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Help! I don't want a Gap Year!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by TheStudyOfLife, 10.01.14.

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  1. TheStudyOfLife

    TheStudyOfLife 2+ Year Member

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    Hey everyone,


    So I'm a CT resident, first semester sophomore and currently a biology major.

    With the changes to the MCAT coming soon, it has really messed up the curriculum my school has me following as a pre-med. Right now, I have finished a year of biology, a year of chemistry, just started organic chem this semester and working on finishing calculus this semester aswell.

    So, to avoid a gap year and apply early, I should be taking the MCAT in the fall of 2015 or just at the end of the summer. But I'm wondering, how will this be even remotely possible if I haven't even taken Biochem; I'll only have a semester of physics under my belt aswell. Not to mention, I'm not sure if I'll have taken intro Psych, or intro Socio at this point either.

    What should I do? How can I re-arrange my curriculum so that I will be prepared for the MCAT, a gap year is the last thing I want to do.
     
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  3. DifferentialDiagnosis

    DifferentialDiagnosis

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    Okay. So first off good for you for having noticed this. A lot of the premeds at my school don't realize that due to the new MCAT you'll need to take orgo 1&2 during the summer before sophomore year as they (at least in my school) are prereqs for Biochem. Right now your options look like you'll have a very hard spring semester as you'll take orgo 2 and (I'm assuming) the second half of physics. You could do summer school for Biochem and take Soc or Psych (or both) next semester
    Or take one during the summer with biochem. If you do the 5 week summer session you should have enough time to prep for the MCAT and take it during the fall and still be on track.
     
    Last edited: 10.01.14
  4. claduva94

    claduva94 2+ Year Member

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    You can take the MCAT after your junior year. You are fine :)
     
  5. DifferentialDiagnosis

    DifferentialDiagnosis

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    This would require OP taking a gap year. Or applying without knowing their MCAT score before hand, or applying late in the cycle.
    None of which are more advantageous than just pulling through summer biochem and taking it in the fall.

    This may just be me being super safe about applying though. Hopefully someone else can come up with a better option.
     
  6. raiderette

    raiderette 2+ Year Member

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    It may not be ideal but plenty of people study during the school year and take the MCAT in May or June. I didn't need summer classes and don't plan on a gap year either unless the new MCAT kicks me.
     
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  7. M12B

    M12B 2+ Year Member

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    If OP commits to studying during Junior year, could take MCAT in May or early June right after Junior year.
    Score would come in June or early July. While waiting, OP can complete AMCAS, make sure all LORs are submitted, and select one school and submit AMCAS so it at least gets verified early.
    If OP wanted to wait for score to apply, then add rest of schools as soon as MCAT score is in.

    That would result in completed verified AMCAS being forwarded to schools in early July... which is not late in my opinion. :shrug: What do you guys think?

    But this is coming from someone who didn't even submit AMCAS until July 22, verified August 12...:confused:

    Best of luck to you OP!
     
    claduva94 and AspiringERMD like this.
  8. mehc012

    mehc012 Big Damn Hero 2+ Year Member

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    ...you know you've been in SDN too long when you see 'CT resident' and think 'cardiothoracic surgery resident'. I must've read the OP 4x before I figured out what they meant, scratching my head the whole time as to how OP was in college AND residency! :laugh:
     
  9. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    I totally thought the same. "Dude, if you're a CT resident there ain't no such thing as a gap year!"
     
  10. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    Also, OP, keep in mind that a bad MCAT score is worse than a gap year, as that will stain your application forever (and really, I've only seen one or two people say they regretted their gap year). You should be fine, but if you don't have all of the prereqs completed in time, don't wreck your app because of impatience.
     
  11. Gurby

    Gurby 2+ Year Member

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    Take a gap year. Dooooooo it!
     
  12. gtbROX

    gtbROX 2+ Year Member

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    What are your reasons for not taking a Gap year? I ask this because I think you need to consider whether your reasons make sense, especially since you definitely do not want to end up re-applying. This is not to say that you don't have a valid reason for avoiding a gap year, and if you have a valid reason, stick with it!

    None of us really know how memorization heavy the MCAT 2015 will be; I speculate that it'll be less memorization than the current. I knew many premeds that were able to take the MCAT and do fine without the science pre-reqs. When I took my MCAT, I found that the sciences really didn't require too much memorization; as long as you could eliminate bad answer choices rationally you were good.

    I can't give you a definite answer as to what you should do because you are in a more difficult situation than I was in. I took the MCAT at a time when there was plenty of practice material and good advice. So my best advice to you right now is to think about your reasons for not taking a Gap year.
     
  13. Kochanie

    Kochanie

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    The new MCAT has more material, so definitely more memorization. Especially with Psychology/Sociology.
     
  14. Ace Khalifa

    Ace Khalifa I am the definition of awesomeness 2+ Year Member

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    Take some time to really assess your strengths and weaknesses. A gap year will only hurt you if you aren't doing something productive during that time. A low MCAT score due to hasty and inadequate preparation will always hurt you. There should be no rush in becoming a doctor. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
     
  15. gtbROX

    gtbROX 2+ Year Member

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    "No longer is it humanly possible to memorize every fact relevant to the practice of medicine. What is more important for physicians of the future is an ability to think critically and to have the necessary reasoning skills to know where to seek answers and how to solve problems in the clinical environment."
    -Darrell G. Kirch, M.D.
    AAMC President and CEO

    https://www.aamc.org/newsroom/reporter/march2012/276772/word.html

    My guess? More passages with answers hidden within.
     
  16. Kochanie

    Kochanie

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    Just looking at their practice questions for Psychology/Sociology they put out, it was all definitions of words. It's funny how they say one thing but do the other.
     
  17. gtbROX

    gtbROX 2+ Year Member

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    Wow . . . so inconsistent of them.
     
  18. TyrKinase

    TyrKinase 7+ Year Member

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    In my experience, people at my school who went "straight through" tended to be more gunner-ish and frequently lacked social awareness. That, and the average age of MS1s at most places is 23-24, so it's not a huge leap to say that many people take a gap year.

    I'd highly recommend a year off. You can work, polish that MCAT score, and enjoy all that the non-medical world has to offer until you're up to your ears in studying. Travel to South America. Spend a winter being a ski bum in Colorado. Pick up a new hobby.

    You don't get to be 22 twice.
     
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  19. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    This is a big unknown. They might sacrifice depth for breadth.
     
  20. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    A lot of them are key concepts of the field, not just words. For instance, they're not asking you the date Freud was born, they're asking you to define sociopathy. That isn't a big deal, as you should be able to come away from a basic psych/soc course knowing such things pretty well.
     
  21. Ace Khalifa

    Ace Khalifa I am the definition of awesomeness 2+ Year Member

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    I totally agree. I'm 22 now and taking a gap year, and it's been so awesome! I'm really gonna miss the freedom from massive studying when med school starts.
     
  22. Omppu27

    Omppu27 El Tiburon 5+ Year Member

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    Why don't you the MCAT the spring prior to you applying? So like March, April, or May before you can submit your app in June?

    I'll also chime in with my opinion on a gap year:

    I'm currently taking a gap year. Right now I'm laying on my couch waiting for my friend to pick me up to go see a movie because once I get home from work, I have no obligations (most days, unless I'm volunteering). It's freakin awesome. Also, I probably won't ever have this kinda free time ever again (or at least for a very long time). I go out at least once every week (some people were able to do this even with school, ECs etc. during undergrad but I couldn't manage). I'm taking multiple trips this year to visit family and friends who live outta town. I don't study for ANYTHING.

    Take a gap year. Do it.
     
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  23. mvenus929

    mvenus929 10+ Year Member

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    Not true. The MCAT is offered starting in April. Which gives plenty of time to take it and get your score back before submitting. Or, he could take it in January after taking classes during the fall semester.
     

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