on. Maybe at home in bed you can do some Sketchy or some Pathoma. Then watch a TV show. Sleep. Repeat. There’s no “great doctor” made in pre-clinical years. The best you can do is accumulate as much medical knowledge you can, to your long-term memory, as an M1-2, and then real physicians are made during years 3/4. Deferring your admissions will just make you another year late to the game. You don’t want that, trust me. And the only thing I see being different from my experience is potentially online anatomy lab, instead of cadavers. I personally enjoyed being able to cut and hold the organs in my hand and analyzing tissues in 3D right before your eyes, but honestly, it was a waste precious Anki time most of the time (10 hours a week).

You’ll be fine. Don’t defer. You’ll regret it.


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Supahchungus

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Okay, M2 here. I just read everyone’s comments on this post and I just have to put in my 2 cents. There is absolutely no good reason to defer your admission. I’m sorry for being so insensitive but that is such a stupid decision. 50-70% of the medical students at my school don’t even go to class. Pre-clinical is pretty much all at home anyways. You get up, do your Anki reviews, shower, eat breakfast, go to the gym, come back, go to the library or wherever you study, pop in some headphones and listen to the lectures. Do your cards. Move on. Maybe at home in bed you can do some Sketchy or some Pathoma. Then watch a TV show. Sleep. Repeat. There’s no “great doctor” made in pre-clinical years. The best you can do is accumulate as much medical knowledge you can, to your long-term memory, as an M1-2, and then real physicians are made during years 3/4. Deferring your admissions will just make you another year late to the game. You don’t want that, trust me. And the only thing I see being different from my experience is potentially online anatomy lab, instead of cadavers. I personally enjoyed being able to cut and hold the organs in my hand and analyzing tissues in 3D right before your eyes, but honestly, it was a waste precious Anki time most of the time (10 hours a week).

You’ll be fine. Don’t defer. You’ll regret it.


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Shhh! Let them defer so waitlist plebs like myself can get in this year.
 
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Flash99

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Will other schools follow suit soon? Students are signing leases, and I’d personally rather stay home with family than get locked into a lease in a new place where I don’t have any relationships established.
Great point I feel the same way... perhaps as students we should lead the charge on this... because online isn’t a bad thing especially for the first semester
 

DeanK

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Shhh! Let them defer so waitlist plebs like myself can get in this year.

Actually, now that I think about it.... Deferring your admissions is probably the best thing you can do for yourself. It's important to focus on your own mental health instead of rushing to start medical school. I mean, what's the rush? It'll still be there next year. Also, you can't deny the value in going to classes in-person instead of online. It's just irreplacable.
 
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oioeoelgd154

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Okay, M2 here. I just read everyone’s comments on this post and I just have to put in my 2 cents. There is absolutely no good reason to defer your admission. I’m sorry for being so insensitive but that is such a stupid decision. 50-70% of the medical students at my school don’t even go to class. Pre-clinical is pretty much all at home anyways. You get up, do your Anki reviews, shower, eat breakfast, go to the gym, come back, go to the library or wherever you study, pop in some headphones and listen to the lectures. Do your cards. Move on. Maybe at home in bed you can do some Sketchy or some Pathoma. Then watch a TV show. Sleep. Repeat. There’s no “great doctor” made in pre-clinical years. The best you can do is accumulate as much medical knowledge you can, to your long-term memory, as an M1-2, and then real physicians are made during years 3/4. Deferring your admissions will just make you another year late to the game. You don’t want that, trust me. And the only thing I see being different from my experience is potentially online anatomy lab, instead of cadavers. I personally enjoyed being able to cut and hold the organs in my hand and analyzing tissues in 3D right before your eyes, but honestly, it was a waste precious Anki time most of the time (10 hours a week).

You’ll be fine. Don’t defer. You’ll regret it.


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There is a huge value in getting to meet other med students and forming a community before everyone goes off to rotations. Plus, some schools have required class or a greater value on people showing up for small groups or doctoring. For the price of tuition, virtual M1 is pretty $$$.
 
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