Medical School > Taking a Year Off

Taking a Year Off

Before you decide to take a year off from medical school you need to consider your options. Taking a year off can either be a great idea or a horrible idea and it depends on the kind of person you are and the kind of motivations you have. It can be far too easy to skip out on medical school altogether once you start making a decent wage using your degree. Be careful of this trap.

However, if you have an idea of exactly what you want to do during your year off from medical school then this could be a great opportunity to showcase your unique interests and talents. Some medical schools even offer the option of deferred admission which would allow you to accept your admission and still take a year off. This often requires early admission and an explanation of what you want to do with the time off. Each schools deferment process is different and should be found on the respective schools website.

For example, if you wanted to do an internship abroad, such as through Doctors Without Borders, or do volunteering or shadowing work in any hospital in the United States these would all look great in the eyes of medical schools.

Sometimes, students just feel burnt out after all of the high academic work done in the pursuit of medical school itself. In this case, you should document all of the personal growth you obtain weather by traveling, spending time with family and explain how you became a better person because of it. Medical schools are not looking for you to sit on the couch at your house and play video games for a year. They are looking for productive and constructive personal growth.

Medical schools want you to step through the doors and approach this with 100%. They do not want you to vary from the program or have doubts in the first year. Dropping out of medical school in the first year is very common and also very expensive. Most medical schools are at-least $20-30,000 per semester.

So if you are thinking about taking a year off from school, weigh your options and consider how you are going to spend the year off. Make sure you are doing something constructive and able to account for all of the time spent. Medical schools will expect you to do so, so no sense in planning ahead.

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