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Two year gap, Grad School vs. Research

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Jermsss, May 12, 2014.

  1. Jermsss

    Jermsss 5+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    New York
    Hello guys,

    I am graduating this Spring with a BS in Biology. I will have to take a two year gap between undergrad and med school due to family issues. I was wondering what would be the best thing to do for the time being. I was considering getting my masters, but my undergrad GPA isn't EXTREMELY bad, and I would rather not spend the extra money unless I absolutely have to. If I decide not to do grad school, I was planning on working as a lab tech and EMT for the two years. Here are my stats:

    Undergrad cGPA=3.71
    MCAT= taking this summer

    Lab experience= none
    Clinical experience= 500hrs geriatric dept. volunteer at NY Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Hospital
    500hrs emergency dept. volunteer at Long Beach Medical Center
    300hrs emergency dept. volunteer at South Nassau Communities Hospital
    Shadowing= 1000+hrs (ED physician, Infectious Disease/Internal Medicine physician, General Surgeon)
    Along with several hundred hours of volunteer work with several different organizations (shelters, relief funds, breast cancer, food banks, red cross)
    I am also a physics and organic chemistry tutor

    Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you
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  3. abolt18

    abolt18 I regret nothing. The end. 5+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2012
    I would save the money, get a job you enjoy, save loads of money, travel a bit, and do research and a bunch more shadowing in different specialties. Stay involved on service/volunteering. Definitely not worth the money on a master's in my opinion (considering your gpa and assuming you'll do well in the MCAT). Good luck!
  4. Jermsss

    Jermsss 5+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    New York
    Thanks a lot for your input, I really appreciate it. Would taking more than 1 gap year affect my application at all? I guess that's my main concern. I only recently found out that I would have to take a second year off and I don't want it to offset my chances
  5. Awesome Sauceome

    Awesome Sauceome SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2013
    In a pine tree
    Totes, I agree. I am taking a 2 year gap and am applying this cycle (so I am done year 1 of my gap) and it has been an awesome experience. I think in general it is looked upon favorably by adcoms so long as you did something constructive during that time. I can personally say that I have matured and grown more than I ever expected during this time. I know that I will be a significantly stronger applicant when I apply this cycle than if I had applied last cycle due to having more stuff on my resume and simply growing up some. I definitely do not think that 1 vs 2 years will affect anything at all. Again the key is to stay as hard working as if you were in school - work hard, keep volunteering, get some shadowing experience. I think if it is obvious that you are still working on yourself then it can make you a really stellar applicant.

    Also it is very nice because it allows you to take all the time that you need to get your application in perfect order. I tried to apply last year and it was a mess throwing everything together haphazardly. This year I have been working on my application for the past several months and everything will be in and complete within the first week of the cycle starting... that is a great feeling.
  6. ph7

    ph7 2+ Year Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    Gap years are fantastic and it sucks that mine is coming to an end (fortunately tho). You don't have any lab experience so I would def get in on some research and hopefully get paid. I did a one year gap and don't see how taking another year would kill off any chances at any schools, as long as I would stay on research. Two years would be great to get your application fixed and polished! Overall have fun and relax!
  7. gonnif

    gonnif Only 1025 Days Until Next Presidential Election Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2009
    The Big Bad Apple
    your GPA at 3.7 is more than fine. Do well on the MCAT, work in lab or something medically related and you will make a competitive candidate

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