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Old 12-01-2014
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Default A Gap year in Medicine for USMLE Step 1?

Hi, I'm a 4th year medical student in Pakistan. Next year is my final year. I'm thinking over an idea and would like your opinion about it.

I'm yet to do USMLE step 1 and also am thinking of doing electives next year. One of my research papers is submitted to plosONE for publication and hopefully will be published within a month; however, I wish to do additional research and present them in some conference (national or international). With all this, I don't think I will be able to concentrate on my final year at all. Also, to get an elective placement in USA I need to do TOEFL and many universities even require STEP 1 score.

So, I'm thinking of taking a gap year out of my medical course. This way, I can have around 9 months to prepare for USMLE Step 1 and TOEFL next year. At the same time I can increase the number of published researches and give presentations as well. Then, in the final year in 2016, I can focus on my studies and prepare for step 2, clinical elective and give that within few months of graduation.

Does this sound feasible? Will taking an year out and spending more time in graduating adversely affect my chances of residency? Would it matter so much as to outweigh the benefits (more research, research presentations, clinical elective and USMLE coinciding with my graduation year)?
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