Whether or not a student should take a “gap year” (or two) often comes up during our conversations with applicants to medical school. Based on MedEdits’ experience working with students, we find that gap years are becoming increasingly common and that this extra time away from formal academics can enhance a student’s candidacy.
The Association of American Medical College’s (AAMC) 2016 Matriculating Student Questionnaire (MSQ) reports that the age of matriculants continues to rise, with 60.6% reporting that more than a year had passed since graduating from college, up from 57.9% in the 2014 MSQ. Matriculation data from colleges of osteopathic medicine show that the average age at matriculation in both 2015 and 2016 was 24.
Laurie Tansey is a Senior Faculty Member at MedEdits Medical Admissions. She is a former faculty member at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and served as the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Admissions Committee Member at Feinberg/Northwestern School of Medicine and The University of California at San Francisco.