liz358

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Hello All,

I am a 2nd year med student going into 3rd, but recently had a medical concern arise, so I was deciding whether to take a year off or not and how will this be looked upon in Residency? Has anyone done this or is it better to give a different reason for the Leave or not take one at all? Also will the residency ask month by month schedule of my leave even if it was for a medical purpose? Any one had any experience with Leaves for medical reasons or any other reason....Advice much appreciated.

Thanks,

Liz
 

Trillgirl

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No actually, it really doesn't matter much. If they ask why there is a gap or why it took you 5 yrs instead of 4, you can just state that you took a medical leave of absence. Period. I took one for a high risk pregnancy, and it did not affect (as best I know) my applications, interviews, etc. In fact, I barely remember people asking me too much about it.
 
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beyond all hope

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Listen, when a program director is interviewing you, the last thing s/he wants to pick up is a resident who's going to take a leave of absense without warning.

It's very tough on a residency to lose a resident for a month or a year. It makes the rest of the residents and attendings rearrange schedules and work harder. They probably won't fire you, but it makes life hard on everyone.

If you do say that you took a leave of absense for medical reasons, it would be good if you could convince them that it won't happen again (like an appendectomy, or a traumatic injury). A relapsing medical condition spells trouble for residency directors.
 

debvz

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beyond all hope said:
Listen, when a program director is interviewing you, the last thing s/he wants to pick up is a resident who's going to take a leave of absense without warning. . .

If you do say that you took a leave of absense for medical reasons, it would be good if you could convince them that it won't happen again (like an appendectomy, or a traumatic injury). A relapsing medical condition spells trouble for residency directors.
Be aware that even if you get the residency of your choice, depending on what medical condition you are dealing with, you may have difficulty when applying to your State Board for licensure.
 

dulceleche

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liz358 said:
Hello All,

I am a 2nd year med student going into 3rd, but recently had a medical concern arise, so I was deciding whether to take a year off or not and how will this be looked upon in Residency? Has anyone done this or is it better to give a different reason for the Leave or not take one at all? Also will the residency ask month by month schedule of my leave even if it was for a medical purpose? Any one had any experience with Leaves for medical reasons or any other reason....Advice much appreciated.

Thanks,

Liz
hi,

I know of someone who took a LOA because she developed breast cancer. I also knew of someone who took a LOA for a severe illness but recovered and returned and graduated. I don't think it makes a difference if you can document that your performance was not affected by the reason of why you needed to take a LOA. If you really need to take a LOA do it. If you don't do well in med school and you have to explain that you had this condition that could have been ameliorated by taking time off then you may be in the category of not being able to take of yourself so what makes you think you can take care of others. I think that you must show that you are responsible for your well-being as well as understanding that your health or situation can affect the type of care you can offer your patients whether you are a med student, resident, or an attending. I don't think residencies will knock you if you show that you are a responsible future physician. Whatever your condition is do your best to address it and ensure you can do the best you can to finish med school. Take care of thyself first!

dulce
 

Winged Scapula

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Be honest about the leave, but you do not need to be specific. I would highly caution you against calling the leave anything other than what it really is - you have no idea if any of your future LORs will mention this. The last thing you want is to be telling an interviewer you took a year off to travel in Bolivia, doing medical relief work, when your Medicine letter writer talks about your bravery in taking a year off because of your IBD!

Be prepared to talk about it, but I wouldn't be concerned that anyone is going to go over your transcript with a fine tooth comb. A year's absence is obviously noticeable but with a reasonable explanation, it is easier to get away with than a year of bad grades while you recovered from something you should have taken time off for.

As for future licensing, generally the concerns are over illnesses which could affect your practice; this can includes diagnoses of depression or other psychiatric disorders. If you are leaving because of depression over a family member's death, you are better advised to take FMLA leave rather than medical leave. If you are taking time off for a time limited or even chronic disease, but one which does not affect your ability to practice medicine (you will be asked this on all residency and license applications), you shouldn't have much to worry about.
 

dulceleche

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debvz said:
Be aware that even if you get the residency of your choice, depending on what medical condition you are dealing with, you may have difficulty when applying to your State Board for licensure.
Medical licensing lawyers are out there to defend such people with these special conditions. Just because you have a medical condition unless you have Antisocial personality disorder or are a psychopath you should be able to obtain a license with proof of one's stability and self-responsbility. I do know that some residency directors and residency committees will question someone's ability to practice medicine if they have too many personal issues with a medical condition but I think obtaining a license should be easier than obtaining a competitive residency.

dulce
 
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