year off btw med school and residency?

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by alimarie81, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. alimarie81

    alimarie81 Member
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    Has anyone considered taking a year off between med school and residency? Are people able to match as an M4, then defer a year, or is this a rare occurence? I am considering this secondary to a medical condition which will require several surgeries, etc. I realize that if I choose path, it wil be less intense than a surgical residency, but I am still considering a year off for health reasons.

    Any info is helpful. THANKS!
     
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  3. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    I have never heard anyone plan to defer a year. I think some people will match and then have to bail, and a program will still keep them, but the thing about the match is it is a contract for the next academic year, it's not an acceptance that you can do with what you please. Programs have only so many residency spots, and they are not going to give one to someone who isn't going to be there. I think there are quite a few who do take a year off, but you have to plan on getting a spot for the year you actually do start.

    As always, I would also advise against picking a specialty for anything other than it is what you want to do. Path residency is rigorous, often stressful, and time consuming for the most part.
     
  4. alimarie81

    alimarie81 Member
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    Dont worry. I am definitely completing a rotation in pathology to see if it is right for me. I am only thinking ahead to see if I would be able to handle going through some health issues PGY-1, or if I should take a year off, deal with it, then go back.

    Is my profile/application really diminished if I am not applying as an M4?
     
  5. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    It's just abnormal, so it raises questions. People are going to ask you what you did with the year off. If you have a reasonable answer I doubt it would be a problem.
     
  6. Primate

    Primate Senior Member
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    Coming back after 2 years out wasn't a problem, but I had to have "the story" pretty tight about how those years fit in with a planned career in academic medicine. Everyone asked, so I'm sure it mattered.

    Luckily, it seemed to pass muster.

    Yaah is, as always, right. As long as the story makes sense/is a valid reason to defer or take a year out, it shouldn't be a problem.

    P
     
  7. b&ierstiefel

    b&ierstiefel Guest

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    Yeah...you gotta have a tight story. There were a few this year that I heard of that had holes in their stories or it was clear they were misrepresenting themselves.
     
  8. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    Is this becoming a more common and viable option for lots of med students or is just on these forums? Seems like I see threads like this (on other forums on this site too) pretty commonly. I don't really get it. Why would you purposefully want to delay a year or more? Obviously in many cases it's not purposeful, but the surprising thing to me is that I believe I have seen posts from people who have just started med school who are wondering about this option.
     
  9. alimarie81

    alimarie81 Member
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    I personally think that taking a year off to take of your health, or for the birth of a child is not a bad thing to do. This is situation I may be facing. I need to have some surgery done, and I cannot predict how this will affect my schedule or functioning- I wouldn't want to burden others by taking too much time off during my first year of residency if I could otherwise take care of things, then start fresh.

    Here's a Q for those who have done it: If you are not applying as an M4, do you still go through the regular "match", or do people match with programs outside of the regular "match"? How exactly is this done?

    Thanks for your info guys!
    Can't wait for my path rotation next month- eager to get under the microscope again:)
     
  10. alimarie81

    alimarie81 Member
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    if you take a year off, can you match to programs outside of the regular match?
     
  11. Primate

    Primate Senior Member
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    Dang - just posted a reply and got a database error. Hate when that happens.

    Short answer - yes, you can go outside the match if you're not a current MS4. Doesn't mean they'll make such an offer, of course.

    Chances are that they will if they would rank you high enough to match normally. This reduces uncertainty for both parties (though is driven by the Hosp). Other potential is that they keep you in the match and suggest that they will go outside if someone else makes such an offer (hedging on their part). Basically, it doesn't change much for you except that if it happens, you can work on the logistics a couple months earlier...

    Hope that helps.

    P
     
  12. mlw03

    mlw03 Senior Member
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    i certainly can't talk about trends, but i do know of a current MS4 at my school who sorta is deferring residency until next year's match, and her reason sounds pretty legit - she's married to a guy in my class and they want to couples match to make sure they end up in the same city. she's spending next academic year in what sounds like a 12 month acting internship in our school's department of what she plans to match into eventually. i know of other med student-med student couples separated by a year or two who are considering such an option. perhaps there's enough couples out there making a significant contribution to this practice of deferring a year or more.

    personally, i don't get the impulse to do this either (without a really good reason of course). i'm itching to get out there, earn a little money in residency, and then get a job and finally start to make more than my friends from undergrad doing middle management types of jobs for $40K per year while i'm paying $20K per year for the privelege of taking care of fat old smokers who present for their 4th COPD exacerbation in as many months.

     
  13. Primate

    Primate Senior Member
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    Well, considering the numbers of people that go through medicine each year, I honestly don't find it surprising that a few of them choose to take a year or two to pursue other options. While many may be "itching" to get at residency, there is a whole WIDE world of opportunities out there that many med (NOT ALL, just many) med students don't appreciate. Some people just need to scratch an itch or two.

    I would also submit that the characterization of non-med careers being stuck in mid-management and making $40k a year is perhaps a bit off.

    Just food for thought. Medicine is broad, but only a TINY sliver of what's out there.

    P
     
  14. mlw03

    mlw03 Senior Member
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    it wasn't a general characterization - i'm actually thinking of a few specific friends of mine, and that fact that i work way harder than they do most of the time for a net difference of -$60K/year
     
  15. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    Agreed, however, going through the cost and time and experience of med school, I would have a hard time doing something else when I could have done that something else beforehand. Personally, it would have felt too strange. Of course, if I had realized medicine wasn't for me a significant portion through med school I would probably feel differently.

    I don't know, it's just that the longer you delay residency, the longer you delay your ultimate career as well. It's a tradeoff, if it's one you are willing to put up with, obviously it's an option. I wouldn't have considered it a viable option, but that's just me obviously.

    The other thing is that some people go to med school before they are really ready, and perhaps they would have been better served taking the time off before med school. Many premeds and med students have tunnel vision though, and by the time they realize they are on the wrong path, they are committed.
     

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