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Is graduating in three years frowned upon?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by mrchosop, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. mrchosop

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    They way I have my schedule worked out, I think I should be able to graduate in three years instead of four while still only taking about 15 credit hrs/semester...but is that frowned upon by med school admissions? Will it give me an advantage?
     
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  3. Web MD

    Web MD Doctor of the Internets
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    Harder to get (significant) EC's, leadership, research and volunteering completed with only 3 years. Plus might be a little rushed on the MCAT. Lastly, if you're 19-20 when you apply to med school you need to consider that the average age of matriculants is around 26-27 and they've usually got significantly more clinical experience and life experience in general. Being a youngin doesn't do you any favors except possibly in earning potential (but really 1 year won't do much).
     
  4. ash914

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    It will harder if you want to apply and go straight into med school without a year off, but you can instead use the extra year to do something significant and build your resume/have something to talk about during interviews.
     
  5. aSagacious

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    Try 23. I agree with the rest of what you said though.
     
  6. SisterDisco08

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    Short answer: yes. I was a three year grad, and schools outright told me they didn't consider me because of it, even though I graduated with honors, more ECs than fit in AMCAS (with leadership if most/all of them), reasearch, lots of clinical experience, paid work, great LOR, yadda yadda yadda. My MCAT wasn't fantastic, but schools that cited the age thing specifically said my MCAT was fine for them. If you would like more info, I'd be happy to elaborate, but I'm on a 10 min MCAT practice exam break :)

    They think we don't have enough life experience/are rushing.
     
  7. Also if you AP'd out of some requirements, you might want to take some upper level classes.
     
  8. shishka32

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    Just take a gap year your fourth year and there's no difference between someone applying straight from college. I agree it would not be wise to apply right after your second year.
     
  9. mvenus929

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    If you apply after two years in college, yes, because you don't have the experience that other applicants do. Plain and simple.

    If you take a year off (apply after you graduate), and actually do something during that time, then no, there's not much disadvantage anymore.

    I applied after two years, ended up on two waitlists and ultimately withdrew from them (due to various family issues at the time not allowing me to move on short notice at the end of the summer). I took two years off total because my application hadn't changed much between the start and end of my last year. I worked and got a ton of clinical experience, reapplied to schools I was more interested in going to. Ended up getting accepted at two schools (and I declined an interview), one of which I applied to the first time and had specifically told me during my second interview that the reason I didn't get in before was my lack of experience.
     
  10. Stumpyman

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    Sorry to kind of hijack, but is going to college one year early as frowned upon as graduating a year early? Either way, I think I'll probably apply senior year.
     
  11. Disinence2

    Disinence2 Emergency Medicine
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    I did it in three years, so did a few others in my med class, and one other girl in my intern class. I do not regret it, and would gladly do it again.

    There is a thread on this every year, I know cause I think I started one 5 years ago asking the same question.

    You will not be cut any slack for lack of EC's but getting 3.9GPA with taking 24-26 credit hour semesters will help convince them you are able to succeed in med school curriculum.

    Maturity has very little to do with age. The different between being 21 and 23 is absolutely insignificant. Just act like a normal human beaning and not a college student.

    Don't suck it up on the MCAT and you should be fine. Feel free to IM me on aim with questions if i'm around.

    The above posters MCAT and EC's were likely the reasons he was not accepted, if your a stellar applicant then you'll be fine.
     
  12. TheMightySmiter

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    I agree with those who say you should take a year off if you graduate early. A year of doing something like Americorps or working will give you an advantage over someone who graduated in three years and took no gap year. No need to rush the process. And this is coming from someone who DID graduate in three years. I was a political science major then, and had to do a post-bacc because I realized late that I really wanted to do medicine.
     
  13. torshi

    torshi Squirrel
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    I tried pming you but it said your inbox is full I'm guessing
     
  14. 1TB4RKSB4CK

    1TB4RKSB4CK wussup doge
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    Again, gap year FTW!
     
  15. TxResident

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    I'm hoping this isn't really that much of a hassle since I'm graduating in three years :rolls eyes smiley dude guy thing icon:
     
  16. 1TB4RKSB4CK

    1TB4RKSB4CK wussup doge
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    :rolleyes::D:cool:
     
  17. torshi

    torshi Squirrel
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    :thumbup:
     
  18. DrMeowMeow

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    My friend did it in 3 years but her application was jam-packed with ECs and she had a 35 MCAT. I asked her about it and she said it never came up in interviews
     
  19. paul411

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    It's definitely doable if you have an otherwise solid application + interview skills.

    Like others have said, it puts you at a slight disadvantage because you won't have as much time for activities. However, if you're motivated/capable, you can rack up enough experience to be competitive assuming your stats are above average.

    I graduated early and applied with average ECs, average MCAT (30), average PS but high GPA and Texas in state advantage. I barely made it because of the many average things on my app. If you're going to graduate early, make sure you're a close to stellar candidate.
     
    #18 paul411, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  20. mvenus929

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    Not at most places. Some schools aren't very fond of young applicants in general (they'll have higher average ages), whereas some love them. We have two people in our class that started high school really early (they graduated when they were 14-16, I think). They both took a little time off, but they're still among the youngest people in our class.

    Depends entirely on what you do during that time. I have always been mature for my age, but I took care of my sisters full time between 21 and 23, and my maturity level skyrocketed during that time. I look back at how I was my senior year in college and shudder to think about how mature I thought I was.
     
  21. marciepan

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    I'm taking three years to graduate too! Although I don't really have a choice since at my school, we go by trimester and that's pretty much how the calendar goes. Anyway, I'm most likely going to take a gap year since I'm just going to be 20 by the time I graduate (a little young!), and I wouldn't have had a lot of experience.
     
  22. paul411

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    Oh, and the answer to this part is a definite no (for med school admission purposes).

    The only advantage to graduating a year early is that you're a doctor a year earlier... but what's the rush?
     
  23. fortitude

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    This girl that I had gone to high school with graduated from her university in 3 years and then immediately went to medical school. I am not sure of her stats (MCAT/GPA), but she went to an in-state school. I heard she did well on the MCAT.

    So, in all instances graduating in 3 years is not necessarily looked down upon, but keep in mind that this is a single anecdote.
     
  24. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    There might not seem like a big difference in chronological age between 21 and 23 but it is 10% more life experience!

    If the idea of a gap year freaks you out, consider a junior year abroad and apply at the end of that year, interview during senior year.
     
  25. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    College is life experience like shadowing is clinical experience. I'm not saying ADCOMs don't think both of those things valuable, I'm just saying that they're wrong in thinking that.
     
  26. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    No one is saying that the additional life experience has to be in college. It can be post-college, too. It is also the things that happen whether you are in college or not (family tragedies, heartbreaks, deaths, births, successes, failures, disappointments, etc)
     
  27. TheMightySmiter

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    I graduated from college two weeks after I turned 20. I'm applying this cycle at the age of 22. I think there is an enormous difference between me now and me two years ago, in terms of experience and perspective. Doesn't happen for everyone that way, but I'm so thankful I took the route that I did (doing a post-bacc after majoring in political science) instead of just going into college as a pre-med and applying straight out of undergrad as a 19-year-old.
     
  28. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    1) I don't think any of those things are valuble for learning the 100% technical skillset that is medicine, and I don't see why the quality/quantity of my life experience is anyone's business. They want to see that an applicant can handle the workload, fine, but that's more than adequately demonstrated by showing that you can do premedicine in half the time as everyone else. I get a little leery when the government backed trust that is the educational-medical-licensing complex starts judging the quality of my spiritual development.

    2) Let's be honest, ADCOMs don't really want all that much life experience. The whole point of this number-whoring, no grade forgiveness process to to select for people that have had almost no responsibilities, obstacles, or life experiences outside of premedicine. That's why medicine is so disprroptiationaly a profession for the children of the rich in general and physicians in particular. The reason I said college doesn't count (and, to expand, HS/MS/ES doesn't count either) is that the life experiences you mentioned tend to happen with much greater frequency when you're out dealing with real challenges and responsibilities, and not in the protective, money sucking womb of the modern University. If ADCOMs really wanted to max out heartbreak, deaths, births, failures, and disappointments they'd stop recruiting from top colleges and start recruiting from the military. Or corporations. Or trailer parks.

    This is age discrimination for its own sake. Impossibly old men and women who just cannot fathom that a teenager might be able to handle the 'overwhelming' responsiblity of medicine. There's nothing else to it, and no reason to pretend that there is.
     
    #27 Perrotfish, Aug 4, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  29. paul411

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    This seems like such a disgustingly cynical view of the admissions process..






    I like it :smuggrin:
     
  30. LizzyM

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    There are things beyond technical skills that adcoms value.

    I have seen a bidding war over an academically strong military veteran. Some people with higher stats are passed over for people with lower stats and the difference is often life experience.
     
  31. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness
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    Again, I'm not saying they don't value life experience (in this case meaning, being old). I'm saying they shouldn't. They shouldn't because they can't actually judge your life experience, so in general they go with age instead, despite the fact that age only has the loosest of correlations with actual spiritual development. They shouldn't because it promotes a system where applicants spend so much time putting up an exterior of looking balanced and well rounded that they negect to have any real, genuine experiences in their lives (actual experiences hurt your grades, and therefore aren't acceptable). Finally they shouldn't because medicine just isn't that interpersonal a profession, and like engineering I would always select for the person best able to handle the workload intellectually rather than the person able to best appreciate it emotionally.
     
  32. TheMightySmiter

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    It doesn't matter how able a person is to handle the intellectual workload of medicine if they can't handle it emotionally. Read up on alcoholism and drug abuse among physicians if you don't believe me.
     
  33. a123456789

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    Anecdotal evidence as well. I am currently applying after my second year with some success so far - I h ave an interview at a top 15 school and one other interview at a mid tier school. Obviously they would not have interviewed me if graduating in 3 years was a killer of the app
     

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