Damn Conference!

Ok so after having spoken to a number of people I’m throwing the idea around of going parttime to no more than 20 hours a week and taking Org and Phy in the Fall 2007 and Spring 2008. That would mean I could apply next year to med school. I still have to do the finances to see how much of an impact 50% of my salary will have.

I guess the question I have is does a year matter? All we hear and see here and at the conference is that it doesn’t matter. We’re in a marathon not a sprint so why rush it? If I’m able to do take 2 classes and work parttime and save myself a year…is it worth it?

I mean I would love to but not sure. It might be nerves or fear or IBS but I’m just not sure. Part of me wants to do go PT and finally finish this thing! The other is looking at 50% of my income and thinking that “YIPEE!! I finished my prereqs and MCAT but don’t have enough to go on the interview trail and what not”.

I mean let’s face it…those plane rides and hotel stays AIN’T cheap! My wife and I payed a pretty penny for the OPM conference but it was money well spent. When I heard people saying they wouldn’t be able to go because of finances I was rolling my eyes until I started to add things up and man oh man was it more costly than I imagined. As they say, “count the cost”.

Anyhow…as I sit here “working” on a grant I have these thoughts and figured where else to post them.

BTW all those people who introduced yourselves to me and thanked me for whichever posts inspired or upset you into action…reply!! I’m a lot nicer on the forum than I am in person…or at least that’s what I’m told. No seriously it was very nice meeting everyone. However it would be so much nicer being able to exchange ideas, comments, opinions, BS…on an ongoing basis here as well. I know it’s a bit intimidating but no one here’s going to bite your head off. Don’t worry about not knowing enough because once you begin to post you’ll get corrected and corrected and corrected and corrected…but eventually you’ll know what it is you’re talking about.

Crooz -

I think you’ve answered your own question. You are correct, applying and interviewing take a lot of money. Probably more money than most people realize. I was able to save on that because I applied only to in-state schools and was able to drive to interviews that morning and didn’t have airfare and hotel costs, but that is the exception, not the rule. There are some ways to save money on the interview trail - many schools offer the option of staying with student hosts, will arrange carpooling to and from the airport to save cab/car rental costs, etc.

But, I digress. My opinion (take it for the two cents it’s worth) is to take the extra year if it will cause you financial hardship or you aren’t certain how much financial hardship cutting down to work part time will cause you. Medical school and residency will be enough of a financial burden. Med schools budget around $18 - 19K for living expenses. Not a lot - especially with a family. Also consider that the budgeted cost of attendance and expenses may (probably will) exceed what you can borrow in federal loans. That leaves you with either borrowing the difference from private loan sources or living on even less than the budgeted amount. Some of my male classmates with children and stay at home wives get foodstamps and WIC to help make ends meet.

So, I guess what I’m saying is, if it will financially strap you to finish a year earlier and you will end up borrowing, using credit cards, or dipping into savings to do so, I don’t think its worth it. You want to save the being financially strapped for medical school if at all possible.

Good luck with your decision - I know it’s a tough one!

There’s still the glide year once you are past your prereqs and in the application/interview phase. During that year, apart from the (hopefully numerous) interview trips, you can work your bums off to pack away some extra cash before school starts. Also vitally important is whether taking phys and orgo will dilute your ability to get high grades. Good to see you at the conference, and best of luck,

I agree with ttraub…and that is exactly what I did, worked the year before I started school, 60 hours a week usually, but the up side to that was, I did my first year of med school with no debts and the money I had made paid for all my tuition and living expenses and part of second year to boot. I ended up not borrowing any money until the end of my second year, so I’m all for waiting as you need. The thing is, you also never know what will come up. My case is likely extreme, but I scheduled Orgo 1 and 2 for the summer along with two other classes (to try and sprint) and ended up dropping them when I was assaulted over the summer. The biggest advice I can offer is to plan as well as possible and have the ability to recover when problems can (and do) arise. Best of luck.