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WHAT TO DO DURING YEAR OFF?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by together, Feb 15, 2001.

  1. together

    together Senior Member

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    Dear All:

    I am currently a senior in college and preparing for the MCAT. At the same time, I am considering my options for the interim year between my graduation and when I matriculate in medical school (if accepted, of course).

    To date, I have applied to the following:

    (1) A Research Assistant position at Memorial
    Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC.

    (2) Various MPH programs.

    (3) An MA program in Medical Sciences.

    (4) A Research Assistant position at Harvard
    Medical School.

    Of the four, which do you recommend? If none of them, what is a better option?

    Thank you!

    Together
     
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  3. jerseybri

    jerseybri Junior Member

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    I don't know exactly what your ideal position would be, but if you are interested in a position as a clinical research assistant at Mass General, starting June 1st, email me at [email protected] I've been working at this position since August for my year off, and it has been a great job, but I plan on leaving June 1 to take some time off prior to staring school in August. You'll have the opportunity to work for several eminent physicians here at MGH on several different clinical studies. If anyone's interested, let me know.
     
  4. Medigirl

    Medigirl Member

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    A friend of mine tried to complete an MPH in one year and was not finished with it when med school began. You might make sure that the MPH program you are interested in is exactly one year. Also, I work as a research assistant in infectious disease (med school next fall) and have had a GREAT experience. You cannot beat the job flexibility, and you do not have to bring your work home with you (e.g., study). I chose to go into research because I wanted spend my year of freedom doing fun stuff (lots of trips, volunteering, etc.) in addition to studying science. That's my two cents. Best of luck!
     
  5. I should think either of the research positions would be fine and provide nice fodder for interview conversation. Between the two, you should consider (in no certain order):city preference, salary, your job responsibilities and research interests, lifestyle and how likely it is that you will be published at either (I'd go with the one that would be more likely to get me a citation unless there was overwhelming reason to choose the other).

    I second the thoughts on the possibility of finishing your MPH in 1 year and add the MA to the list. There have been extensive threads on the issue of applying without finishing an advanced degree; conventional wisdom is that it isn't good. So only do the advanced degrees if you can finish them and are interested in them as an adjunct to your medical degree.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. together

    together Senior Member

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    Dear All:

    Thank you so much for your timely and helpful posts. I am still awaiting decisions from the places to which I applied and hope to make a decision soon.

    Thanks again!

    I wish you all the best of success!

    Together
     
  7. catdograccoon

    catdograccoon Junior Member

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    These all sound like great options, and you'll have good experiences that med school will like no matter what. My advice would be to squeeze in some spanish classes (if you don't know the language alresdy. No matter where you go for med school, having some facility in this language will be very useful from 3rd year and throughout your career -- Best of Luck
     
  8. together

    together Senior Member

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    catdograccoon (cute name!)

    Thank you for the advice about Spanish classes. I am actually fluent in Polish and well-versed in Spanish. My trilingual capacity is actually one of my strong points -- wish I could say that about my MCAT score...back to studying!

    Thanks again,

    Together
     
  9. I would like to ask you which steps you have to follow to be a research assistant.
    I?m a medical student in fifth year ( of a 6 years MD degree ) at the Universitat Aut?noma de Barcelona ( Spain ) and I would like to spend several months between I finish my medical school on august 2002 and I start the residency on july 2003.
    Also I would like to know if you are paid doing research because even I don?t want to be rich doing research I can?t be 6 months paying for myself the cost of living there.

    Thank you and I appreciate any advice.
     
  10. gower

    gower 1K Member

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    For a contrarian view: If you can afford to, take a long break and travel somewhere interesting, see the sights, the people, different cultures. Relax and have fun if you can. The next bunch of years, and the rest of your life, are likely to be anything but relaxing. You have earned the right to enjoy. Begin medical school refreshed.

    May he road rise up to meet you, may the sun shine warm upon your face.
     
  11. What type of research would you be doing at each institution? I assume at Sloan it would be cancer research. How about at Harvard?
     

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