Medical Should I defer an acceptance / reapply due to new relationship?

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Jun 11, 2010
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Last cycle I applied with a 513 MCAT, 3.9 GPA, standard ECs, and four years work experience as a software engineer. Several MD schools interviewed then waitlisted me.

Fortunately some DO schools accepted me, and I planned to attend one across the country. My goal is IM/FM/EM and I would be happy to go DO. However four months ago I began a relationship and now I am reluctant to move far away from this person.

Thoughts on deferring / reapplying for the current cycle?

Reasons for doing so
  1. Stay in my current city and let this relationship develop. Next year, either we can move together or I can hopefully attend a local school.
  2. Fix deficits in my application and get an MD acceptance. I applied late September, with a missing prereq, and just barely 100 hours clinical experience.

It's likely that you may never get another II if you dump an acceptance. Many schools ask if you have ever been accepted.

If you defer, how will things be different in a year? It's actually hard to get a deferral; usually they're for emergencies. This isn't an emergency.

Also, schools that let you defer will often have you sign a contract that you will not use the intervening time to apply elsewhere.

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So many easy improvements exist in my application.
  1. One MD interviewer was very receptive and said "if you don't get accepted, you should scribe."
  2. Another school designated my application as "incomplete" due to a missing prereq. That probably hurt me at the other schools too. Recently I spent $1500 and a month completing it.
  3. I applied late September and only to 3 out of 10+ state schools (I got interviews at all 3).
I was happy to walk away from this process with my DO acceptance, albeit feeling slightly burnt, having sold myself short due to the above deficits. Defer/reapply was never on the table until this relationship. Now I am thinking I can maintain the relationship and get a better acceptance.

However, I think you are right. I take the current acceptance or risk never getting accepted again.

Many people do long distance.
I would take the acceptance and go become a doctor. I know this sounds harsh, but you have no idea where this relationship is going to be in a year. The chance at losing a year, or even worse, losing your career over this is something I would steer away from. You have a chance to do something most people don't. Take it.

Also, the thought that DO students only go into primary care is complete BS. Most of the students who go primary care from DO school self-select. If you want to do something competitive, you can do it. Will it be tougher as a DO, sure,
If this was a relationship of a few years, or something more than dating (i.e. fiancé, marriage, or living together, or something similar in whatever way you label things), then MAYBE - but even in that case, they should be able to go with you, or have solid enough roots to do distance even for a little bit.

This is 4 months. ABSOLUTELY NOT. If they're not willing to move with you, when WHY should you be willing to let slip an acceptance and chance to become a physician with a life-long career that may not come again?

Bear in mind, you may also still be in the honey-moon phase of dating where it seems like it will work out. It very well may, but I wouldn't make any bets, nor would I give up a medical school acceptance for this.
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Go to medical school. How much effort did you invest in yourself in the last year to get to medical school only to consider refusing it? Does he/she understand the lifestyle and debt load of a medical student that he/she will have to share? If it's that serious, get the ring.
Since you came from the software industry, you signed up when you enter medical school for at least a six to eight year crunch equivalent. I would accept the admission with one specific comment, your partner is going to have to respect your career to a larger extent. If your partner cannot accept that as a condition, then this is not meant to be if you want to be a physician. Especially the first year is a crunch intellectually and the residency years are worse on both counts.
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