1. The SDN iPhone App is back and free through November! Get it today and please post a review on the App Store!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Med schools requiring at least a year off

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by bbabul01, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. bbabul01

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    When do you think med schools will start making time off after undergrad a requirement for admission? Business schools do it. Architecture schools do it. It seems many professions are leaning toward making their students obtain real-world experience before earning a professional degree.

    It's becoming tougher and tougher to get into med school. The added experience of at least a year off can strengthen an application. Will it ever be required? Or at the least, when will schools stop advising students to finish all requirements in 3 years because it's the "norm" to apply while still in school?
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. AnEyeLikeMars

    AnEyeLikeMars Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I don't think it will happen. From what I've heard, the trend is going to be towards streamlining the process, not extending it.
     
  4. soco

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Here's where you're wrong. Medical school gives you an education that allows you to do real cutting-edge research. Taking a year off before you have any expertise to actually do anything substantial seems more like extended summer-vacation to me.

    That's why many schools have optional 5-year programs, btw.
     
  5. bbabul01

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Ouch. So the clinical research I'm doing right now to develop chemotherapy for leukemia patients is an extended summer vacation?


    My argument was mostly that there is a reason MBA and MArch programs do this kind of thing. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to assume that in general, people who gain more experience in the medical field are better prepared for medical school. Yes that is a blanket statement, but all other things equal, I think it is true.
     
  6. cubbbie

    cubbbie Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    4
    I disagree with you and agree with Bbabul. Yes, med school allows you to do research, but unless you've already gotten your feet wet in the research world, you're not going to be able to get much out of the limited amount of time you have in med school to devote to any research project. Being able to jump right into a project without the learning curve is a huge advantage. Sure you could get your training in undergrad, but most people don't have the time/desire/ability/resources/connections to partake in a high-caliber research program in undergrad.

    I'm not familiar with this: do other professional schools (i.e. business/architecture) actually require you to take a year off, or is just one of those things where you'll never get into a good program if you don't? I do strongly believe that, save for the few gunner pre-meds who knew medicine was their path in life starting in infancy, applying to med school straight out of undergrad puts you at an immediate disadvantage compared to those who have a year or two of extra experience under their belts. I think it is already that way, and as more schools and residency programs put more emphasis on conducting research (something that was unheard of when my dad was applying to med schools), this will only become more true.
     
  7. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
    Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Messages:
    11,648
    Likes Received:
    1,779
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Average age of most med schools entering class continue to rise. It's not because folks are suddenly getting their BA a lot later.

    I don't think med schools will ever require time off after undergrad, but I think you'll find it will continue to become more common. Med schools like students who have a little real world experience. You'd be amazed how much more mature folks come across after working full time for a year or two or three. These folks interview better and just look like a safer bet to med schools.

    But I don't think they should require time off. If med schools are looking for folks straight out of college, they should be entitled to them.
     
  8. bbabul01

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I feel that I've seen so many people still in their senior year everywhere I interviewed that I felt like a minority (even only being out for 1 year). And I see so many people posting on SDN that are frustrated trying to figure out how to fit everything in so they can apply to med school before they've even had a beer legally. I wish advisors would be more up front about how great it is to take time off.
     
  9. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
    Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Messages:
    11,648
    Likes Received:
    1,779
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    SDN overrepresents applicants still in undergrad because undergrads have the time to surf SDN all the time. Most folks who work full time don't have that kind of time. With obvious exceptions.
    Private advisors I've talked to are very up front about the value of having a few years of life experience under your belt. School advisors have a vested interest in having students apply while still students for institutional bragging rights.
     
  10. OncDoc19

    OncDoc19 MS4
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    796
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I think its definately a good thing to have some real world experiance in the medical field, but I don't think you have to take a year off to do it. I do clinical research in a hospital, and not to get into details, but if the nauseous feeling I have right now after seeing what I saw today isn't an "experiance in the medical field", I don't know what is.
     
  11. Tired Pigeon

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    With good programs this is a pretty firm requirement (and often the preference is for more than one year off). Most schools will grant no exceptions; others will only do so under extraordinary circumstances. In addition to B-school and architecture, this is also seen (albeit somewhat less commonly) in top law schools. The philosophy is simply that having some real world experience builds maturity and perspective that contribute to the learning experience of oneself and one's classmates.

    Of course every student is different, and somone will undoubtedly make the argument that they were mature and well-rounded enough for medical school at age 12, or whatever; nevertheless I kind of think this is a good idea. When I look around my med school class at who is most likely to make a valuable or original contribution to group discussion, who is most likely to bring in a new perspective or approach in solving a problem, and who is most likely to be reliable and dependable in contributing to our group PBL projects, students with a little experience in the 'real world', aka non-traditionals, are disproportionately represented in these ranks.
     
  12. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    30,983
    Likes Received:
    9,863
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Agree. Med schools don't need to require a year off. If they continue to accept nontrads in gradually increasing numbers, as they have for a while now, at some point they will reach critical mass and applicants will take the hint. Everyone is looking for a way to improve their odds, and life experience is one of those things that anyone can obtain, if they put themselves into the rat race. The patient base in medicine is aging, and so will the doctors.
     
  13. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    30,983
    Likes Received:
    9,863
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Most of the top business school programs require prior work experience (at LEAST a year) but I am not aware that many (or any) law schools require this. The key difference is that business degrees, unlike law or medicine, are typically not degrees you go to to learn a profession, they are degrees you get to enhance your profession. So most business students have worked for a few years, get their MBA, and then return to the same industry (if not the same job) with an enhanced credential that allows them to get promoted higher/faster. In law, medicine etc, you are starting anew, and so prior work is not as relevent for the job. But certainly as an EC or for transferable skills or as evidence of maturity, it is a great resume enhancer for a professional school.
     

Share This Page