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Help! First Author abstract accepted…take it or not?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by connie95, Sep 22, 2014.

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  1. connie95

    connie95 Banned Banned 2+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 2013
    So I just got an email from the Society of Critical Care Medicine saying that my first-author abstract has been accepted (I have been doing research affiliated to a very prestigious hospital)…they want me to present at the conference in Arizona this January, because my PI has designated me as the first author and the first author is supposed to present.

    I am also planning to take my MCAT exam in January….what do I do? I wasn't planning on the abstract actually being selected! I thought it was going to be a long shot…now I guess I have to create a poster and present right? and if they like my presentation and choose it, will they give the okay sign for a paper? See, I don't even know how the entire research process works…

    The conference is on January 17-21 and I am planning to take my MCAT on Jan. 13th BUT what if something terrible happens on test day (I fall sick, computer breaks down, roof collapses, etc…) Then, I would scramble to book a Jan 23rd date so I can take it again…in that case, how can I go to the conference? I think I'm being paranoid but I'm a bit frightened because now some of my concentration has gone to the conference instead of being on all MCAT! What do I do??
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  3. SouthernSurgeon

    SouthernSurgeon Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Take the acceptance.

    You have a long time until January.

    Make the poster and go over it with your PI now. File it away while you are studying for your MCAT.

    January 14th, start prepping hardcore for your presentation.

    Also - were you selected for a poster or an oral presentation? If it's a poster presentation honestly you usually just have to stand next to your poster during a designated time and answer questions. If it's an oral presentation more work is involved.

    Conferences usually invite you to submit your manuscript to the associated journal. Sometimes (depending on the society) it is given some fast-track/preference - but it is not a guarantee of acceptance it still has to be peer-reviewed.

    Plus, Arizona is likely warmer in January than wherever you live.
  4. Lucca

    Lucca Will Walk Rope for Sandwich SDN Moderator 2+ Year Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    Rocket Scientist
    Correct me if I am wrong but a Jan. 23rd date is not going to be available on Jan.1-10. Unless your area is different than mine, MCAT sittings have to booked a LONG time in advance.

    Present your poster at the conference, this is a wonderful opportunity. You have plenty of time from now until then to both continue studying for the exam and putting together your presentation. Congrats, btw.
    RussianFrolic likes this.
  5. Goro

    Goro 7+ Year Member

    You can always void the MCAT if you're unable to take it.

    IF you're good at time mgt, you should be able to study for the test and do the poster. Hopefully, you can ask for and get as much help as you can from your PI and lab-mates on making the poster.

  6. Yoseph101

    Yoseph101 2+ Year Member

    May 5, 2012
    You should be able to. Your preparation should not change in a few days. If anything you can always book an early flight home after your scheduled presentation time. I'm sure your PI would understand
  7. smoothbunzz

    smoothbunzz 2+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2014
    I had this same situation when I presented at the AHA last year. Congrats on the acceptance! If its a poster presentation, you're golden. It probably takes 1 maybe 2 days to prepare your thoughts. Chances are if you are first author, you should have been heavily involved in the inception of the project itself and so you should have some decent backing on the topic. If there is an associated manuscript, read through it multiple times and make your own notes and most importantly why your study is relevant, what you did, and weaknesses to your study. This should be a 3-4 minute blurb and should not take too long to prepare.

    DEFINATELY, take the experience. 2-3 days from MCAT studying will not do much. Presenting at a national conference is an amazing opportunity to meet leaders in the field, network, and understand just how much research is being conducted in the nation. If you have a chance, sit in on some of the keynote lectures and late-breaking clinical trials. Who knows, this can be great to talk about at an interview.

    Side Notes from my experience:

    I found that fellows who came to talk to me about my research were quite critical of it, whereas established practicing physicians were interested in the theme of the topic. I found this interesting...

    It is a little unnerving to present to experts in the field. Clearly, we know no where as much as the physicians we present to; however, keep in mind it is your project and you know the most about it.

    Overall, this is not something you have to prepare intensively for a month for as you will be standing by the side of a poster for maybe 1 or 2 hours. Just answer to the best of your knowledge, and if you do not know the answer to something make sure you do not respond irresponsibly as there is strong ethical component that we must maintain as reserachers. Everyone will understand that you are an undergraduate and your knowledge base is limited at this point.
  8. dbeast

    dbeast Neurorectal surgeon 7+ Year Member

    Study on the airplane. Don't be ridiculous. Congrats on all the success.

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