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working before med school

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by adismo, Feb 21, 2000.

  1. adismo

    adismo covered in moon dust 10+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2000
    Hello everyone,

    I would like to get your opinion on the subject of working before med school. I've gotten my BS but I'm finding grad school to be extremely boring and extremely detached from the subject of medicine. Consequently, earning thirty grand a year while working sounds a lot better.

    Do MD/DO admissions comittees frown upon this? I've heard that dropping grad school (once it has been started) can anathemize one's chances of admission into med school. Is this true? Your comments and insight are appreciated. -adismo
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  3. ana


    Admismo, what kind of program are you in?

    Regarding your question about quitting, it makes you look kind of flakey, and that is not a good sign. You must be prepared to verbally defend your decision to apply in the first place and then change your mind midstream without looking defensive or untruthful. You can depend on the subject to come up during the interview. If it were me, I would just be as frank as I could be, but I wouldn't go for that "I'd rather be making $30K a year" strategy -- it may be true, but you don't have to say it, right? Say some else that is equally true ("I wanted to try this... but my heart is really in medicine... I didn't want to continue to take up space in a program that could better serve someone else...") that doesn't make you look like a schmuck.

    I know people who have tried to leave out the fact that they have been in a graduate program, and I can't say what happened to them because I lost touch. They were very hard pressed to come up with an explanation of what they were doing in that time period, so they had to lie. However, I imagine that if you did this (and by the way, when you sign the primary apps, you testify that your application is complete by their standards... every grade from every class is on the application regardless of whether a degree was obtained or not). However, if you were to get caught, I imagine you would be blackballed pretty much for life (and justifiably so!). Ok, I am not saying this is something you would do, but I thought I would just mention it in case the errant thought crept into your mind! Don't even think about this (as these unscrupulous people have tried), it isn't worth getting caught.

    If you leave, you must leave the program in good academic standing: this means no bad grades and no ill will from your department. Some schools require a letter of recommendation from your graduate advisor or the dept chair of you program regardless of whether or not you complete the program. If you have good rapport with your advisor/chair and they understand your decision, then this should pose no problem. However, it is also possible they might resent your taking up a slot in their program when you have no desire to complete it. This might impel they to write a bad letter (and you will not know they have done so until you start getting rejections and can't figure out what's wrong with your application/credentials...). Also, if you are currently enrolled while you are applying, many schools require that you complete the program before you matriculate.

    Ok, enough food for thought?

    [This message has been edited by ana (edited 02-21-2000).]
  4. adismo

    adismo covered in moon dust 10+ Year Member

    Jan 11, 2000
    Hi ana,

    Thanks for the reply, albeit rather involved, but I really appreciate it. It's cleared up some confusion but confirmed some of my suspicions. It's a master's program.

    I plan to include the grad school experience in my application, grades and all. I also intend to summarily address the lack of courses and shabbily directed department that I consider leaving. I guess the bottom line is being honest and not making up any stories that the committees might want to hear.

    Ana, are you a medical student? How do you know about these committee decisions?


    [This message has been edited by adismo (edited 02-22-2000).]

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