How is a decompressed medical curriculum impact application for residency?

VoxHumana

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I will starting medical school this fall, class of 2009. I am considering the decompressed curriculum becuase of personal situation (family responsibility, two ill parents, one has Frontal lobe dimentia and other schizo affective ( manic depression/bipolar). My father recently became ill. I was wondering how decompressed programs regrarded when vying for resdiencies? Do they hurt or impact your record negatively?

I don't know if I will do the decompressed option yet...I may just see what happens...take a full load...and if necessary/worst case scenario enroll in the decelerated program.

I was wondering if any one what any advice or experience?
 

Hawk22

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First off, I'm sorry to hear about your folks. I hope they are doing well....they must have done something right along the way to have a kid in medical school.

That said, I think as long as you are doing this willingly and of your own volition, it won't be that big a deal. Its much more of a problem for those who are forced to decelerate by their school because of poor grades. As long as you can explain why you chose the decompressed curriculum and you've got your school saying that you've been in good academic standing, it should be ok.

The only potential exception might be if you wanted to do some of the highly competative specialities, like some of the surgical subspecialties, derm, or something like that. At my school, the folks who decelerate can't be elegible for honors, but that only applies to the first 2 years. For most folks who don't need honors in these first 2 years, those grades don't matter that much, but if you want to do something ultra-competative it may make things a little more difficult. If you nailed Step I and did well in your clinical rotations, it could go a long way in erasing any of this doubt.

In the end, you have to do what's best for you and your family. Medical school is tough enough by itself and your reasons for wishing to decompress your coursework are completely reasonable. Best of luck.
 

ortho2003

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VoxHumana said:
I will starting medical school this fall, class of 2009. I am considering the decompressed curriculum becuase of personal situation (family responsibility, two ill parents, one has Frontal lobe dimentia and other schizo affective ( manic depression/bipolar). My father recently became ill. I was wondering how decompressed programs regrarded when vying for resdiencies? Do they hurt or impact your record negatively?

I don't know if I will do the decompressed option yet...I may just see what happens...take a full load...and if necessary/worst case scenario enroll in the decelerated program.

I was wondering if any one what any advice or experience?
I took a year off after my first semester (I took one course int eh srping, summer, and fall to keep financial aid) for personal reasons. It did not prevent me from matching in ortho. If you apply yourself, do well on boards, earn honors, and get AOA anything is possible, even with the decelerated program.
 

AJM

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I think as long as you have a very good reason to do so, it would not necessarily hurt you to take an extra year in medical school. As previous posters have said, if it's because you just want to "take it easy", or if you are forced to decelerate because of academic difficulties, then it's considered very negatively.

I have met a huge number of people in residency and during my interviews who took extra time in medical school (not because of academic difficulties), and from what I have seen, it doesn't seem to hurt them.

If you do decide to do a decelerated program, though, be prepared to constantly have to explain yourself. I myself did a decelerated program to do research and to teach, and I have been surprised at how many written statements I have had to submit explaining the extra time I took. It seems to keep coming up, even though I did something that seems to be pretty standard. For example, there is a special section in residency applications where you have to explain your extra time. I also have now had to do two different state licensure applications (for 2 different states) where I have had to explain myself in special written statements. In addition, at almost all of my residency and fellowship interviews, I have been asked about the extra time I took.

If you have good reasons, the explanations should come pretty easily. In the end, if you have done well in med school otherwise, the extra paperwork and questions is simply a minor annoyance rather than anything that should hurt you.
 

Winged Scapula

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I agree with the above statements; as long as you have a reasonable explanation (IMHO you do) - and you will have to explain - it should not hurt you in residency application. In fact, IMHO should you choose to do this, it may be the more mature and wise road to take.

best of luck to you and your family.
 

doc05

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taking an extra year in medical school is generally frowned upon, unless (1) it's a research year; (2) you had a good reason, like personal/family issues.

I do wonder though, if there would be a stigma attached to you, given the family history of psychiatric d/o that you would likely disclose. It may not be legal, but programs may very well discriminate on this basis. good luck with your family situation.