Sep 19, 2015
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I am applying to medical school this cycle and have already submitted my secondaries. I am positive that medicine is the career I want, but I am young and have always loved to travel. I have always said that I would love to travel for a few years, but never thought it was possible or that I would actually do it. I recently traveled for a month and realized that I could travel and work for a few years. The idea of entering medical school later no longer scares me. Obviously hindsight is 20/20 and it would have been ideal to realize that this is something I truly can and would do before I submitted all of my secondaries. Having realized this now, I am considering withdrawing my applications. Given that whether I do withdraw or choose to complete the cycle I would be considered a re-applicant, I am wondering if there is a point to withdrawing? I have not heard back (rejections or interviews) from any schools. Is there a benefit to withdrawing before an interview or rejection is given? Or, is it the same whether I complete the process?


To be clear, I have good scores and would not be withdrawing due to anything on my application. It’d be for personal reasons, which is why I am wondering if it matters at which point I withdraw. Does that make a difference? My impression is that it does not, but I have no idea.


What is most difficult is that I am sure medicine is the correct career path for me, and I know I will come back to it after a few years. That being said, I am not positive that taking a few years to travel and work is the best option for me, and I am currently weighing the two options (keep going along the application cycle or commit to traveling). Given that, and the fact that I would then be a re-applicant, I am trying to disadvantage myself as little as possible. Any comments or insights into this would be greatly appreciated.
 

allantois

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Why can't you travel now?

Getting into a med school and then turning it down for traveling will not look good, and then the only place to travel to would be the Caribbean's.
 
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OP
D
Sep 19, 2015
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Pre-Medical
Why can't you travel now?

Getting into a med school and then turning it down for traveling will not look good, and then the only place to travel to would be the Caribbean's.
Hi Allantois,

Since I am applying right now, I cannot travel due to potential interviews as I do not know when I will need to be back. Of course, I can travel in short amounts (which I plan on doing) but not for extended periods of time. My fear is that getting in and turning it down won't look good, so I'm wondering if I withdraw before that becomes a real possibility if it will be okay, or if it will still look just as bad?
 

gonnif

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To be clear, I have good scores and would not be withdrawing due to anything on my application. It’d be for personal reasons, which is why I am wondering if it matters at which point I withdraw. Does that make a difference? My impression is that it does not, but I have no idea.
Schools will not likely know why you choose to withdraw as the details as to when/how may not be so readily apparent on the next cycle; they will just know you withdrew. That will raise a question in their minds as to why. Now you could write some long detailed narrative that you reconsidered and have decided to delay medical school for travel. That of course will make you look like an immature, brash, and haphazard person. Someone who didnt have the foresight or introspection to think about what they really wanted to do and applied to medical school now only because he was scared to wait.


What is most difficult is that I am sure medicine is the correct career path for me, and I know I will come back to it after a few years. That being said, I am not positive that taking a few years to travel and work is the best option for me, and I am currently weighing the two options (keep going along the application cycle or commit to traveling). Given that, and the fact that I would then be a re-applicant, I am trying to disadvantage myself as little as possible. Any comments or insights into this would be greatly appreciated.
If you dont want to disadvantage yourself, then dont be a reapplicant. If you withdraw, it will have little to much impact on your application, it is impossible to say. Not too mention, if you wait two years, you may have to retake MCAT as many schools have a 2 or 3 year limit.

My only real advice to you is to stop pining over this and make a decision. Then stick with it. Either continue applying or go traveling. Make the decision and move on. There will be no answer possible other than that
 

Donald Juan

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If you are talking about doing this for years, not just 6 months, then yes, get the hell out of the cycle now. It sounds to me like your mind is made up and you are just wondering if you should withdraw now or just leave your app in. You should withdraw now. If you know you won't go to an interview, it's a jerk move to wait on it while schools are taking the time to review your app and extend you invites just to turn them down when you knew the whole time.
 

FriendOfTheCupcake

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My suggestion would be to go through with the cycle (as mentioned before, there are definite drawbacks to withdrawing now and even though the reason may seem important to you, it may not to the medical schools - withdrawals are more forgiven if there was e.g.-a death in the family or some sort of true emergency that necessitated a break in studies).

If you don't get in, hooray (?) but at least you won't really have to explain anything. Travel freely for a few months after interview season concludes.

If you do get in, just defer a year if your school allows it (I know mine does, but I don't know what the usual tendency is). It's not a few years, but one extra year to travel and a guaranteed seat in a medical school seems like a good compromise rather than a couple years of travel and potential red flags on your application.
 

gonnif

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My suggestion would be to go through with the cycle (as mentioned before, there are definite drawbacks to withdrawing now and even though the reason may seem important to you, it may not to the medical schools - withdrawals are more forgiven if there was e.g.-a death in the family or some sort of true emergency that necessitated a break in studies).

If you don't get in, hooray (?) but at least you won't really have to explain anything. Travel freely for a few months after interview season concludes.

If you do get in, just defer a year if your school allows it (I know mine does, but I don't know what the usual tendency is). It's not a few years, but one extra year to travel and a guaranteed seat in a medical school seems like a good compromise rather than a couple years of travel and potential red flags on your application.
deferring usually requirement specified and documentable reasons such as health, family, or other significant issues. Travel is not usually an allowable reason.
 

FriendOfTheCupcake

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deferring usually requirement specified and documentable reasons such as health, family, or other significant issues. Travel is not usually an allowable reason.
I see, I imagine it varies at schools. I have friends here who took the year (for travel, or to gain residency tuition is common), so at least for us it's pretty lenient.
 
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jl lin

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Yikes OP, this looks dubious in terms of dedication. Gonnif makes perfect sense. The big question is why did you not decide to establish your travel plans prior to application to MS? Application to MS is to be quite immediately intentional. Honestly, it looks like you went through the hoops of the application process and then on a whim changed your mind to travel. No one loves to travel more than I do, but once you started the application process, at least in this area of graduate education--med school--you've put your hand to the plow, and now it looks like you are looking back.