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How to discuss disinterest in Research in Interview?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MajorBubblez, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. MajorBubblez


    Jul 31, 2014
    Hey guys!

    Little background, I was involved in research throughout undergrad for 3+ years. I'm currently working at a research job where I'm involved in several studies and hoping to get some pubs out over the next year while I apply to med schools.

    Question is, while I've done a lot of it, I've really started to not enjoy it. I loved it the first year or so in undergrad, but the repetitiveness, bad results, etc. really put me off it. I've learned a lot and it was a great experience, but now I'm really only doing it to help my med school app.

    What's the best way to phrase this in my upcoming interview? I'm worried schools will look at me poorly for having committed so much of my last few years to something I don't particularly enjoy any more.

    All advice appreciated!!!
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  3. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2005
    IMHO, there is no way to express disinterest in research. Find something about it that you liked, even if it was the teamwork in the lab or the excitement of learning something that was previously unknown. Show enthusiasm. If you are a Debbie Downer about your research, your interviewer will not be enthusiastic about your application, particularly if you were recruited on the basis of your research portfolio.
    DermViser likes this.
  4. harmony2


    Sep 10, 2014
    your political skills will be just as important as your medical skills in this career. avoid volunteering negative feelings during your interview. you can do that when you get together with your pals at the bar.
  5. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    If no interviewer brings it up, it doesn't need to be mentioned.

    And not everyone has the fire in the belly for research either. While med schools want you to know something about how Science is done, they also want to you to work with patients, not E. coli or p53.

  6. Osteoth

    Osteoth Fake it till ya' make it 5+ Year Member

    Feb 12, 2012
    Your CV will express your disinterest, unless you've been grinding it out because you've felt you had to, in which case be ready to defend your wasted time...
  7. MajorBubblez


    Jul 31, 2014
    Sorry I should have been a little clearer. To what @LizzyM said, that's very true and I would definitely present it as a positive experience. I don't think my CV will have inherent disinterest in it, I guess I was being a little to extreme given that it's the internet. I absolutely loved it for a period of time, and while my enthusiasm waned there were definitely things I liked about it. However, the most significant thing that came out of my research experience is that I don't want to make a career out of it. I guess I'm just looking for suggestions on the most politically correct way to say I enjoyed it, but wouldn't want to do it again.
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    The kind of bench research you do in undergrad and the kind of clinical research most do in med school and beyond are as dissimilar as night and day. I wouldn't condemn all research just because you found bench work monotonous. Clinical research involves patient care and that's sort of what you are signing on for.
    Aerus, MajorBubblez and LizzyM like this.
  9. Snoopy2006

    Snoopy2006 7+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    "How to discuss disinterest in research in interview?"

    ...You don't.

    I'm confused. Why are you so determined to convey that you don't like research anymore to adcoms? Many applicants have to explain their lack of interest in research because they have none on their application. You have years of it. You've satisfied that checkbox for some adcom members. Why ruin that? If someone asks if you want to do research as a career or in medical school, you just say you're excited to explore the clinical research opportunities in med school and to see if clinical research is a good fit for you. If they ask you about the research you've already done, just be able to talk about the subject matter and be enthusiastic about it.

    Most interviewing skills aren't hard to master. It just takes finesse and a little common sense.

    Also Law2Doc is right - most of the classmates I had that did clinical research hated the basic science research they did in undergrad. They're worlds apart. I actually think it's likely, with your background, that you find some clinical research topic in med school that excites you and that you're happy to work on. Just don't shoot yourself in the foot before you get there.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014
    MajorBubblez and Keladry like this.
  10. MajorBubblez


    Jul 31, 2014
    Some great advice, thanks everyone!

    I'm glad to hear that clinical research is different than the relatively basic undergraduate research (mine was ChemE research). It seems like everyone's advice is to remain neutral positive about it, and to keep an open mind. Thanks for the words of wisdom Law2Doc and Snoopy2006!
    Snoopy2006 likes this.
  11. Tintinnabula

    Tintinnabula Bolts O'Fabric 5+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2011
    where the belles ring out
    This is good to hear because I'm another that found the appeal of undergrad benchwork-based research to be rather lackluster while I've enjoyed liberal arts/book research so much for so long that I do it as a hobby (yes, I am that nerd). In interviews I find myself challenged to talk in anything but generalities. In comparison with my more varied informal liberal arts research and my enthusiasm for it, I'm sure I'm communicating something like polite dislike. Would you mind discussing some of the specific differences that you have found between the two? Sure, there's seeing patients, but what other aspects do you find appealing that are different or absent from undergrad bench research? I'd really like to be able to look into them.

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