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Question Regarding Leave of Absence


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Hello everyone!

I am currently an undergraduate student, and was considering taking a year-long leave of absence after my second year in order to a do an internship in health-policy. The internship would be at a research center near my university, so I would still be able to continue all of my commitments.

I was wondering how this leave of absence would be considered on my applications - in other words, would it make a any less of a competitive applicant, or be viewed negatively?

Thank you for the help everyone (this forum has really been a blessing) :)

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The opportunity provides growth. There is no prescription for admission to med school, but more than that I would suggest doing things that are enriching, fulfilling, and that genuinely interest you. You can spin anything as a strength for med applications, but that really shouldn't be what it's about, in my opinion. Cool opportunity! 

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15 hours ago, Borborygmi said:

The opportunity provides growth. There is no prescription for admission to med school, but more than that I would suggest doing things that are enriching, fulfilling, and that genuinely interest you. You can spin anything as a strength for med applications, but that really shouldn't be what it's about, in my opinion. Cool opportunity! 

Thank you for your response! 

I definitely agree with what you're saying, and that is one of the reasons I'm seriously considering this opportunity. 

My only concern is with how admissions committees may view my Leave of Absence. I understand it won't affect my eligibility, but, in your experience, would gaps in transcripts/taking one year off for an internship be viewed negatively for a candidate?

Thank you for your help! 

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2 hours ago, Bambi said:

The health policy internship would definitely be a strength, a positive, in your application. If it interests you, I would encourage you to go for it. You will return to undergrad more mature, with greater confidence and better communication skills. :P

Thank you so much for your reply and encouragement! 

The reasons you stated above are exactly why I am considering the internship. The only con is that it'll leave me with a "Leave of Absence" on my transcript, something that I'll have to justify when I apply as a candidate. In your experience, do you think that will be something that is viewed negatively by admissions committees, or not considered if there is a just reason?

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You justify it in the proper area on your application. If the adcom has questions they will pursue it, otherwise it is unlikely to affect you—you will not get a definitive response from the members here but you probably could from the various admissions offices. 

 

As a “comparator”, I took a 1 year medical leave of absence from grad school and this was never questioned except at one interview at one school during carms, and they attempted to ask me about my medical condition and if it was addressed. I did not respond directly apart from stating it was a “non-issue” and it was not the program’s business to ask in the first place. 

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On 6/27/2019 at 4:33 PM, etAl said:

Hello everyone!

I am currently an undergraduate student, and was considering taking a year-long leave of absence after my second year in order to a do an internship in health-policy. The internship would be at a research center near my university, so I would still be able to continue all of my commitments.

I was wondering how this leave of absence would be considered on my applications - in other words, would it make a any less of a competitive applicant, or be viewed negatively?

Thank you for the help everyone (this forum has really been a blessing) :)

It definitely doesn't hurt you. As long as you are doing something you like, can talk about and is productive, its almost always not a bad idea. 

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21 hours ago, LostLamb said:

You justify it in the proper area on your application. If the adcom has questions they will pursue it, otherwise it is unlikely to affect you—you will not get a definitive response from the members here but you probably could from the various admissions offices. 

 

As a “comparator”, I took a 1 year medical leave of absence from grad school and this was never questioned except at one interview at one school during carms, and they attempted to ask me about my medical condition and if it was addressed. I did not respond directly apart from stating it was a “non-issue” and it was not the program’s business to ask in the first place. 

Gotcha, thank you very much for sharing your experience! 

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