kansan

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I am a 2nd year med student who decided to take a year off to work with a volunteer service organization. I wasn't in any academic trouble or reconsidering my decision to be a doctor, I just was interested in helping out the organization and doing something humanitarian for a year. Does anyone have an opinion or educated guess as to what residency directors/interviewers would think of this? Thanks.
 

gwen

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they'll think exactly what you tell them as long as you keep up your grades after your little break. show them what you accomplished during that year, that's all it takes.
 

womansurg

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Hi Kansan,

I took a year off between first and second to care for my dad, who was terminally ill. I can't recall that it was ever even mentioned at any of my interviews, and I matched into my first choice at a competitive surgery program.

I would just be ready to discuss it in a very positive light - which should be easy to do. It was a positive thing you did!

best of luck,
-ws
 

digimon

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i, too, took a year off between my first and second years of medical school. I did it for multiple reasons, but mainly to reevaluate and refocus my decision to go to medical school. I ended up doing cutting edge research in a really fun city (Boston), at a great institution, with amazing people who i now consider good friends/mentors. but most importantly, it gave me a chance to really figure out what i wanted to do in medicine and really with the rest of my life.

as for it's impact on residency applications, i believe that it can only help you as long as you can justify the time off. be sure to learn something from the experience. i'm in the midst of applications, and have yet to interview, but have been asked on my away rotations about my year off. i've only had positive responses, and feel that it separates my experience from a lot of my peers. in fact, there is a portion on eras to explain any leave of absences--which i filled out--and have recieved plenty of encouraging emails/interviews from programs.

i personally feel everyone should take a year (or 2 or 3) during their medical education to pursue something they enjoy....cuz as soon as residency starts....it's all over!

enjoy your time off! it can only help!

-digimon
 
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