I am a medical student currently in the summer vacation between Med-2 and Med-3. I am supposed to start clerkship at the beginning of August. Unfortunately, I had to take a leave of absence at the end of second year in order to take care of an ill family member who subsequently passed away. Now my school is providing me with 2 options for my return to the program:
1. Do some remedial activities to make up for the time that I have missed and then start clerkship in Mid-November with my class (class of 2021). This would ultimately delay my graduation and I would have to join the the residency match with the class of 2022, meaning that there will be a gap between my graduation and start of residency (I am guessing about 7-9 months).
2. Take a long term leave of absence of about 6 months and repeat the portions that I have missed from Med-2 with the class of 2022 and then remain in-sync with them until graduation.
Which option do you guys think is better in terms of CaRMS and residency applications, is it better to take a gap now rather than having a gap between my graduation and start of residency? Which option would be looked on more favorably by program directors?
Another question, if I go with the first option, would I be eligible to apply for the first iteration of the CaRMS match as a prior year graduate? Or are prior year graduates only allowed to apply for the second iteration of the CaRMS match?
I need to make a decision by next Monday so any advice would be highly appreciated.