taking time off AFTER starting medical school

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by popcorn, Aug 19, 2000.

  1. popcorn

    popcorn Junior Member

    Jul 4, 2000
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    i was wondering if any medical students or doctors know anything about taking time off during medical school or between medical school and residency. is it common for students to take time off? and what under what circumstances?

    thanks to anyone who can help!

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  3. PimplePopperMD

    PimplePopperMD Senior Member

    Jun 14, 2000
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    I did it. I took time off when I found myself burning out, and have since returned and am no longer burned out. It was a great idea...

    You want to make sure:
    -- if you take off in the middle of the semester, what the rules are re: tuition, exams already taken, etc.

    -- what the rules are about coming back... ie, I just had to tell them when I wanted to return.

    Good luck.
  4. nicolette

    nicolette Member

    Nov 6, 1999
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    Hi Popcorn,
    I think it's becoming more and more popular with med students to take a little break in between studies. Many students use the time to conduct research, do a MPH, or travel abroad.

  5. DocToBe

    DocToBe Member

    May 28, 2000
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    I need some advice regarding feeling burnt out. I went through five years of undergraduate studies with no summer breaks, and in so doing, completed 3 bachelor's degrees, got good grades, and got REALLY tired in the process. I am currently in my first year at an American school with a very traditional curriculum and grading system. Needless to say, not having any breaks or vacations for 5 and a half years is beginning to take its toll. So much so that I have even been having a great bit of difficulty in one of my classes. Instead of taking some time off after my first year, or in-between my first and second years, I was considering exercising the option to take a lighter courseload. However, I was wondering how residency program directors might look at such an action? Does it even matter? Will I be less competitve, etc.? I know that a number of factors are considered by program directors, such as USMLE scores, etc., but I was just wondering how taking a lighter courseload would fit into the whole picture. I figured that by taking a lighter load I could give myself sort of a "pseudo-break" in which I would be less stressed and feel more confident because I would be able to perform more strongly in my classes. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  6. Hi...

    I wouldn't say its "common" for students t take time off, although I did have a classmate who took off time between 2nd and 3rd year to bacpack around Europe, etc.

    I'll assume this won't apply but may help others, keep in mind that your USMLEs have to be completed within a certain time frame - I think its 7 years. So if you take Step 1 2nd year, you can't take off too many years before it starts to creep up on you!

    IMHO, taking some time off between 4th year and residency sounds like a good idea - I'm finishing in March and am really looking forward to having some time off laying around on my parent's couch watching the satellite (how can I make that sound more ambitious during residency interviews? [​IMG] ).

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