Any gaps during medical school must be explained, and if not for an illness, another degree, or some sort of extenuating circumstance, it is looked down upon. Most, if not all, residencies have a limitation in how far out from graduation one is for them to be considered. Most places that have a set timeframe are 5 years give or take. Graduating and applying to residency leaves you at a disadvantage and therefore less likely to match. A gap then will also bring about questions just the same as previously listed. If you truly want to try that path without AS MUCH risk, then you should go straight through and do a 1 year internship, be it a transitional year or prelim year. Completing that year will allow you get get your medical license and keeps you on the ball during the year while studying for step 3 and/or level 3 which is what will allow for the license after completing PGY1. The catch here is that if you want to get out of medicine, then you may as well go for IM as you mentioned because it's only 2 years longer than what I just mentioned, and at least here you can become board certified and no longer play "what ifs" and you can change careers completely or have both at the same time, or be able to stick with medicine if you "dont like" what you tried, but at least in this last case, you're completely set. And with IM you'll have the opportunity for fellowships like GI as mentioned. Also, being board certified in anything leaves you more valuable in many cases, especially anything healthcare related than compared to simply licensed, or especially unlicensed (and therefore not board certified).I had asked a question on a similar topic earlier, but if the mentors reading this are on residency admissions committees I'd like to get a better sense of how my outlook would be. I went to medical school without a gap year and never really considered other career opportunities. However, the more and more I do medical school, the more and more I think I would like a career in biotech banking / PE / VC instead. I have a BME background and some business experience, and I miss math and problem solving that I can't find in medicine.
My question to that is can I take a gap year in between 3rd & 4th year or right in between medical school and residency to do a job in biotech finance to see if I like it? If I do that, what will happen to my ability to match into residency later if I decide I want to come back to medicine? If I do medicine, I want to subspecialize in an IM field like GI or heme/onc. Will leaving medicine briefly to test a finance or business career put an irreversible end to my medical career? While I really want to try a finance career, throwing away an MD is a big price to pay.