MicheleVet

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Is it possible to take time off between medical school and a residency?

More specifically, if you are a two doc couple can he do the residency while she's raising the fam, then later, can she do the residency while he's an attending or has a job?

I'm in veterinary medicine and am always curious about the way (human) medical training works.
 

Museless

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It's possible to take some time off, but not as much time as would be needed for your spouse to finish residency.

There are programs with different start times (most common is Jan 1 instead of July 1) which gives 6 months off after graduation, alternatively, med grads can delay their application to the match by 1 year.

Delaying match 3 or 4 years to stay home with kids would not give a realistic chance of matching anywhere, no matter how great your grades were. Programs don't want someone who's been out that long. There's also the problem of licensing exam scores - they expire. The entire sequence has to be completed within 7 years of when it was begun, and if someone took step I at the end of their second year of medical school, two more years would pass until they graduate, plus 3-4 years while their spouse does residency, unless they want to take step III cold at the beginning of their intern year they'll have to start over with the licensing process.

While there may not be any law against it, realistically no, this would not work. Not with that much time off. A few months, okay, if you were a strong match candidate anyway. A couple years, no way.
 

backontop

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i disagree with the above post. the most common time to take off is after intern year, but after medical school is possible too. I met someone who took six years off after medical school to pursue an entirely different field (a field other than raising children, but likely regarded as less respectable in the medical community.) He then came back and got into a middle of the road internal medicine program. I imagine the scenario would have been different if he was hardcore dermatology or whatnot, but the fact is that residency positions go unfilled every year. I guess sometimes hiring an MD whose taken off 6 years may be better than the alternative of having a void in the program, which results in everyone having to work harder. I won't tell you publicly where he went to med school, but I will tell you that it was not a strong med school.

there is a 7yr limit on USMLE's, but step 2 is taken after 3rd/during 4th year, and step 3 can be taken after you graduate without doing a day of intern year (no matter what state you're in). all 3 steps would then be valid for life.

realistically it works if it works for you.
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-----by the way, if i had to guess why after intern yr was the most popular time, I would say it's because you can then apply for your license (intern year is required for most states (maybe all, not sure.)) remember, having the 3 USMLE's passed is a requirement to apply for your license. also, foreign med grads might have to do a whole residency before they get a license, not totally sure though. and i know nothing about vet school.
 

Museless

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and step 3 can be taken after you graduate without doing a day of intern year (no matter what state you're in).
Sorry, but it's just not that easy. Most licensing bodies either require that your Step III application be sponsored by your program, or that you've completed your intern year. Mississippi is one such state, you can read their requirements here:

http://www.msbml.state.ms.us/usmle/req.PDF
 

Jeff05

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if you wish to match somewhere other than a lower tier program with lots of fmgs, i would not take time off to pursue endeavor that are not qualified as worthy by the powers that be. that is, assuming you want to match into medicine. other, more competitive fields would likely be off limits.

Museless said:
Sorry, but it's just not that easy. Most licensing bodies either require that your Step III application be sponsored by your program, or that you've completed your intern year. Mississippi is one such state, you can read their requirements here:

http://www.msbml.state.ms.us/usmle/req.PDF
 

backontop

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Sorry, but it's that easy.

I'm taking step 3 in march and have never done a day of intern yr.

maybe mississippi has some cockamamie rule, but my state and the vast majority of states allow you to register to take the test in california or connecticut, without actually having to live in the state or take the test in the state. there's a USMLE forum on this network, i'm merely preaching the choir.

if you can't do it without being sponsored or completing intern year, how come i'm doing it?
 

Museless

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Backontop, there's no need to be defensive. If you've found a way to make things work for you, great. But the OP asked a general question, and your first reply included the statement "step 3 can be taken after you graduate without doing a day of intern year (no matter what state you're in)." I merely pointed out that this isn't true, and that choosing this nontraditional route would thus limit one's choices. Jeff05 further stated that there is also a limitation in the competitiveness of the field one can choose as well as the quality of the program that might be obtained. I agree with both those assertions. Is it possible to have several years off? Sure. But are there consequences? Of course.
 

Winged Scapula

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If it works that way in Vet Med, you'd be well advised to stay home and defer your training while your husband completes his residency. Although it may not be a dire picture, IMHO taking a significant period of time off (ie, more than 1 year) does make it significantly more difficult to match, especially if you want some choice in residency program and location (which one would imagine you would given the dual careers and family concerns).
 

backontop

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fair enough. i would factor in everyone's post in your decision.