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Incoming M1. Scouting professors and labs to conduct research in the fall

Magyarzorag

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Would it come out as offensive if I start emailing professors about research now in anticipation of starting research as soon as a I start medical school? There are a few labs I'm interested in and I'm currently reading their papers. Now that Step 1 is P/F and so is my schools grading, I really want to be able to distinguish myself so I can match into anesthesiology. Also, has anyone ever worked in 2 labs at the same time. I'm asking because in undergrad, I got stuck in a lab I really hated and kept on failing at until I was finally kicked out. I'm hoping to use the second lab as a backup
 
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931kra

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OP, in my opinion, if you have a second lab for "backup" or "just in case"--that just sounds like you're giving yourself an out to underperform in the lab you're actually working in. I would recommend researching labs more thoroughly and picking the lab you're most excited about. And, in the case that you STILL end up hating the lab, you can formulate a new plan AFTER the first has fallen through/ended. (This brings me to another worry which is that if you kept "failing at" the lab enough to get kicked out, you may not be ready to work in another lab, let alone two simultaneously. But I digress.)

I don't think it would necessarily be offensive to start reaching out, but don't be surprised if you don't get any replies. Professors/physicians are busy and may not have time/energy to respond!
 
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Magyarzorag

Membership Revoked
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Jun 21, 2019
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  1. Medical Student
OP, in my opinion, if you have a second lab for "backup" or "just in case"--that just sounds like you're giving yourself an out to underperform in the lab you're actually working in. I would recommend researching labs more thoroughly and picking the lab you're most excited about. And, in the case that you STILL end up hating the lab, you can formulate a new plan AFTER the first has fallen through/ended. (This brings me to another worry which is that if you kept "failing at" the lab enough to get kicked out, you may not be ready to work in another lab, let alone two simultaneously. But I digress.)

I don't think it would necessarily be offensive to start reaching out, but don't be surprised if you don't get any replies. Professors/physicians are busy and may not have time/energy to respond!

The lab I worked in was wet lab and I always contaminated the samples. I also almost broke a $50,000 machine once since I used it improperly.
 

Yhwach

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I understand OP.

I was stuck in a lab where I had to carry out a hard experiment which was already unsuccessful years ago in the lab. Worst lab ever. The Post-doc was not supportive and favored the other RA a lot. She was in a "better" project and got her name on a paper while I was chopped liver. Still mad that I wasted a year there with no publications AT ALL.

So I get trying to find a backup lab just in case. I would also suggest having that backup lab being something not wet-lab based.
 
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931kra

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The lab I worked in was wet lab and I always contaminated the samples. I also almost broke a $50,000 machine once since I used it improperly.
I'm sorry to hear that! Wet lab bench work can be difficult, especially if you are new to it or if you aren't receiving proper guidance from your mentor(s).

That said, I think your first-choice-plus-backup route for finding research labs is not necessarily the smartest option for you at this stage. You have not even started medical school and don't know what the new class load will be, let alone with research on top of that--get your footing at school, and in the first couple of months, you can start reaching out to the PI of most interest to see if you can get involved with them that way! This will prevent crashing and burning *if* you start classes and research at the same time and realize it's too much to handle.
 
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Lucca

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Honestly I would stay away from the bench entirely if your only interest is getting something on your app to distinguish yourself. The much easier and time-friendly way to do that in medical school is through clinical research. Focus on learning medicine and exploring specialties / career paths and don't spend time in lab if it's not for the sake of the research as an end in and of itself.

Dont ever work in two labs at once.
 
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