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leave of absence

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Oceaner, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. Oceaner

    Oceaner Certified smartass
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    I was wondering if taking some time off (a semester or so) appears poorly in the eyes of potential medical schools (and/or graduate schools). I have also considered doing part-time, and I know that doesn't appear too good. But I would much rather just leave and come back, but if that's going to cause major problems I want to know before doing anything.

    In terms of reason: I never took the so-called gap-year, and after having done somewhat poorly for a few semesters, although improving [compounded with medical problems (not minor but not major either, more chronic) which I wouldn't really want to bring up because it might take away from my strengths as a candidate]. I feel like I really need to take some time off to make sure I know what I am doing and feel/perform better. In this time I'd be earning some money for school and continuing to volunteer and expanding on some of my hobbies. I plan to take full loads when I come back. Hopefully that'll be okay.

    In short: is anyone going to ask me why the hell did it take you 4.5-5.0 years to graduate? and will they be satisfied with I took some time off, or am I going to have to go into detailed explanations and provide papers and so on and so forth? And also will it put me at a disadvantage?

    Peace out. :thumbup:
     
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  3. 236116

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    You might be asked, you have a good answer. Don't sweat it. As long as you're not sitting around eating bon-bons, do it if it's right for you.
     
  4. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I don't think taking time off to take care of your health is a bad idea. If you have a chronic issue that has involved treatment or interferes with your schoolwork, I doubt an adcom would look down upon you for the time you took to get better.
     
  5. Oceaner

    Oceaner Certified smartass
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    Oh of course not...

    :shifty:
    *hides giant stash of bon-bons from Halloween*
     
  6. nick_carraway

    10+ Year Member

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    I agree that it's fine with a good reason and money/health are always respectable reasons.

    I would just say that you want to document what you do during your semester off. If you volunteer, just make sure to include that in AMCAS. It assures adcoms that you weren't confined or AWOL for four months.
     
  7. pinkblue

    2+ Year Member

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    I took a semester off to gain lab experience. Just do something worthwhile during that time and be prepared to explain why that was just as valuable/educational as taking classes.
     
  8. funkymunkytoes

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    Kudos to the use of a parenthetical inside a bracket! How algebraic of you...
     
  9. 146233

    146233 Phthirius pubis

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    A semester or two off looks better than a semester or two with questionable or bad grades. Your health is important; they'll understand.
     
  10. Oceaner

    Oceaner Certified smartass
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    Thanks for noticing. I admit I debated this in my head for 3.5 seconds. it should be a bracket inside a parenthetical though, no?

    Thanks guys. If ad coms still hang around here your input would be much appreciated. otherwise i think i'm making the right decision. phew. :xf:
     
  11. midwesterner

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    I took a semester leave of absence my junior year. It was mainly for health reasons, though with no serious diagnosis. Anyway, I briefly explained it in my personal statement because I felt like schools might wonder why. It did come up in one interview (out of two open-file interviews I've had so far), and the interviewer wanted to know more about what was going on and why I took the time off. I just explained honestly that I needed time to re-evaluate, improve my health, and deal with some personal events that had come up, and that the time was very valuable to me. I think it was fine.

    I actually remember really struggling about whether to take that semester off. Personally, I am extremely happy with my decision but obviously this is very situation-specific. Good luck!
     

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