Gauss44

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Has anyone on here been initially paired with someone who gets bad grades and doesn't care about their work as a lab partner? How did you handle that?
 

Ad2b

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Yep, what Wall said. I had a partner who insisted on using his roommate's log notes and calculations for our consolidated lab reports saying the TA for roommate was the same as ours. My labbie had screwed up the mass on something and I figured it out (that he'd screwed up because our results were so skewed). He refused to turn in the lab work WE did and instead turned in his roommate's...

I learned that VET med students can be just as neurotic as premeds and turned in OUR work with the mass that was too big... and got an A-... he got an A but ... he never made it to vet school. Ever. Something about cheating (again) later on an orgo lab.

Take the high road, do your job, do your work and let the high road take care of you. The low road ALWAYS catches up with those folks as well.

The one tactical thing you COULD do is ask to switch lab partners every once in awhile but if it's not a cheating issue, and just social loafing, then do the work, learn twice as much, be the better physician :)
 

Coltuna

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Had a person in my undergrad chem class who practically begged me to do a lab with them. I reluctantly said yes, and did all of the lab except the last step which involved taking a hot glass dish off the burner using tongs. You can guess what happened next. Take home message: Do exactly what walloobi suggested and save yourself MORE work.
 
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nrs2doc

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Has anyone on here been initially paired with someone who gets bad grades and doesn't care about their work as a lab partner? How did you handle that?
You just have to put in your 100% and don't worry about your lab partner's input or lack thereof. It's your course, your grade, your GPA. It's great to have a lab partner that has a teamwork attitude and cares about getting good grades, but it will be a big mistake to think your grade is dependent on your lab partner.

I had a lab partner drop the class halfway through the semester, so I got another lab partner who was sexist and dismissed my suggestions and he ended up failing the class. I had partners who sat on their hands or were texting during lab and one of them had the nerve to ask me to take a picture of my post lab answers and text it to her 1 hour before it was due .... fun times.
 
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Turkishking

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Has anyone on here been initially paired with someone who gets bad grades and doesn't care about their work as a lab partner? How did you handle that?
You switch partners or tell your partner to do more without being a jerk, and if it's an issue tell the TA? I've never really cared about it. I send my friends my lab reports and homework solutions.
 

blackroses

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The most useful sentence to know in lab: "Go sit in the corner and play on your phone, I'll do the lab"
 

Planes2Doc

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You learn that you can never rely on anyone except yourself.
 

DBC03

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I have been so blessed by lab partners who, if not helpful, were at least really funny. OTOH, my husband has been stuck with more than his share of really bad lab and project partners in his engineering program and those include the lab/project reports. It's a bummer, but you really have to do most of the work yourself. When thinking through my classes this semester, I went with classes that did not have labs - I just don't have the time this year to deal with that and I've fulfilled my lab requirements. Make it through this year and look forward to the future.
 
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Gauss44

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Do all their work and end up learning twice as much as you otherwise would have. These situations are unavoidable. Silver linings my friend.
You can't. We are each required to do part of the work and she gets defensive if you redo, check, or even question any of her work. Yet, her work is often wrong due to rushing and lack of attention to detail.
 

blackroses

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You can't. We are each required to do part of the work and she gets defensive if you redo, check, or even question any of her work. Yet, her work is often wrong due to rushing and lack of attention to detail.
So what if she gets defensive? The goal of lab is not to make your lab partner like you. If she hates you for double-checking her work, oh well.
 

Cura_te_ipsum

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This is a great question and sadly it is one you should learn now b/c it will be helpful if/when you get to medical school.

Medical schools have the same problems that undergrad/post-bac programs do. Believe it or not, some MD students are great but many are not. We've had some MD students in my program who routinely arrived late for class /group assignments, did not do their part of the assignment when a group team had to submit a project, and we basically worked around them. We of course reported their arse to the professor but that too has consequence. They get pissed off, talk trash about you and essentially help you understand that there is a line between good students in medical school and slackers.

Learn it now in undergrad b/c it will be a very useful skill set.
 
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Gauss44

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So what if she gets defensive? The goal of lab is not to make your lab partner like you. If she hates you for double-checking her work, oh well.
The only thing is when she gets emotional (due to me double checking her work), I either have to stop or the teaching fellow comes over and asks both of us if there is a problem. I don't want to appear to have "trouble getting along with people."
 

Coltuna

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The only thing is when she gets emotional (due to me double checking her work), I either have to stop or the teaching fellow comes over and asks both of us if there is a problem. I don't want to appear to have "trouble getting along with people."
It's that bad that it causes a scene? You should talk to your instructor about this.
 
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Gauss44

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It's that bad that it causes a scene? You should talk to your instructor about this.
Agreed. Alternatively, I might try asking to switch lab sections. I think they might welcome that due to our section being popular.
 
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blackroses

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The only thing is when she gets emotional (due to me double checking her work), I either have to stop or the teaching fellow comes over and asks both of us if there is a problem. I don't want to appear to have "trouble getting along with people."
You're making this a much bigger deal than it needs to be. If the TA asks about whatever's going on, there's a pretty simple answer: "I asked to check over her work before we continue on to the next step."

You're acting like your TA and/or instructor have no clue that your lab partner is a bad lab partner. I assure you, they aren't that dumb. It's pretty easy to immediately spot which students in a lab are duds, for lack of a better word. And when a dud is paired with someone who isn't, we know full well what's causing the drama.
 
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blackroses

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DPTinthemaking15

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This takes me back to organic chemistry. My lab partner frustrated me every lab period. She stayed on her phone the entire time/talked to her friends. Like clockwork, she would ask for my results the following class. What did I do? Created false results to give to her and kept the "good" copy for myself. Was this petty? Yup. Was it worth realizing she made an awful score and I didn't? 100%
 

Watah

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Having a bad lab partner is just an early preview of having a bad co-worker later on in life. Either you pick up their slack, confront them directly, or let a supervisor know because at the end of the day if you're working as a group their work reflects off of you as well. Picking up the slack is fine, but make sure you're not in a position where you're being taken advantage of and make sure you stand up for yourself when it's appropriate
 

aformerstudent

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Look at a bad lab partner as a test of things to come. When you're a doctor, you will work with people who are "bad lab partners." Look at it as a learning experience. From my experience in undergrad, no matter the difference in work, our TA never punished a group because one person worked less than the other. I'm sure they have some grading rubric that makes sure you get the appropriate credit for the work you've put in.
 
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