The Influence of a ‘Gap Year’ on Medical Students

Lucy Paterson-Brown, Flora Paterson-Brown, Elizabeth Simon, Joanna Loudon, Susanna Henderson-Howat, Josephine Robertson, Simon Paterson-Brown


This study reports the views of second year medical students from 6 Universities on the value or not of deferring entry to medical school in order to take a ‘Gap Year’ obtained from an anonymous questionnaire. Data were analysed using Fisher’s exact test to produce a two tailed P value, with significance defined as p <0.05. A total of 184 questionnaires returned, 79 from gap year students and 105 non gap year students. Nearly all who had taken a gap year (77/79) would advise current school leavers to take one, compared to only 48/105 who had not (p <0.0001). A similar difference was observed between the two groups when asked if they thought a gap year helped students become more mature (78/79 v 46/105, p <0.0001). Similarly, gap year students were significantly more likely to consider that a gap year made it easier for them to make friends (70/79 v 26/105, p <0.0001). There was no significant difference between the two groups in finding it difficult to settle into work at University (31/79 v 36/105, p=0.5373). This study shows overwhelming support for deferring entry to medical school and taking a gap year from those students who took one, and nearly half of those students who did not. Medical school entrance committees should re-consider their advice to students who wish to defer entry in order to take a ‘gap year’.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Paper Submission E-mail:

Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

Copyright © Redfame Publishing Inc.

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders. 

If you have any questions, please contact: