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Medical Should I accept opportunity away from family or delay to spend time with ill mother?

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TheBoneDoctah

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I am currently waitlisted at three schools in the Carolinas, and recently I was accepted to a program in New Orleans that upon completion would greatly increase my chances of getting into med school the following year. However, over the weekend I learned that my mom's cancer has progressed to stage four, metastasizing from her eye to her liver, and I am unsure about her prognosis as of yet.

Here is my dilemma; do I go to New Orleans and potentially miss out on important time with my mother, or do I move back to North Carolina, continue working in the medical field, and try applying next year as an in-state resident. The NO program is an amazing opportunity and would even count towards my first year of med school if I matriculate there, but a certain school in North Carolina has been my ultimate goal since I started this process.

I know many people have experienced personal issues in their life that have stopped them from going to med school, or at least greatly delayed the process. As much as I want to hold out hope that there will still be waitlist movement, I feel not planning ahead would be irresponsible on my part. I just wanted to see if anyone had any advice or stories of people they know that could help me in this confusing time and help put things into perspective.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and for your input. You guys rock!
I am sorry for what you are dealing with. This is a stressful time already and having to deal with this puts even more on your chest.

What kind of program are you speaking of in New Orleans? SMP? What's your current GPA/MCAT?

I am assuming your mother is in North Carolina? How long would it take to gain residence in North Carolina? Sometimes there are strict requirements?

This is ultimately your decision and I don't think anyone can/should make this decision for you. I think you know your options already, you just need to figure out what you want to do.

MY OPINION:

If I were in your situation, I would stay in North Carolina and gain more medical/non-medical volunteering experience, boost my ECs, gain NC residence, and maybe even take more courses to boost my GPA (if your GPA needs work). This is because I am close with my mother and would put spending another day with her over delaying my medical career a year. This may be different for other people, but this is what I mean by you need to make your own decisions.

Good luck with you decision and I wish the best for you and your family.
 

tantacles

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Your question is hard to answer without knowing your GPA and MCAT score. That being said, your family is important. If your GPA and MCAT are good or great, you probably lose little by simply improving your experiences and applying again in the future. In addition, if what you are considering is an SMP, I would really need to know your GPA and MCAT to tell you if that's a necessary step for you. SMPs only improve your chances at getting into medical school if you do exceptionally well, and they may decrease your chance if you do poorly.
 

tantacles

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Thank you for the response. My MCAT is a 514 and I have GPA of 3.83. My mom is in NC and I am unsure about the requirements to reestablish residency. The program is the Anatomy Certification and Leadership program through Tulane med school. Its just an incredibly tough decision and I really appreciate your take on the matter!

With your stats, I would not do an SMP. That includes the program you are speaking about. Your GPA and MCAT put you in a great range to be accepted. Stay with your mom, volunteer, improve your application, and apply again. You can take a year to do these things and apply again in 2021. That's what I suggest.
I would love to apply for this cycle as well. I have mostly been continuing to work in a psychiatric health clinic, but if I do move back i was thinking of pursuing an MA job and volunteering as well; updating my application as I go. Should I really forgo this year and wait until 2021 in your opinion?I am 24 and I know the end goal will be the same but of course I would rather start as soon as possible.
 
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With your stats, I would not do an SMP. That includes the program you are speaking about. Your GPA and MCAT put you in a great range to be accepted. Stay with your mom, volunteer, improve your application, and apply again. You can take a year to do these things and apply again in 2021. That's what I suggest.
OP, very sorry to hear about this news. Your stats tell me that you do NOT need an SMP. You should work on interview skills, and bone up any holes in your ECs. IF you get shut out at your waitlisted schools, ask the Admissions deans if they can offer feedback on your app.

Also, if you have to reapply, add some DO schools to your list. Start with the KYCOM, VCOMs, PCOM-GA, and CUSOM. Ignore LMU.
 
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Thank you for your sympathy, the responses I have been getting have been really helpful and considerate. At what point in this process would it be a good time to ask for feedback? As i know admissions seems to be a round-the-clock endeavor I am skeptical that school's say they offer feedback as a formality rather than actually following through on an applicant's request. Maybe that is just the nihilist in me after this grueling process!
You can't get feedback until you get rejected.
 

tantacles

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Thank you for the feedback. I want to be with my mom but I just worried I would be passing up a good opportunity. Your answers have been really helpful Doc!

You only get one mom, but you can re-apply to medical school any year you want. Love your mom the best way you can now. Take the time to be with her. If your mom's cancer is as serious as you imply, these moments may be some of the most important of your life, and to miss them would be devastating.

Think of it this way: After this is all over, which regret would you rather have?

1. I wish I had spent more time with my mom when she was ill.
2. I wish I had gone to medical school earlier.

Your mom, as many parents do, will potentially encourage you and want to to fulfill your personal dreams. But make the decision that's right for you and will leave you with the least regret.
 
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