Feb 3, 2012
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It seems like there are so many people who are now planning to take at least a year off after undergrad before applying to med school, it almost seems like calling them "non-traditional" isn't even accurate anymore.. my own state school has an average age of the incoming class (the original group of accepted applicants anyway) of 25, does anyone else see this becoming the new "norm?"
 
May 29, 2011
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Don't forget this is SDN, the vocal community is typically not the norm.
 

Aerus

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Taking a gap year is a pretty common thing. The average age for matriculants into medical school is 24 nationwide. Now this average should be taken with grain of salt because there are huge age ranges, but at least you know that not everyone goes straight to med school after UG.
 

pfaction

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I often wonder if it's because of rejection, or really to work on their application, or the MCAT.
 

Aerus

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I often wonder if it's because of rejection, or really to work on their application, or the MCAT.
That's actually a really good question. I feel like all three happen pretty frequently. The last two probably go together a lot, since studying for the MCAT while studying/volunteering is much easier than studying for the MCAT while acing your UG courses while fitting bits of volunteering in.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
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Eh... someone who's been away from school for like 5+ years after college is a non-trad. Someone who takes a gap year is still a traditional applicant, though people who go straight from college to medical school are probably still the majority of applicants.
 

mmmmd

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Taking a gap year is a pretty common thing. The average age for matriculants into medical school is 24 nationwide. Now this average should be taken with grain of salt because there are huge age ranges, but at least you know that not everyone goes straight to med school after UG.
you got me curious...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balamurali_Ambati
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
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I often wonder if it's because of rejection, or really to work on their application, or the MCAT.
I'm taking a gap year by choice to give myself an entire summer to take the mcat and improve my ECs. Though I also get to take a few graduate level courses prior to medical school to hopefully prepare a little.
 

Aerus

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vc7777

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Some people take a year in between, or more, for many more reasons than those suggested.

As for nomenclature, I wouldn't call a person who takes one or two years off "nontraditional" per se, a this is not unusual at all.

As moderator in the nontraditional forum (I invite interested people to visit), this comes up often. My take: I think age is a convenient metric. But it is neither necessary nor sufficient to characterize a nontrad. In the end, I frankly defer to our members to decide if they are traditional or not.

Having said all of this; we are certainly not the norm. We just tend to stand out. :)


tl;dr I can't tell you what a nontrad is. But I know one when I meet them.
Sent from my phone
 
Aug 8, 2010
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It seems like there are so many people who are now planning to take at least a year off after undergrad before applying to med school, it almost seems like calling them "non-traditional" isn't even accurate anymore.. my own state school has an average age of the incoming class (the original group of accepted applicants anyway) of 25, does anyone else see this becoming the new "norm?"
Yeah I agree; taking one year off doesnt make one a non-trad.

I got out of high school and worked for a defense contractor for ten years, am going to college at night and working full time at age 29. I am a non-trad, the people you described are college kids who took a year off.
 

Myro

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Eh... someone who's been away from school for like 5+ years after college is a non-trad. Someone who takes a gap year is still a traditional applicant, though people who go straight from college to medical school are probably still the majority of applicants.
Definitely this. I think if your age when starting med school is within 1-2 years of the average, then you really aren't a non-trad.
 

pkwraith

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I don't think anyone was calling people taking one year off non-traditional. It might've been non-traditional 50 years ago.
 

OwlPower22

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I read somewhere (look it up) that about 60% of applicants have taken at least one year off. I am taking two years off to get some research experience and to spend time with loved ones before I journey onto the boundless abyss. Time off is time well-spent. Think about it.
 

LaughingMan

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I read somewhere (look it up) that about 60% of applicants have taken at least one year off. I am taking two years off to get some research experience and to spend time with loved ones before I journey onto the boundless abyss. Time off is time well-spent. Think about it.
I'm taking some time off as well. Getting my MPH and then will probably travel a bit or start my MBA.
 
OP
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i wasn't trying to slam non-trads or people who take time off by any means, i've seen people on this site who applied a year after graduating call themselves "non-trad", which is why I referred to them as such. I myself may end up doing that because I didn't get in this year and need time to improve my app. I was just saying that I think it's going to become increasingly difficult for undergrads to get accepted right out of college, given that there are so many people (myself included) who will have more time to improve their app and get more life experience

edit: I'm on waitlists for this year, there is still hope...