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Taking a Gap Year Before College as a Pre-med

Runkli

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Hi,

I was admitted to Duke University class of 2024. Normally, I would start this fall semester, but I'm considering taking a gap year.
After I graduate, I also plan to take a 1-year gap before applying to medical schools.
Would there be a negative effect on my medical school applications to take a gap year before and after college?

Thanks
 

PapaGuava

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Why are you considering taking a gap year before college? Neither would harm you, but it just adds time to your path toward medical school. Many people take a gap year before medical school to improve their application, research, or for other reasons.
 
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LucidSplash

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It doesn't matter why you want to take a gap year before college. It's nice if you can talk about doing something interesting during that year, but no one is going to care much if you just worked or whatever for a year.

Almost the same answer for post college, pre med-school, though generally you definitely want to have done something useful with your time. It can be work, it can be spend time with family because of XYZ reason, travel around the world, service work, research, etc. But it might not be perceived well if the answer is "play videogames on my couch." Its fine if you do that, just do enough of something else to be able to make it sound like that is the main occupant of your time.
 
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Runkli

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Thank you for your replies. After investigating my options for the gap year, I decided not to take one and start college this mid-August.
 

Tater09

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I would generally advise against taking gap years, especially between high school and undergrad. Even if you are doing something of value in that time, you will likely lose some educational momentum, if that makes sense. It's difficult to get back into that learning mindset after a long break.
Situations where I would advise taking gap years would be those which are necessary for your medical school acceptance. If you need to take extra time to get ready for or improve your MCAT, then by all means that's what you should do. There are other good reasons for taking time off before college or med school, but this is the most common.

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