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1 semester of research

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by grivacobae, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. grivacobae

    grivacobae Whatascrub 2+ Year Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    How does one semester of research look to adcoms and med schools? and that's with out an LOR from PI. The thing is, I started research a month ago, while i enjoy the lab tactics and critical thinking of researchers, i do not benefit from the fact that the PI and PhD student don't want me there. I know this by their attitude towards me compared to one other undergrad, even though I work just as hard, and always try to ask when they need assistance of any kind, that being said, they never need my assistance, only his, and to some extent too.
    So I'm going to finish out the semester for commitment and to really get a feel for the lab, but not only will I probably want to leave the lab, I will have to due to the fact that my mom needs help with bills and I have to stop going through my savings so fast. Upside is, I'll probably be Scribing at an ER next semester and that's awesome clinical exposure and job, so I've heard.
    So my question is, I will probably include 1 semester of research in my application, but with out an LOR from the PI (i assume by the way he acts), how will it affect my application, if at all? hopefully for the better. And is it worth it to try and finish out the year, even if I don't enjoy the environment (I enjoy the work and learning) and even if i won't get an LOR?

    Thanks! this is kind of a rant too ha
    Edit: the one other undergrad has been there just as long as i have. plus i don't have an attitude towards them or am arrogant in any way! (hopefully haha)
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  3. Shirafune

    Shirafune 2+ Year Member

    Jan 2, 2014
    Substantial research experience, as I think of it, is 1 year+. By then, you should have established a good relationship with your mentor and your PI. Are you sure you are putting in the right effort and the time to become a useful undergraduate lackey? It takes a ton of time for people to train you and if you only mess up or not show up often enough, you are wasting their time. If these are not the issue, then I would suggest you end your stay there NOW and find another lab. There is no point in staying for the "commitment" if they don't want or need you there. You also seem fairly sure that you will not ask for a LOR from the PI. And if you do decide to leave immediately, I would not mention this on my application as it really does nothing for you.

    A LOR and tangible productivity (presentations, posters, publications) are the two most important factors of research that should show up on your application. A long stay in research without a LOR indicates problems with building academic interpersonal relationships. A lack of tangible productivity implies a lack of meaningful participation and/or a poor undergraduate research experience. Adcoms will expect a LOR and at least an understanding of your work's significance.
    grivacobae and La Presse like this.
  4. amad01

    amad01 5+ Year Member

    Aug 19, 2012
    I had just over a semester of research and have 7 interviews so far... LOR from PI, a little poster at a national conference, no papers/pubs...

    I would say the trick is to stretch it as far as you can go... since you can include "future activities" say that you will continue working in the lab for a million more hours or whatever it may be to make it look more dense... not that you are trying to fool anyone, but to show that you are sticking with it

    I didn't read your entire post just about the first line so.... by the way I disliked the majority of my time in the lab and only did it to check the box
    grivacobae likes this.
  5. Ace Khalifa

    Ace Khalifa I am the definition of awesomeness Banned 2+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2014
    You can also not check the box and apply without research. I did, and I got enough II's to make me satisfied. I'm also an ER scribe, and I encourage you to do that wholeheartedly!
    grivacobae likes this.
  6. DielsAlder


    Jan 3, 2014
    I wanted to present to you the opposite situation. I have plenty of research, significant but below average by SDN standards clinical and volunteering experience, applied MD-only. At this point, I have over 10 II's so I am satisfied. My impression so far is to find something that interests you, excel in it, and present it in an interesting way to adcoms. If you are not going to do research, make sure you find a position that is clinical or volunteer-oriented that interests you so that you have plenty of things to talk about come secondary and interview time.
    grivacobae likes this.
  7. grivacobae

    grivacobae Whatascrub 2+ Year Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    I am putting the time and effort and have been told that I am learning quickly, by others, not the PI (he's rarely there). The thing is, I emailed like 15 professors, and h WAs the only one that needed an assistant per say, so if I were to leave now, chances are I wouldn't get another position 'till next semester, if not next fall. So as of now, I think I'm planning to stay semester so I can at least find out more and of course at this point have it to check off the box, which wasn't my primary intention when I joined, but now it I with this particular lab. I hope a semester of research isn't looked down upon and even brought up in interviews (if I get any!) where I can honestly sat that medicine seems more of a fit for me than research, but I still admire the aspects of research. I don't know, hopefully I'm not being really naïve at this point. Thank you all for responses.

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