I'll give a little background information to better frame my question. I'm currently a graduate student in my third year working on an MSc (zoology-muscle physiology). After discussing my plans with my supervisor I have decided the best course of action is to drop out of my program to attend medical school, and attempt to finish over the next couple years. I have my small doubts about being able to finish my MSc over the course of the next few years due to the time commitments of medical school and the fact that my med school and grad school are on different continents, but it is certainly not outside of the realm of possibility. As far as publication goes, i'll have a first authorship paper, and probably another two that are 3rd authorship (as well as a couple posters, for what it's worth). Having just started med school, i've got a fairly open mind but i'm currently thinking of pursuing a career in orthopeadic surgery. My question is this: Would having a completed MSc assist my residency application or is the actual research completed more important than the extra letters?