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Teach For America

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by runningdoc, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. runningdoc

    2+ Year Member

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    Just wondering if anyone else has been presented with a similar dilemma and the choice or advice you have. I currently have a medical school acceptance and also a Teach for America acceptance. I am worried that I may not be able to defer my acceptance and if I chose TFA that I will not gain an acceptance to medical school again. Does anyone have any insight or advice?
     
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  3. chemnerd89

    chemnerd89 In it for the lulz
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    TFA has a 2 year commitment, right? I'd have to go with the med school over TFA just to avoid going through this hellacious application process again.
     
  4. searun

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    If the med school will not give you a guaranteed two year deferment, then take the med school acceptance and start your journey to becoming a doctor. You really do not want to go through this application process again.
     
  5. Kaustikos

    Kaustikos Archerize It
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    ditto.
     
  6. iheartsharks

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    I had been interested in TFA for quite a while. If you were accepted to one the schools that are affiliated with TFA they will let you defer for the two year commitment, check out the website http://www.teachforamerica.com/alumni/grad_school_partnerships.htm
    otherwise you have to ask the school directly. Most schools will allow a one year deferment, so if you really want to teach you can teach not for TFA depending on your states teaching requirements. I know if Florida to get a temporary teaching license for grades 6-12 you only need a Bachelors in the field you want to teach.
     
  7. BambiMD

    BambiMD Volunteer Junkie
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    If TFA is something you want to do, go for it. As IHSharks says, some of the schools already have a two year deferment arrangement with TFA; if they don't, inquire.

    This is my second year volunteering with AmeriCorps--and, although I didn't apply for med school back then and have to decide on deferring--my experience has been so formative and pretty extraordinary. Plus, many schools look favorably on such experiences (TFA, AmeriCorps), that if you had to re-apply (not that I'm advocating that you should), it wouldn't be the end of the world.

    I also have one close friend who did TFA and is now applying to MD/PhD programs--and another friend who reapplied to medical school after doing missionary work (a two year committment that led her to turn down a med school acceptance) and is now a very happy M3 at a different med school.

    Good luck on whatever you decide.
     
  8. majestic red

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    If you really want to do TFA, it could only make your application stronger if/when you have to apply again. Medical school can likely wait, but you probably won't have the opportunity to do TFA again.
     
  9. LossForWords

    LossForWords PGY-1
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    I'm not sure it would "only make your application stronger." It would take you away from studying and taking classes for two years and probably cause your MCAT to expire in that time as well. If you can't get a deferment, then you will most likely need to retake the MCAT. I wouldn't want to risk scoring lower and give the idea that I've lost my academic edge in my time off.

    If it were me, I wouldn't have applied to both med school and TfA at the same time. One really isn't that great a backup plan for the other. Since you have, I feel like it's probably most likely that you'll have to decide between one or the other (assuming you can't get a deferment).
     
  10. majestic red

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    Most schools will accept an MCAT score that's 2-3 years old so if the OP took the test earlier this year or last year, it will still be valid for many schools. 2 years isn't a lot of time off and plenty of people have taken time off to do TFA/Peace Corps/etc. and then successfully applied to medical school afterwards, so the time off doesn't seem to call one's "academic edge" into question much. Plus, I think adcoms would recognise that doing TFA is a meaningful character-building experience that would teach the sorts of mentoring/communication skills valuable to a physician. It would also demonstrate a passion for helping others. It sounds like a great EC to have and would help set you apart from the "straight-through" crowd.
     
  11. Mobius1985

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    Go to med school and leave the Teach for America spot for someone who wants to jumpstart the next phase of their career path.
     
  12. mbe36

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    Do not give up this acceptance for TFA.
     
  13. edfig99

    Physician Faculty 15+ Year Member

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    seems like you really aren't committed to the TFA mission since I get the impression you applied more as a "back up" to not getting into med school. so if the school you're in won't give you the 2 year deferral, you can do the lame thing and give up TFA to start med school.
     
  14. mbe36

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    I never understood why people do TFA if they are interested in medicine. It has no clinical application.

    Can someone fill me in.
     
  15. edfig99

    Physician Faculty 15+ Year Member

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    several applications, at least in the great applicants I've met... administrative skills, time management, able to prepare and convey information to others, evaluating your effectiveness. serving people in need, experiencing disparities and inequities.. not to mention it gives some time for premeds to mature a little bit rather than come in right out of undergrad. some folks definitely need to grow up a little bit right out of college and could afford a little real life experience in communities they're not knowledgeable about.
     
  16. Bacchus

    Administrator Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Some people are good people or want to try something new. Its a revelation, hold on.
     
  17. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    I think reapplicants like it to make them stand out more, seem more compasionate, stuff like that.

    Edit:Hey, I'm over 1000 posts. Yay!
     
  18. Excelsius

    Excelsius Carpe Noctem
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    You can achieve almost all of the characteristics above by working at a good job (I don't mean stores or fast food). Admittedly, it might not look as good on the application as TFA, but I'd argue that some of the jobs out there can be considered just as good on their own right.

    Having said that, there are a lot of med schools that give you the two year deferral you need. Even the ones that are not listed on the website are worth contacting and asking. However, it would be a mistake to forsake a med school acceptance for reasons I mentioned above.
     
  19. edfig99

    Physician Faculty 15+ Year Member

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    agreed -- doesn't have to be TFA; there are plenty of other opportunities available to develop these skills. you just usually can't get the "good job" to develop all of these skills simultaneously while you're still a premed.

    i was just answering the question of the applicability of TFA in the clinical setting.
     
  20. BuffGold

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    If you want to do it, ask for a deferral. They tend to be reasonable about that kind of thing if they believe the experience is worthwhile. Besides, it's not like your med school will rescind your acceptance for asking. If they say no, don't do TFA.

    From what I have heard about TFA, it can at times be a trying and difficult experience. I know I'm not telling you anything you don't know already, but stacking that up with med school could be pretty tough. If you are up to it, I think it would be awesome to do, and I have tremendous respect and admiration for you.
     

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