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most flexible med schools?

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11 years 3 months ago #50934 by mamabear
I read about U of Minn having a flexible (up to 6 year) med school program, but it seems the flexibility is only for professional pursuits. Anyone know about U of Minn med students taking that 6 year approach for family reasons?

And, what schools have flexible programs?

Who has taped lectures available?

How does this 5 year option I've read about work? Who offers 5 year programs?

"To see a world in a grain of sand,<br />And a heaven in a wild flower,<br />Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,<br />And eternity in an hour." - William Blake

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11 years 3 months ago #50935 by twinmom
At this point, many (most?) schools have some sort of audio/video recorded lectures. Out of the 180 or so in my class who do the lecture pathway, supposedly 40 actually sit in on lecture. I don't know; I do independent study, so I don't have basic science lectures, just patient centered medicine and physician development. That being said, the commitment in the first two years time-wise isn't nearly as much as that of the second two. (I spend 40-50 hours, depending on the week.) So, it seems to make a lot of sense to just "get it over with" rather than dragging the preclinical years out. I am, of course, saying this as someone who's in the thick of it right now.

I know you want to spend more time with your family, but look at it this way - if you start after the "baby" years, then you've got 2 years to flexibly do 40-50 hours of work (in general, I have about 4 hours of "face time" that I have to do, and the rest I budget myself) so that you can work around your family. Then there are 5 rough years (well, 4th year has lots of vacation time, but it's easier to lump it with 3rd year) if you do a primary care specialty while your kid(s) are still pre-teen. Then, there's more flexibility, depending on specialty and career choice. But I don't know if I'd feel happy at this point in my life (namely being 30) dragging the preclinical years into 3. I'm already itching to see patients that aren't standardized.

Good luck, though. The AAMC website has a little tool (don't know where, but if you noodle around, you can probably find it) that shows all of the "special programs" that medical schools report.

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11 years 3 months ago #50936 by swissmiss
I went to UC Davis and they have a program of "splitting" where you can take 4 years in 5 - in pretty much any way you want, including splitting your 3rd year (which is correctly stated above as the most time-consuming year) into 2 years. There are no restrictions on the reasons for this as far as I know - when I interviewed I was told people did it to train for a marathon or for family reasons in addition to any professional pursuits.

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11 years 3 months ago #50937 by mamabear
Ladies - thanks for the response :)

twinmom - I had no idea that there was any such thing as independent study for med school! Is that something specific to your program or do many schools offer ind. study? What would you say are the pros and cons of doing years 1 & 2 that way?

swissmiss - glad to hear a UC school offers a 5 year option in the way you describe. I'm in CA and will apply to all the UCs though I think it will be a bit of a crapshoot to get in.

Generally, I'm less concerned with how many years it will take to get where I want to be. My hubby and I are not planning on having any more kids (for now). He would be a SAHD while I'm in school/training, but I need to find a way to pursue this career without burning him out or making him feel abandoned. And, of course, my little girl will want me around! I work well in a focused, concentrated, structured environment, but my family will not suffer my ambition well unless I can find the most tempered, balanced route to my MD possible.

If you didn't know my bg from previous posts, I'm semi-retired and this pursuit of an MD comes with the cost of (obviously) not having the kind of freedom with my time that I currently have. I don't see MD training as losing anything personally. My family, on the other hand...

"To see a world in a grain of sand,<br />And a heaven in a wild flower,<br />Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,<br />And eternity in an hour." - William Blake

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11 years 3 months ago #50938 by merri
I'm taking a 5 year approach - did the first 2 years, taking an entire year off between 2nd and 3rd to be a new mommy and then coming back. My school is a little different - so you can't go "part time" in the first 2 years since our courses are arranged in blocks. Ex: Anatomy 10 wks all at once. Pathology is most of second year - but covers path, micro, lab stuff etc (no small courses, only exams - no quizzes). OTOH - all of our courses are now online and notes are electronic. So could work from home - although still >90% attend class! Small groups/labs are required attendance - but not every day. I know we can also take time off in 3rd or 4th year if needed.

good luck - def something that is important to look into -

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11 years 3 months ago #50939 by merri
One "bad" think about splitting your first 2 years is that older info may be difficult to recall for boards... that being said - spending time with your family is important too! - So you just may need to study differently - or talk to students who have done it so that you will be able to review efficiently when the time comes.

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