acetonile

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I've wanted to be a scientist ever since I can remember and have prepared during my entire undergrad to enter biochem grad school. This past summer my research PI suggested that I look into MSTP programs since he knew I wanted to apply biochemistry to environmental health science. The problem is I haven't done a single "pre-med" thing (no volunteering, no mcat studying) and since I'll be graduating this year I'm kind of lost now. I have a very good record for grad school, but I don't want to become lost in the lab. Any suggestions or comments?
 

izibo

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Well, you're not going to be matriculating at an MST program next year (too late). If you don't mind waiting a year, you could start up all the pre-med activities, volunteer, do your MCAT, and apply.
 

xanthines

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Well, it sounds like the only premed-specific thing you really need to do is the MCAT. If you're serious about MSTP, then take the MCAT and start looking for a position as a full-time lab-tech. Get your app together and submit during the summer. I'm assuming you've completed the basic science requirements for med school since you're interested in biochem grad programs. If this is not the case, then try to finish them up. If you get a lab tech position at a university (which IS a good assumption), then inquire about taking classes for free as part of some employee education thingy. I did this, and I worked with one woman who'd been there so long that she was about to finish her MPH that way! :eek:

Don't worry about volunteering that much. For MSTP it's not that important. I believe AndyM can back me up on this. If you have the time, then by all means try it out, but don't let lack of volunteer experience deter you from applying.

These are just opinions, though!

-X

acetonile said:
I've wanted to be a scientist ever since I can remember and have prepared during my entire undergrad to enter biochem grad school. This past summer my research PI suggested that I look into MSTP programs since he knew I wanted to apply biochemistry to environmental health science. The problem is I haven't done a single "pre-med" thing (no volunteering, no mcat studying) and since I'll be graduating this year I'm kind of lost now. I have a very good record for grad school, but I don't want to become lost in the lab. Any suggestions or comments?
 
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gwang

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It's unclear to me why exactly you want to do MSTP. Unless you have compelling reasons and a strong desire to do it, keep in mind this is an 8 year program. For a career as a research scientist, a PhD program prepares you well. Why put in the extra time? Don't do it just because your PI thought it might be a good idea. Convince yourself first.
 

acetonile

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Thanks to everyone who replied! Next dilemma...

In the year off I could either continue working in my current lab (molecular bio) or enter a 1 year extension of my undergrad to obtain a masters in biochem. I've been with the molecular bio lab for 3 years and will publish regardless of whether I stay, but the 5 year program is only offered to students working under a biochem professor. In addition to earning the masters I'd be treated as a regular undergrad for another year, meaning I could take some Spanish classes etc...

So, should I stay or should I go?
 

acetonile

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gwang said:
It's unclear to me why exactly you want to do MSTP. Unless you have compelling reasons and a strong desire to do it, keep in mind this is an 8 year program. For a career as a research scientist, a PhD program prepares you well. Why put in the extra time? Don't do it just because your PI thought it might be a good idea. Convince yourself first.
I've been doing research since I was in high school and the more time I spend in lab the more I realize that I want the fruits of my labors to have real world applications. I'm pretty convinced that MSTP is the way to go for me, but what I'm concerned about is the extra time and effort I'd have to invest to get in when this is a huge gamble (if I don't get into MSTP then it's grad school for me). At this point I don't even know if I'm remotely in the running.
 

AngryTesticle

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xanthines said:
Don't worry about volunteering that much. For MSTP it's not that important. I believe AndyM can back me up on this. If you have the time, then by all means try it out, but don't let lack of volunteer experience deter you from applying.
The AndyM account is retired. But yes, I will agree with you on this. Volunteering can help but it's not gonna make or break your application. Perform well on the MCAT.
 

xanthines

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Awww! What happened to AndyMilonakis? Did you break the bank with too many posts or something?

On another note... AngryTesticle? You remember HotSteamingTurd(or whatever) don't you? :laugh:

-X

AngryTesticle said:
The AndyM account is retired. But yes, I will agree with you on this. Volunteering can help but it's not gonna make or break your application. Perform well on the MCAT.
 
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