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Taking a year off between 3/4 year...

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by airplaneboy, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. airplaneboy

    airplaneboy Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I am a 3rd year and wish to take a year off between 3rd/4th year to study Spanish and travel Central and South America. I went to Guatemala the summer after 1st year to learn Spanish and I loved it. My question is how something like this would go over with residency programs. I am most interested in EM at this point. I consider myself a good student-a good mix of Honors and High Pass for all years and I did well on Step 1. I see myself doing work in International Health in the future, especially in Latin America. So, please be honest and let me know if taking a year off to simply learn Spanish and travel would hurt me in any way when it comes down to getting a residency. Take care. Jonathan.
     
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  3. turtle md

    turtle md Hardware Included
    Physician 7+ Year Member

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    I took a "year off" between 3rd and 4th year. Actually, what I did, was do my 4th year electives abroad, intermixed with vacation months, and then just came back for the final fall to do my requireds, finishing in December. It was definately worth it. I went to Sweden, Dominican Rep., Mexico, New Zealand, and India. Would do a rotation at each place, and then take a month or two vacation to travel.

    It may have been looked down upon by some programs, but screw them! The places that interviewed me saw it as a defining plus. It gave my interviewers and I something interesting to talk about. Plus, when else would I have been able to do it? I had good grades, good scores, good LoR's, etc. So if you are in a similar boat, I would recommend it. The places that you would fit into for residency will see it as a plus. The places that don't, you probably would not want to be at anyway.
     
  4. papichulodoc

    papichulodoc Member
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    I agree with the above that traveling and learning medicine in another country will only make you appreciate our system and "diversify" your application. Being one of the few to speak Spanish at a conversational level can never be a negative! And you can always say that you wanted to network and make connections for a future in international Emergency Medicine.

    Now if you told them the truth during the interview, that you just wanted to meet a hot Latin every night while drinking Sambuca and Tequila in a random bar, then that may not look too favorably.

    Seriously, I traveled to Cuba, Dominican Republic and Ecuador throughout med school. Most of my interviewers were very intereseted in my experience and new perspective on medicine. By the way, there is an International Emergency Medicine Conference in Argentina in April. Good luck to you and make the best out of it. You will need the memories to get you through the tough days during internship.
     
  5. tiene dolor?

    tiene dolor? ...for me to POOP on!
    5+ Year Member

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    Says who?! I think it sounds great. :D
     

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