How do I deal with this situation? Very stressed out…

gothicfoxes

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Call him again. You won't come across as annoying if you're professional, polite and straightforward. They should be understanding if they know your plans for school and the MCAT. x
 

Goro

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Under no circumstances should you compromise your MCAT prep.

This is a career-deciding exam, after all. You've already had six months of research; you can find another PI and project.
 

Holmwood

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Office hours matey (if available).

You should know by know that said PI is swamped with emails, so you won't get a direct response reliably.
 

gonnif

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Under no circumstances should you compromise your MCAT prep.

This is a career-deciding exam, after all. You've already had six months of research; you can find another PI and project.
Absolutely, positively, and without doubt follow the above. @Goro is the Man!
 
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tavokeri9

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Call him again. You won't come across as annoying if you're professional, polite and straightforward. They should be understanding if they know your plans for school and the MCAT. x
Under no circumstances should you compromise your MCAT prep.

This is a career-deciding exam, after all. You've already had six months of research; you can find another PI and project.
Absolutely, positively, and without doubt follow the above. @Goro is the Man!
Thanks for your advice! I originally told him I would be taking the MCAT on June 20th, but then I actually voided that one because I wasn't prepared. So, right now, he thinks I'm done with my MCAT and I'm hesitant to tell him that I still have to take it after all this time :( I feel like this would diminish his opinion of me as someone who keeps procrastinating instead of focusing to get things done. Is there maybe anything else I could say without mentioning the MCAT part? Could I just tell him that I can start in October now since the summer is over?
 
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tavokeri9

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Call him again. You won't come across as annoying if you're professional, polite and straightforward. They should be understanding if they know your plans for school and the MCAT. x
Office hours matey (if available).

You should know by know that said PI is swamped with emails, so you won't get a direct response reliably.
So do you suggest calling him directly on his personal cell? Or emailing him once again? He doesn't have office hours unfortunately…he's a physician working in the hospital, so he's never in his office.
 
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tavokeri9

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Under no circumstances should you compromise your MCAT prep.

This is a career-deciding exam, after all. You've already had six months of research; you can find another PI and project.
Even if its a prestigious opportunity that could possibly have scope for a publication? (if only my PI would respond to let me get started on the paper!)
 

Goro

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OK, let's do it your way. You get back on the project and take the MCAT without adequate prep. You have to retake and do better. At interviews, when asked "why the poor first MCAT score?" You answers:

"I was busy doing research, because I wanted a publication"

I have Adcom colleagues who would reject you for making poor choices.

You don't need a paper to get into med school, even Harvard or Yale.

Given that your PI is problematic to get ahold of right now, your hypothetical publication is, well, hypothetical.

Your fear of informing him of your MCAT change is not very adult, nor professional. You're going to be dealing with tons of people to whom you have to deliver worse news.

You have a life and responsibilities to yourself and your planned career. What's more important, doing well on MCAT, or getting a paper?

If you really want to be a doctor, get your priorities straight.

Even if its a prestigious opportunity that could possibly have scope for a publication? (if only my PI would respond to let me get started on the paper!)
 

22031 Alum

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Even if its a prestigious opportunity that could possibly have scope for a publication? (if only my PI would respond to let me get started on the paper!)
A publication won't make up for a terrible MCAT score. Priorities!!

Edit: Of course @Goro beat me to it.
 
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Along with what others are saying, why don't you just physically go to his office/lab during normal hours.
 
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Honestly, I have been through this road.

I recommend that you focus on the MCAT. Research can wait.
 

IlDestriero

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It sounds like you need the time to study anyway, why are you still emailing your PI? Email him again after your MCAT exam.
 

Dral

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Unless this project is something with the potential of being scooped, it can wait. Talk to your PI. They are a doctor? By what you say do you mean physician?

If so, and they are at least half way reasonable, they understand the importance of standardized tests.

Arguably, this is likely the second most important exam you will take in your life (after step I which is, for all intents and purposes, one chance...no take backsies).
 

Affiche

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Lol your PI will not care about when you take the MCAT or if you take it twice. For reference, when I requested a day off to take my MCAT, my PI (also a physician and a hard-ass) responded, ''absolutely! Is this your first time taking it?'' I'm not kidding. Physicians know this test is difficult and important and they will not think less of you for pushing it back to take when you're ready. Thankfully, I only had to take it once, but if I did take it again I know my PI would not have cared at all. If he's worth anything as a mentor, all he'll care about is wishing you well and hoping you succeed.
 
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tavokeri9

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It sounds like you need the time to study anyway, why are you still emailing your PI? Email him again after your MCAT exam.
I concur with ^. Let sleeping dogs lie.
I just didn't want him to think I'm not interested or something, since I told him I would work in August. Since he hasn't responded to my two emails yet, I'm also thinking of just letting it be until October…I just hope this will be okay with him! and yes, I do need the time to study!
 
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tavokeri9

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Unless this project is something with the potential of being scooped, it can wait. Talk to your PI. They are a doctor? By what you say do you mean physician?

If so, and they are at least half way reasonable, they understand the importance of standardized tests.

Arguably, this is likely the second most important exam you will take in your life (after step I which is, for all intents and purposes, one chance...no take backsies).
Yes, my PI is a physician. What do you mean by the project being scooped? I'm sorry, I didn't understand you…
 
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tavokeri9

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Along with what others are saying, why don't you just physically go to his office/lab during normal hours.
Unfortunately, I can't walk in without any appointment and that can only be given via email or phone…he's not responding to emails, and I'm hesitant to call him on his cellphone (I don't want to bother him, because I know an undergrad student is not high on his priority list). His wife just had a baby, so I think that may also be contributing to his unusual lack of replies.
 

Dral

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Scooped means that another group is working on a project that is the same or similar and beat you to publication.

For instance, I was working on a project in grad school. I was about 1/3 done. I went to a conference and someone presented basically the same project basically completed and ready for publication. I got 'scooped'.
 
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tavokeri9

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OK, let's do it your way. You get back on the project and take the MCAT without adequate prep. You have to retake and do better. At interviews, when asked "why the poor first MCAT score?" You answers:

"I was busy doing research, because I wanted a publication"

I have Adcom colleagues who would reject you for making poor choices.

You don't need a paper to get into med school, even Harvard or Yale.

Given that your PI is problematic to get ahold of right now, your hypothetical publication is, well, hypothetical.

Your fear of informing him of your MCAT change is not very adult, nor professional. You're going to be dealing with tons of people to whom you have to deliver worse news.

You have a life and responsibilities to yourself and your planned career. What's more important, doing well on MCAT, or getting a paper?

If you really want to be a doctor, get your priorities straight.
Thank you for the advice Goro! I'm just embarrassed to tell him of my MCAT change because honestly, I've been postponing it since January, and I've been telling him I will take it since January. I was supposed to take it in Jan and then didn't want to rush the old test, so postponed to June (but semester got the better of me, so wasn't prepared), and now it's the same story all over again in September. I'm afraid he is going to see an undesirable pattern…or maybe he's already seen it, and that's why he's not responding. He wrote me an LOR for my app this cycle, but doesn't know yet that I actually decided to take a gap year because of the MCAT (that I obv haven't taken yet) and low clinical experience…

Whatever the case, do you think I should let it be for now (since he is not replying) or should I email him again this time explicitly mentioning my MCAT dilemma and plan to come work in October? In other words, would leaving the situation as is be worse than emailing him yet again?
 
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tavokeri9

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Scooped means that another group is working on a project that is the same or similar and beat you to publication.

For instance, I was working on a project in grad school. I was about 1/3 done. I went to a conference and someone presented basically the same project basically completed and ready for publication. I got 'scooped'.
Hmm…I'm actually worried that this could be the case. I know there were other students working on the project when I was there, but I'm not sure if they are still on it. However, last time I talked to my PI in June, he told me that the project has not been touched since January and that we need to reanalyze, organize data and write the paper when I come back in August. So I'm not sure if he would lie to me…but then again, it's unlike him to just "not respond" so I'm anxious as to what is going on.:unsure:
 

Dral

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I'm afraid he is going to see an undesirable pattern…or maybe he's already seen it, and that's why he's not responding.
You are getting WAY too paranoid. Sit back, take a deep breath, look at the big picture, and put yourself in your PI's shoes.

Priorities:
Pts (if they see them)..check
Research...check
Grants...check
Tenure type stuff...check
Running a lab or research program...check
Sig other...check
New baby...check

Caring that a premed working on a project postpones an important test to maximize their chance at doing well...probably not too high on their 'give a $h!t meter'.

Possibly, but highly unlikely they are designating enough brain power to analyzing and judging what you are doing with the MCAT.
 

Goro

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You've contacted him several times. That should tell you something other than "he's busy".

Let it go.

You can contact him one more time after you take the MCAT.

Thank you for the advice Goro! I'm just embarrassed to tell him of my MCAT change because honestly, I've been postponing it since January, and I've been telling him I will take it since January. I was supposed to take it in Jan and then didn't want to rush the old test, so postponed to June (but semester got the better of me, so wasn't prepared), and now it's the same story all over again in September. I'm afraid he is going to see an undesirable pattern…or maybe he's already seen it, and that's why he's not responding. He wrote me an LOR for my app this cycle, but doesn't know yet that I actually decided to take a gap year because of the MCAT (that I obv haven't taken yet) and low clinical experience…

Whatever the case, do you think I should let it be for now (since he is not replying) or should I email him again this time explicitly mentioning my MCAT dilemma and plan to come work in October? In other words, would leaving the situation as is be worse than emailing him yet again?