Should I drop out of med school or do I still have a chance to match

Sep 21, 2017
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Hello everyone. I am a second year medical student at a US MD school. I have struggled a lot during first year and I actually ended up failing 2 courses which I have made up over the summer. This year I am continuing to struggle with the course load but I have not failed anything yet. I am planning on taking a leave of absence for one year between my second and third year of medical school so that I can spend time studying for step 1 and also because I feel really burnt out from all the studying ( I came directly from college and never really took a break). I have not been able to participate in any extracurricular or research during my first year but I am trying to do some more volunteer work during my second year to improve my C.V. also during my leave of absence I will most likely spend some months doing research. I am interested in family medicine or community hospital internal medicine residency programs. My main concern is that I am worried that I am spending all this time and that I will not match to any family med or internal med program. Do you guys think that if I just pass step 1 and step 2 ( I will try to do better than pass but I just want to know about my worst case scenario), will I be able to match into any family med or internal med program even with 2 course failures, 1 year of leave of absence. Or do you guys think that I should stop wasting my time and just drop out of med school and find another carrier.
 

NeurologyHopeful2018

2+ Year Member
Jun 6, 2017
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Hello everyone. I am a second year medical student at a US MD school. I have struggled a lot during first year and I actually ended up failing 2 courses which I have made up over the summer. This year I am continuing to struggle with the course load but I have not failed anything yet. I am planning on taking a leave of absence for one year between my second and third year of medical school so that I can spend time studying for step 1 and also because I feel really burnt out from all the studying ( I came directly from college and never really took a break). I have not been able to participate in any extracurricular or research during my first year but I am trying to do some more volunteer work during my second year to improve my C.V. also during my leave of absence I will most likely spend some months doing research. I am interested in family medicine or community hospital internal medicine residency programs. My main concern is that I am worried that I am spending all this time and that I will not match to any family med or internal med program. Do you guys think that if I just pass step 1 and step 2 ( I will try to do better than pass but I just want to know about my worst case scenario), will I be able to match into any family med or internal med program even with 2 course failures, 1 year of leave of absence. Or do you guys think that I should stop wasting my time and just drop out of med school and find another carrier.
As long as you are a graduate of a US MD school you will match FM/IM/Psych/Peds somewhere.
 
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OP
M
Sep 21, 2017
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Medical Student
Stop the side crap. You don't need more volunteering and research, you need to pass.

Focus on the main thing
thanks for the response. I am mainly focosing on studying but I am just doing some light things like volunteering here and there just so i have something for residency. Do you think that if I just pass all my boards and classes here on out I can match somewhere in family med or internal med even if I take a year leave of absence and have barely any ECs.
 

Dr G Oogle

2+ Year Member
Mar 8, 2017
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Stop the side crap. You don't need more volunteering and research, you need to pass.

Focus on the main thing
Plenty of people have to remediate a year +/- take a sabbatical, the latter especially shows introspection. If you do well when you come back you can match into most specialties (maybe not plastics/rad onc level stuff, but definitely things like anesthesia and radiology are not out of your league) I personally know several people who did exactly what you did and are now phenomenal doctors. You may just need a breather, maybe even take a break from medicine for a few months.
 

evilbooyaa

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Oct 10, 2011
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thanks for the response. I am mainly focosing on studying but I am just doing some light things like volunteering here and there just so i have something for residency. Do you think that if I just pass all my boards and classes here on out I can match somewhere in family med or internal med even if I take a year leave of absence and have barely any ECs.
In regards to bolded - stop that.

Yes. As a graduate from a US MD school. In the year of LoA I would do at least some research work. ECs do not matter for residency unless they're huge specialty specific things. Getting into residency is not like getting into medical school.
 
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DexterMorganSK

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In your case, instead of spending time volunteering and research, I would focus more on my mental and physical health. That includes spending some time at the gym, playing any sport you like, maybe some yoga, and having a good healthy diet, along with a good sleep schedule.

I would also use the counseling services from school.
 

croak2

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If you're not physically impaired, suffer from some condition, or emotionally tangled up, have some other personal dilemma - Some of the previous supporting comments were thoughtful, and suggest that you FINISH what you started. Seems like too many students are concerned about 'matching' to one program or another—Concentrate on scholarship rather than a future that is unpredictable. If you drop out of med school, you may very well regret the decision down the road. The years go by fast, and ten, twenty, thirty years on this will be a 4AM stare at the ceiling question. Speak with a counselor, or other professional to perhaps give you guidance. There is no shame in asking for help before making a decision.

I'm retired: MD (GS), - My children are grown, and have continued their studies…Once you take a year (or less) off, it becomes easier to convince yourself of taking another path. It's important to seek out what you want now, but the future is unpredictable - Chasing a specialty for reasons only you can know (hopefully not for money) tends to be disappointing - Follow your dreams and please, consult with reliable sources before you ultimately decide. You've been given an opportunity - Why not explore what YOU want?


In your case, instead of spending time volunteering and research, I would focus more on my mental and physical health. That includes spending some time at the gym, playing any sport you like, maybe some yoga, and having a good healthy diet, along with a good sleep schedule.

I would also use the counseling services from school.
 
OP
M
Sep 21, 2017
3
0
Status
Medical Student
Thanks everyone for responding. I know that on the ERAS application we have to explain a year of absence and lets say that I took a year off becuase I could not handle the work and some personal family issues came in the way of doing well and I needed to take a year off to handle those situations and that I also did some research during the year. Would this explanation be okay for family med or internal med residnency programs. lets say that I just pass ( not do amazing but just pass) all my boards and pass all my clerkships when i came back. would i still most likely match into these programs ( i do not care where they are).
 

evilbooyaa

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Oct 10, 2011
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Thanks everyone for responding. I know that on the ERAS application we have to explain a year of absence and lets say that I took a year off becuase I could not handle the work and some personal family issues came in the way of doing well and I needed to take a year off to handle those situations and that I also did some research during the year. Would this explanation be okay for family med or internal med residnency programs. lets say that I just pass ( not do amazing but just pass) all my boards and pass all my clerkships when i came back. would i still most likely match into these programs ( i do not care where they are).
Yes. On top of taking the LoA, if you don't fail multiple classes, passed your Step exams, and aren't a sociopath on the interivew trail, you should still match into FM, and potentially IM, residency, as long as you don't care where you end up.
 
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