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Should I take a year off?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Dr JPH, Mar 6, 2000.

  1. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned
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    I am a 19 year old sophomore in college. I am planning on going to Osteopathic Medical School someday in the future, and I would very much like to do so right out of college. The problem is, everything I read tells me that Osteopathic Schools look for people with "life experience" and those types of things. I will be 21 when I graduate college, and still only 21 when I begin classes. Do you need age to have had "life experience"? I have worked in EMS, Hospice, and as a CNA for over two years. In fact, I was told the same thing when I was trying to get a part-timejob as an EMT...then said that although I was top of my EMT class, I didn't have enough "life experience" as some of their other applicants.
    Now, the real question. I will be graduating with a BS in Biology. Would it be to my benefit to take a year off form classes and do some research work? Would it be beneficial to stay here at school and do research as a Grad student? The thought of doing research is sounds good, but so does the opportunity to earn some money and pay off some debts before I start Medical School.
    Any comments, advice, or real-life examples would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks


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    Josh Hazelton
    [email protected]
    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
    "D.O. Wannabe"
     
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  3. fmfcorpsman

    fmfcorpsman Member

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    APPLY!!

    You should not take time off between school if it isn't needed. My advice would be to take the MCAT and apply. It sounds like you are getting some experience now anyway. If you don't get in than worry about getting experience. If you know that being a DO is what you want to do, why delay it. You could look at it as starting to treat your own patients a year early.

    My experience: I went in the Navy out of high school as a medic. I have since graduated from college and because of the timing of my MCAT I needed to take a year off between college and school. I do research now at the Medical College of Wisconsin. If you decide to take a year off it is difficult to find a job because your employee knows that you want to leave the job in a year. Whatever you decide to do good luck, but I recomend going for you dream as soon as possible after all being a DO is what you want to do.
     
  4. Julie

    Julie Member

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    I agree; APPLY! I got accepted right after undergrad. I will be 22 and start UHS (located in Kansas City) in the fall. I do not have much "life experience". I worked in a hospital for a year, had an ok MCAT score, have good grades, and I meet the needed requirments. I will graduate with a BS in Chemistry and Biology. Don't let your age stop you from applying. Your work experience sounds great and I don't think age is what determines "life experiences." But, if you want a year off from school don't be scared to take it. Many doctors I have spoken with had wished they would have taken a year off. Good luck with your decision!

    Julie
    UHS class of 2004
     
  5. TQL

    TQL Member

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    Josh,

    I don't think you should take a year off. It's not neccessary. If you have good grades, good MCAT and good letter of recommecndation, you get in. Also, apply early. I know many people who get in to DO schools right off college. Good luck.
     
  6. tonydtgr

    tonydtgr Member

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    I think that if you really want to start med school right away, then you should go ahead and apply. Your extracurricular experience doesn't sound too bad. Of course, everything depends on your numbers (mcat, gpa). if they're low, then maybe an extra year of taking classes, or doing research will help. if your numbers are good, and you want to start right away, just go ahead and apply.

    However, with that said, if you're not too anxious to start med school right away, take a year off! do stuff you've always wanted to do, because you certainly won't have time to do them for a long time once you start med school. for example take fun classes you've always wanted to take: music, guitar, bowling, dance, etc. go traveling. Just enjoy yourself for a year.

    I did just that (for 2 years actually--though i recommend just one) and i really enjoyed it. Now, after 2 years, i feel "fresh" and ready for school! And I don't feel burnt out like many students i know who went straight from undergrad to med school.

    anyways, it's your choice. just a suggestion.

    [This message has been edited by tonydtgr (edited 03-06-2000).]
     
  7. DO Boy

    DO Boy Senior Member

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    A P P L Y. If you don't get in, which I doubt considering that you're on top of things, then they can tell you what you need to do to improve your applications for the next next.
     
  8. PCSOM2002

    PCSOM2002 Junior Member

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    The decision should ultimately be yours, but I decided to take a year off, and it has proven to be one of the best decisions of my life. I worked for a year in at a large medical center and gained invaluable experience. I also got to know several members of the medical staff who offered their help at anytime in my career. You already seem to have some medical experience, but the year off to rest my mind was really great. Best of luck with your decision.
     
  9. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned
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    Thank You all for your replies!

    ------------------
    Josh Hazelton
    [email protected]
    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
    "D.O. Wannabe"
     

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