Jul 27, 2016
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I've been accepted at a US allopathic medical school, and orientation is set to begin in about 2 weeks. Is it too late to bring up the topic of deferring to my med school's administration? Also, do my reasons for wanting to defer seem justified? I'll be 25 in a month so that is making me hesitant to delay another year as well. My reasons are twofold:

1. I'm feeling some burnout already. I'm semi non-trad, and spent the last 3 years fretting about and working towards getting into med school. I decided to keep working and doing research over the summer to finish up a project I had underway, a decision that I am now regretting. I didn't realize how burnt out I actually was until a recent family trip to Mexico, where I got to really relax and not think about school/work for the first time in years.

2. I feel like there is so much I haven't done. With the singular focus I have had towards my goal of getting into med school, I've neglected making close friendships, dating, travelling...basically all the normal stuff people in their early twenties do. As a result, I have few close relationships, and may be suffering from mild depression and social anxiety. I feel like a gap year free from the pressures of trying to get into med school would give me a chance to loosen up, have some fun, and build some relationships. I also think the opportunity to travel would make me a more interesting and "wordly" person; as it stands, I have trouble talking to people about anything other than my work/research.

If you read this far, thank you. I would be grateful for any input.
 

candbgirl

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So what are you going to tell the school when you ask for a deferral? What are you going to do,specifically for the next year?


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thatwouldbeanarchy

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It is a little late but I'm honestly not sure if it's too late. I don't think it can hurt to ask what the school's deferral policy is (they're not going to withdraw your acceptance just for asking). Some schools will allow applicants to defer without any extraordinary reason but others will really want to see that you have a significant reason (like a serious illness) or that you plan to accomplish something significant during your deferral year (i.e., finishing up a PhD, doing a prestigious research fellowship, etc.)

From a personal standpoint, I think your reasons are understandable but if your school is in the latter camp, I'm not sure that your reasons will be considered significant enough. Everything you're saying is reasonable but I would be careful about framing things in this way to your school. Saying that you're burnt out, have few relationships, and are suffering from depression might raise some eyebrows about your suitability for the program. Again, they can't take away your acceptance because of that. But it might cast doubt on whether you'll really be ready to matriculate in a year.

I think it's great that you're being honest with yourself about your capacity and what you can handle right now. Again, I don't think it can hurt to put out a general ask to the school as to what their deferral policy is (ASAP since orientation is about to start!) and then decide from there. If their answer seems to be no, then you need to decide if medical school is the right choice for you right now, keeping in mind that mental health issues are a common reason why people don't complete med school.
 
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Catalystik

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I've been accepted at a US allopathic medical school, and orientation is set to begin in about 2 weeks. Is it too late to bring up the topic of deferring to my med school's administration? Also, do my reasons for wanting to defer seem justified? I'll be 25 in a month so that is making me hesitant to delay another year as well. My reasons are twofold:

1. I'm feeling some burnout already. I'm semi non-trad, and spent the last 3 years fretting about and working towards getting into med school. I decided to keep working and doing research over the summer to finish up a project I had underway, a decision that I am now regretting. I didn't realize how burnt out I actually was until a recent family trip to Mexico, where I got to really relax and not think about school/work for the first time in years.

2. I feel like there is so much I haven't done. With the singular focus I have had towards my goal of getting into med school, I've neglected making close friendships, dating, travelling...basically all the normal stuff people in their early twenties do. As a result, I have few close relationships, and may be suffering from mild depression and social anxiety. I feel like a gap year free from the pressures of trying to get into med school would give me a chance to loosen up, have some fun, and build some relationships. I also think the opportunity to travel would make me a more interesting and "wordly" person; as it stands, I have trouble talking to people about anything other than my work/research.

If you read this far, thank you. I would be grateful for any input.
It's far better to have these insights two weeks before school begins, rather than two weeks after. An eager waitlistee will happily take your spot. Some schools allow deferrals for the honest reasons you give, but not all schools are so lenient in this respect. Have you already researched the deferral policy of your institution?
 

futuremdforme

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I actually don't think your reasons are all that convincing. Who are you going to build relationships with in one year? Most people get quite close to their classmates, and that can last throughout med school. Trying to make friends on a deadline might not be that effective. As for the burnout, that part is up to you but personally for me, taking a year off then trying to jump into something that is probably more work than what you've done before is probably worse than plowing through.

Just my opinion, I would ask if you are not 100%. I would not let age be a factor at all.
 

gonnif

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I've been accepted at a US allopathic medical school, and orientation is set to begin in about 2 weeks. Is it too late to bring up the topic of deferring to my med school's administration? Also, do my reasons for wanting to defer seem justified? I'll be 25 in a month so that is making me hesitant to delay another year as well. My reasons are twofold:

1. I'm feeling some burnout already. I'm semi non-trad, and spent the last 3 years fretting about and working towards getting into med school. I decided to keep working and doing research over the summer to finish up a project I had underway, a decision that I am now regretting. I didn't realize how burnt out I actually was until a recent family trip to Mexico, where I got to really relax and not think about school/work for the first time in years.

2. I feel like there is so much I haven't done. With the singular focus I have had towards my goal of getting into med school, I've neglected making close friendships, dating, travelling...basically all the normal stuff people in their early twenties do. As a result, I have few close relationships, and may be suffering from mild depression and social anxiety. I feel like a gap year free from the pressures of trying to get into med school would give me a chance to loosen up, have some fun, and build some relationships. I also think the opportunity to travel would make me a more interesting and "wordly" person; as it stands, I have trouble talking to people about anything other than my work/research.

If you read this far, thank you. I would be grateful for any input.

Asking us is rather useless as you have one school to direct this question to. And I would do so rather quickly, the worse they can do is say no
 
OP
D
Jul 27, 2016
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So what are you going to tell the school when you ask for a deferral? What are you going to do,specifically for the next year?


Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile app
Honestly, I haven't thought it through too much as this idea only recently popped into my head. I think that if I do ask for a deferral, I will be honest and tell them that I think that a year away from a high-pressure environment will leave me feeling more prepared to start medical school, and thus making me a more successful medical student. I also think that through experiencing and meeting people from different cultures, I may gain some perspective which may make me a better physician in the future.

I don't have specific plans for what I would do during the next year. My initial thoughts are that I would work a part-time (mindless) job and do some paid tutoring for half a year to save up a bit, and then travel/live in a different part of the world for the rest of the year.

It's far better to have these insights two weeks before school begins, rather than two weeks after. An eager waitlistee will happily take your spot. Some schools allow deferrals for the honest reasons you give, but not all schools are so lenient in this respect. Have you already researched the deferral policy of your institution?
I've searched Google and looked through the student handbook -- there is absolutely no information regarding their deferral policy, so my next logical step would be to ask the administration directly. But, I also don't want to ask until I'm sure I want to defer.

I actually don't think your reasons are all that convincing. Who are you going to build relationships with in one year? Most people get quite close to their classmates, and that can last throughout med school. Trying to make friends on a deadline might not be that effective. As for the burnout, that part is up to you but personally for me, taking a year off then trying to jump into something that is probably more work than what you've done before is probably worse than plowing through.

Just my opinion, I would ask if you are not 100%. I would not let age be a factor at all.
I see your point -- if what I feel like I'm lacking is personal relationships, that problem could be remedied by meeting fellow classmates in medical school. However, my worry is that it may be difficult to make close relationships with my peers if I begin medical school without the proper mental preparation; the symptoms of my "burn out", namely anxiety, might manifest under the pressure, making it difficult to make and maintain those relationships.


Thanks to all for your responses.
 

Catalystik

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I've searched Google and looked through the student handbook -- there is absolutely no information regarding their deferral policy, so my next logical step would be to ask the administration directly. But, I also don't want to ask until I'm sure I want to defer.
You might also consider looking through this year's and last year's PreAllo School-Specific threads for your institution (use Search term "deferral") to see if you can gain information or a member to PM.
 
Jan 10, 2015
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It is a little late but I'm honestly not sure if it's too late. I don't think it can hurt to ask what the school's deferral policy is (they're not going to withdraw your acceptance just for asking). Some schools will allow applicants to defer without any extraordinary reason but others will really want to see that you have a significant reason (like a serious illness) or that you plan to accomplish something significant during your deferral year (i.e., finishing up a PhD, doing a prestigious research fellowship, etc.
Do you know specific schools that fall into the former category of having a lenient deferral policy without extraordinary reason?
 
OP
D
Jul 27, 2016
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0
I called my school's admissions office, and they flatly stated that they do not offer deferral.

So I guess that settles that...
 

Mansamusa

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I've been accepted at a US allopathic medical school, and orientation is set to begin in about 2 weeks. Is it too late to bring up the topic of deferring to my med school's administration? Also, do my reasons for wanting to defer seem justified? I'll be 25 in a month so that is making me hesitant to delay another year as well. My reasons are twofold:

1. I'm feeling some burnout already. I'm semi non-trad, and spent the last 3 years fretting about and working towards getting into med school. I decided to keep working and doing research over the summer to finish up a project I had underway, a decision that I am now regretting. I didn't realize how burnt out I actually was until a recent family trip to Mexico, where I got to really relax and not think about school/work for the first time in years.

2. I feel like there is so much I haven't done. With the singular focus I have had towards my goal of getting into med school, I've neglected making close friendships, dating, travelling...basically all the normal stuff people in their early twenties do. As a result, I have few close relationships, and may be suffering from mild depression and social anxiety. I feel like a gap year free from the pressures of trying to get into med school would give me a chance to loosen up, have some fun, and build some relationships. I also think the opportunity to travel would make me a more interesting and "wordly" person; as it stands, I have trouble talking to people about anything other than my work/research.

If you read this far, thank you. I would be grateful for any input.
1. If you defer (or even if you don't), I would look into developing tools for handling burnout. If research + worrying about getting into med school gives you burn out, then med school + preparing to apply to residency and working crazy residency hours will probably lead to burnout as well. Developing good stress management skills would be a great way to brace for future burnout.

2. Grass is always greener. You can date, you can have friends, you can go out and drink in med school. Not to an insane degree, but in enough doses to keep you happy. Most post-college 20 yrs old only go out once or twice a week. Don't romanticize their lives; the only difference is that they have money and we have negative money and they have more free time. Even traveling. I am going abroad for 2 weeks Winter break of MS1. I'll probably do one international trip a year (I've only left the country once before, so I want to travel more). It costs more for you to take another gap year than it would be for you to start now and go on a trip each year.
 
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OP
D
Jul 27, 2016
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1. If you defer (or even if you don't), I would look into developing tools for handling burnout. If research + worrying about getting into med school gives you burn out, then med school + preparing to apply to residency and working crazy residency hours will probably lead to burnout as well. Developing good stress management skills would be a great way to brace for future burnout.

2. Grass is always greener. You can date, you can have friends, you can go out and drink in med school. Not to an insane degree, but in enough doses to keep you happy. Most post-college 20 yrs old only go out once or twice a week. Don't romanticize their lives; the only difference is that they have money and we have negative money and they have more free time. Even traveling. I am going abroad for 2 weeks Winter break of MS1. I'll probably do one international trip a year (I've only left the country once before, so I want to travel more). It costs more for you to take another gap year than it would be for you to start now and go on a trip each year.
Thank you, this is exactly what I needed to hear. It's been tough, the past two years, living and working at a relatively isolating job in a new state where I didn't know anybody. My diet is in check and I exercise. I think the biggest thing I'm missing is a good support network, and hopefully I can build that in medical school. I also need to remind myself to lean on my family when I'm down. And thank you for reminding me that life doesn't have to end when medical school begins. One international trip a year sounds like a really good way to scratch that travel itch; I can envision myself doing something similar.