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MD Should I dropout of med school? (I don't want to!)

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by throw_away_MD, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. throw_away_MD

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    Need some advice y’all.

    I am a mature international student at a US MD school who, due to health reasons, failed my last two courses in first year. I requested a year off (LOA) as I did not believe I was healthy enough to continue at that point and decided to focus on my health. Now that my LOA is over and I am cleared to return, the school has told me they want me to repeat the entire first year.

    I did well in my classes prior to my illness, and believe that I will do well if I return. But, when I apply for residency I will be TWO years behind, with a repeat year and LOA to explain. (In hindsight, maybe I should have tunnelled through, but that didn’t feel like the responsible thing to do at the time).

    I went into this wanting to be a family doctor. That has always been my goal. But I am very scared I will not be able to match and will instead end up with a paper and more than loads and loads of debt.

    One thing working in my favor is that I have spent the majority of my time off covering the school’s curriculum, including traditionally second year material (path and pharm). So I do have the advantage of having pre-studied 2/3rds of the preclinical curriculum beforehand. I also spent a good amount of time refining my studying methods for med school specifically. I think I can potentially translate this advantage into a USMLE score of 240-245 (estimating based on my performance from the half of USMLE-Rx I have done so far).

    My questions for you are:
    ** Do you think I have a decent enough chance at matching into FM to risk the cost of continuing?
    ** CAN a good USMLE score even compensate enough for my red flags (need visa + LOA + repeat)? (assuming I get a 1-2 honors in rotations and have decent LORs)


    For example: if there is a good chance I go unmatched for FM even with a 240 USMLE and otherwise average performance, I would consider myself at HIGH RISK of going unmatched.

    For those of you wondering if I have a backup, I do not. I am not sure what I will do with my life if I don’t return. Honestly can’t fathom the thought of not returning, but also very concerned with my situation.

    I am also open to any other advice and tips you have for me.

    TLDR:

    Failed two courses end of first year, took a year-long LOA and will have to repeat first year = will graduate in 6 years instead of four. Want to match into FM, but am concerned I won’t match. Do you think that, if say I get a USMLE score of 240, I have a decent enough chance at matching into FM to risk the cost of continuing?

    Thanks!
     
    #1 throw_away_MD, Apr 17, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  3. sb247

    sb247 Doer of things
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    I think it’s presumptuous to assume that after failing a year that a 240 is a given
     
  4. bigloley

    bigloley SDN Lifetime Donor
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    You can still match family medicine with a good chance at a US MD school even if you are 2 years behind. You will have to apply quite broadly and be willing to move anywhere.
     
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  5. pedspedspeds18

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    Without a plan B, I feel like you definitely should not abandon plan A. FM is known to be one of the more forgiving specialties when it comes to matching. If you don't fail anymore classes, pass all the boards on your first attempts and get good LORs, I think you would be okay if you applied broadly to FM programs.
     
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  6. operaman

    Physician 7+ Year Member

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    I think the request to have you repeat the year is very reasonable based on what you’ve said. I’m surprised they didn’t make this clear to you ahead of time. Maybe they thought it was self evident since you failed two courses and did not ultimately remediate and pass.

    It will be a slog but probably better in the long run. I worry less about your step 1 and more about your ability to pass the preclinical curriculum. Having the extra time will help ensure you do pass and will give you extra time to really learn the material so you can do well on step 1.

    The residency matching thing will depend heavily on what the “health problem” actually was and whether it’s the sort of thing that has any chance of coming back. The high step 1 would make me very wary that the health problem was mental illness and/or substance abuse as those tend to manifest with highly disparate performance.

    This may not preclude you from matching and it’s hard to say how exactly that will all play out. As others have noted, FM is one of the least competitive and most open to considering people’s stories.
     
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  7. Anicetus

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    Do you care about location? If not then you’re fine.
     
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  8. y123

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    You can probably match FM if u pass the courses and steps. You are fine!
     
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  9. throw_away_MD

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    I agree with that entirely. In no way am I expecting to waltz in there and bat 240. I used that number because a) it's a decently high enough number to measure the depth of the hole I'm in, and b) I don't think it is an impossible score for me to achieve if I work hard and smart enough.
     
  10. sb247

    sb247 Doer of things
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    It’s also maybe not impossible for me to dunk someday, but I wouldn’t preface a plan by saying “what if I dunk?”

    You aren’t sure you can pass a year of med school yet, picking step scores is getting ahead of the game

    You are still potentially salvageable to match so i would focus on that by passing. Is your condition resolved? Might is recur? What will you do if it does?
     
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  11. y123

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    U don’t need a 240 to march FM as a US MD grad! Check out charting outcome. As long as u pass u should be fine!
     
    throw_away_MD likes this.
  12. libertyyne

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    Something that has been glossed over is , do you have a visa to work in the united states? I don't think you will have an issue for family medicine if you are coming from a us MD. But I don't know how program directors would view j visa plus repeat /loa.
     
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  13. PhillyMed777

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  14. W19

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    You are fine for FM/IM/Path as long as you don't fail any more classes and pass step1/2 on first attempt.
     
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  15. NeurologyHopeful2018

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    All you need to match into primary care and pathology is a pulse.
     
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  16. NeurologyHopeful2018

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    I would argue Pathology is even more open - only 30% filled with US grad this year...


    I bet she can match into path even WITHOUT a pulse..
     
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  17. throw_away_MD

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    I had the exact same thought. I would essentially be limited to residencies that interview applicants seeking visas. This is of course a generalization, but often these residencies are in less desirable locations and open to IMGs, so hopefully being a US grad will help balance the scales there a bit.
     
  18. NYCdude

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    Dude there are like IMG's with 210s who match into family. You're more than fine.
     
  19. throw_away_MD

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    Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback, including the critique! Ultimately I needed to kind of get a few opinions on this because I was going crazy just pondering this over and over on my own.
     
    #18 throw_away_MD, Apr 17, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  20. NYCdude

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    If you're not stupid and apply to plenty of places, matching shouldn't be an issue at all.

    I would worry more about scoping out the malignant programs that work people to death and don't teach anything and try to match into the best program possible.
     
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  21. NotYou20

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    I don't see why matching FM would be an issue provided you don't fail any classes or boards moving forward.
     
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