Dissapeared from summer research - how to not burn bridges?

Aug 3, 2012
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  1. Pre-Medical
Short story: Contacted a critical care guy at my institution for summer research. Project involved a lot of in-hospital time. I have a part-time job that really needed my help over the summer so I ended up taking on a lot more work hours. I started the project but was unable to come into the hospital nearly as often as I wanted to. Communication between me and the doctor fell apart due to my work and his vacation/business meetings.

Basically my question is - how should I address this with the doctor? I am not particularly interested in continuing this research, but I do not want to burn any bridges if I end up applying into the specialty. But he is part of a very large medicine department so I dont think he would have any particular effect on a potential application within 2 years. Is it best to approach him and tell him what happened with my work and apologize? Or is it better to avoid reminding him of who I am? (Assuming he sees a fairly large number of students)


5+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2014
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I would tell him what happened and apologize. Avoiding him isn't right.
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10+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2010
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Ideally you would have had this conversation over the summer as you started taking more hours at work. Always best to talk openly about things. It amazes me how many students shun any kind of confrontation. They won't even email ME about this kind of thing, much less faculty! Truth is, people are very understanding of almost anything so long as you keep them updated. The only thing people don't tolerate is silence. Especially from people who are otherwise constantly on their smartphone emailing and texting.
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