Year off before med school?

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Do you wish you took a year off to enjoy yourself before med school?

  • Yes

    Votes: 9 13.6%
  • No

    Votes: 4 6.1%
  • I did and I am very happy i did

    Votes: 37 56.1%
  • No and I am happy i didnt

    Votes: 11 16.7%
  • Cant think of anything i would have done during the year off

    Votes: 5 7.6%

  • Total voters
    66
  • Poll closed .

NRAI2001

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Do any of you guys wish you have taken a year off before startign med school just to have fun and do things you didn't get to do during your undergrad?

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I don't know what I would have done during a year off before med school, but I did take a year off between med school and residency, and that was the best decision I have ever made. Of course, it still isn't making intern year any easier to bear, but it was fun while it lasted!
 
I took a year off and worked and traveled a bit. I dont think it was worth it to take the entire year off. You'll have a month or two before med school. I would use that time to travel etc.. So, unless you're rich and can afford to travel alot or do fun stuff for a year, dont bother, cuz otherwise you'll have to work, and working is no fun.
 
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latinfridley said:
I took a year off and worked and traveled a bit. I dont think it was worth it to take the entire year off. You'll have a month or two before med school. I would use that time to travel etc.. So, unless you're rich and can afford to travel alot or do fun stuff for a year, dont bother, cuz otherwise you'll have to work, and working is no fun.

Lets say u find some kinda easy/low stress job to work at during the time off.
 
NRAI2001 said:
Lets say u find some kinda easy/low stress job to work at during the time off.

Work is work.
 
latinfridley said:
Work is work.

I took a year off to work (full disclosure: while re-applying...it's not like I deferred matriculation or anything) and I'm glad that I had to do it. It was nice to have some time where I didn't need to go home and study at night or worry about knowing material for a test. My commitments at work were strictly 9-5 (or 6:30-3:30, in my case). I think I would have burnt myself out on studying if I had gone straight from undergrad to med school.

That being said, I agree that work is work. If you're looking for a nice relaxing vacation in which you can do all the things you always wanted to do in undergrad, then don't try to find a job that would be more than a few hours a week. If you're lucky enough to be able afford not working for a year, more power to you. Personally, I think if I hadn't worked in that year off, I would have gotten too used to the lifestyle and had a hard time transitioning back into "work mode" in med school.
 
If you are considering taking a year off...go for it! Depending on the specialty and career path you eventually choose, there will not be too many opportunities to take a year of vacation with (relatively) little responsibility. I took a year off in the middle of med school after 2nd year (just for fun, basically, because I'd never had a break before), and it was so wonderful.
What do you want to do with your year? just curious...
 
latinfridley said:
Work is work.

Not really.

Of course, if you're taking a year off so you can bust your ass 80 hrs a week at taco bell, that is stupid.

I had a fun, relatively low-stress job in research for a couple of years before starting med school. I'm glad I had the exposure research, learned a lot, it's helped me so far with med school, etc etc. But I'm even MORE glad I had a couple of years being twentysomething with Guilt-Free Time.

What did I do with my GFT? Ah...well I was a bar ho, mostly. But I also did things like pick up guitar. Made non-med school friends. Conquered civilization III. Hitched to Vermont. And all the silly things I hadn't accomplished as an undergrad, like learn a lot about myself.

So far I'm pretty sure that when I'm on my deathbed, I won't be saying, gee I wish I'd started med school two years earlier.
 
Ultra7 said:
If you are considering taking a year off...go for it! Depending on the specialty and career path you eventually choose, there will not be too many opportunities to take a year of vacation with (relatively) little responsibility. I took a year off in the middle of med school after 2nd year (just for fun, basically, because I'd never had a break before), and it was so wonderful.
What do you want to do with your year? just curious...

I wont be doing anything too amazing. Some people have amazing trips planned out, volunteer work, research...etc. I just want to chill for a year. Spend time with my family and friends. Maybe get some kinda chill job or take a few fun classes. Go out a lot.
 
Simonster said:
Not really.

Of course, if you're taking a year off so you can bust your ass 80 hrs a week at taco bell, that is stupid.

I had a fun, relatively low-stress job in research for a couple of years before starting med school. I'm glad I had the exposure research, learned a lot, it's helped me so far with med school, etc etc. But I'm even MORE glad I had a couple of years being twentysomething with Guilt-Free Time.

What did I do with my GFT? Ah...well I was a bar ho, mostly. But I also did things like pick up guitar. Made non-med school friends. Conquered civilization III. Hitched to Vermont. And all the silly things I hadn't accomplished as an undergrad, like learn a lot about myself.

So far I'm pretty sure that when I'm on my deathbed, I won't be saying, gee I wish I'd started med school two years earlier.

:thumbup: How old where you when you started med school?
 
Well, working while applying was hard, stressful, and exhausting - but I think that's more a reflection of the application process than anything else. The year I worked and wasn't applying was AWESOME. Working really doesn't suck as bad as some people are saying it does - it's much more pleasant and low stress than medical school. It's nice to have a little bit of cash in your pocket and time to spend it at the mall or in bars! If you have the opportunity to take a year or two - DO IT! I know very few people who say "I wish I'd just gone straight to school." Actually, I've never met anyone who said that, I've only read it on SDN.
 
NRAI2001 said:
:thumbup: How old where you when you started med school?

25. It took me three years. I was pretty sure I DIDN'T want to be a doc when I was undergrad - but being in med research changed my mind.
 
Simonster said:
25. It took me three years. I was pretty sure I DIDN'T want to be a doc when I was undergrad - but being in med research changed my mind.

O ok. I m not applying to schools this year, but i was gonna do an SMP. If i push the SMP back another year I ll also be 24 when I start the smp and 25 when i start med school. The thing is my grades are good enough to get into an smp right now. The year off wouldn't be to better my grades or mcat. It would purely be to have some time off. :thumbup:
 
i think that is a great idea. The year is to do something you want to do and I think you won't ever regret that.
 
i think that is a great idea. The year is to do something you want to do and I think you won't ever regret that.

As someone else said earlier on, it's probably great if you have the money to enjoy it. If not, you'll be doing what I've been doing, working full time and counting the days until school starts just so you can quit your crappy job.
 
I'm on the verge of starting med school after taking a few years off and I think it's been amazing! Like others have said, I wanted to enjoy being young and I probably would have crashed & burned if I went from undergrad straight into school. Now I'm eager to jump back into it (I'm sure this will quickly fade though)

Consider getting into clinical research. This can get you some patient contact and a better idea of the day-to-day activities in a specialty you like. You never know, this may be the "light at the end of the tunnel" you need during stressful times in med school.

Why not apply and defer if you can get in with your GPA/MCAT? Personally, traveling gets expensive and I would get bored if I had nothing to do all day.

Ultimately, hindsight is 20/20 so take what you will from my experiences
 
Hey

I actually took a year off after college to work in pharma company- couldnt have been happier. Now, I am ready to leave work and start school.
I had lots of credit card debt along with loans that I was able to all pay off- in addition, I got a chance to live well (nice clubs, bars, restaurants, vacations) while also spending time with friends and family. I know my time and $$ will be very limited the remainder of my 20s, so I made sure it was worth it.
One advice: if you do work, don't go into a field that will leave you no time for anything else! Do something relaxing, something 9-5. Just so you can pay bills and have that precious time to spend with family/friends!
 
After undergrad I took 2 years off and lived in France as an English teacher/ part-time bartender....and let me tell you, after listening to people say "Izz zis zee good answwer" and mopping a nasty bar floor at 4 in the morning, I'm thirlled to be going to med school and I know for SURE that this is what I want to do with my life, and that I just wouldn't have been happy doing anything else.

Whenever I get sick of studying I'm just going to think of the nasty floor I had to clean and think "at least i'm not doing that anymore!":)
 
I took a year off (deferred matriculation) and I will start med school this year. I have absolutely LOVED my time off. :thumbup:With that being said, it all depends on the individual and the opportunity. I work at NIH and to me it is not typical "work" or like a "job". I love going to work everyday and I have had time to go traveling. I would do this all over again. See what works for you ;)
 
I started med school at 21. Because of situations out of my control I finished undergrad one year early (3 years) and did not take a year off because I did not want to work for a year and if I did take the year off I would have had to get a job. I also did not need a job because I was lucky enough to not have any undergrad debt. Looking back I don't regret starting med school a year earlier. I love what I do as do most of the people on SDN. I know SDN can be very negative at times but that is just normal when you are tired/frustrated and need something to vent.
 
for those of you who did take a year or 2 off. did you find it hard to get back into school mode?

I've taken 2 years off and worked, volunteered, and modeled. Now I'm not working and my volunteer work is done. There has been a family crisis so now all my time is spent taking care of my father. Since I haven't done anything academic I'm a little concerned how I will handle the transition in August plus dealing with my father's illness. Anyone else know of people with similar experiences? Or have one of there own?
 
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