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Birdy

Deferral

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I'm looking for peoples' experiences with deferral of registration.

 

Something has come up, and it may turn out to be best for me to defer a year should I be accepted this round. I do not expect that the schools will refuse to allow me to defer in the circumstances, which I don't feel like going into. Should I receive interviews in Ontario, I still plan to attend.

 

Anyone who has deferred, or knows someone who has, how did it go? Was the school supportive or was it treated like a huge imposition? If it would be too hard to defer, I won't, but it would be extremely taxing to start med school at that time.

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Is the reason financial in nature? (In that case I have heard that at least some medical schools will do all they can to ensure you can start your program in the year you were accepted.) < Considering that 'acceptance' means they want you, I would expect them to be supportive...

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No, medical.

 

pretty supportive, depending on the reason. It is a lot easier deferring or just losing a year etc once you are in. The other big question in whether you can be completely sure you can return the following time point.

 

I have seen seen partial year deferring as well - logistically that often works.

 

all this is pretty vague I am afraid but it is always tricky with these things and it comes down to a case by case situation.

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I knew someone who needed to defer once they were accepted.They were accepted to 2 schools and applied for a deferral at both. One school granted it and another school did not. For deferrals, as others said, they will do a case-by-case basis and each school will make their own choice.

 

BUT I think it was made clear to this person that they would only have ONE year. 

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Pregnancy is probably the most common medical reason for a 1 year deferral - and I suspect that may be your case (though a sick family member is a possibility).  I've heard that most schools are fine with that - so if that's the case, congrats, and good luck with the med school applications!

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Here is Mac's policy: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/mdprog/deferral_registration.html

It looks like for them, if the reason is legit, you should get it, BUT they say it's only for people who receive first round offers AND have accepted their offer (which I believe would rescind any other offers, at least within Ontario). Keep in mind they also need the request in writing within 2 weeks of the offer.

Sounds like you will need to know the exact policy for each school you interview at in order to play your cards right. That's really too bad that you are facing this obstacle. I have read lots of your posts and I find your journey inspiring as I am sure lots of other non-trads do as well :).

Edit: I realized your original Q was about ppl's actual personal experiences and this isn't answering that at all! However, I am just saying to get to know each school's official policy inside and out and be able to make a decision/meet the requirements for any school, and if you get multiple acceptances, how they interplay.

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Thank you for your input everyone. I know that there are relatively few deferrals each year so wasn't expecting to hear from many who had done it, but it's helpful to hear so many opinions.

 

also from your blog it is implied you may only need to miss (or at least be expected to) the first part of the school year. That probably will strengthen your case actually as it is a short term thing.

I was thinking that might be a possibility - I'd need, max, a few weeks off at the start of the year - but what I have been able to find has said that leaves of absence can't usually be accommodated in the first couple years. That sort of makes sense when you consider the rapid pace of the content presentation which is why I'm looking at options for deferral. But what policies I have found are often frustratingly vague.

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Thank you for your input everyone. I know that there are relatively few deferrals each year so wasn't expecting to hear from many who had done it, but it's helpful to hear so many opinions.

 

 

I was thinking that might be a possibility - I'd need, max, a few weeks off at the start of the year - but what I have been able to find has said that leaves of absence can't usually be accommodated in the first couple years. That sort of makes sense when you consider the rapid pace of the content presentation which is why I'm looking at options for deferral. But what policies I have found are often frustratingly vague.

 

that is because such events are rare and each one is very individualized. Plus some schools have in place ways of helping out with people away for short term medical reasons - pdocasts etc. Plus it really depends on when you are away - the first part of some programs is a bit of introductory review and easier to make up for instance.

 

In any case I find they are usually quite fair with these sorts of things - people are after all away for medical reasons short term not infrequently.

Edited by rmorelan

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If you are able to work from home for that short time period, then they would pretty much need to accommodate you. You could have someone record lectures for you and attend PBLs via Skype. It could be a different story during clerkship but for pre-clerkship I can't see any excuse for them not to work that out for you.

That's assuming that you are capable of working from home and not needing to sleep most of the day or on medication that makes you sleepy/out of it.

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