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future_doc1421

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Hey guys,

I know this is early to prep but I had a quick question. I don't have any research experience and I feel like I may be asked "Why don't you have this" or something along the lines of if I am competent in terms of research. Do you guys have any advice on how to explain that shortcoming in my application? I just want to start thinking about that now because I am not sure if I will be asked that on a secondary either.

Thanks!
 

fldoctorgirl

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I would tell the truth, honestly. Why don't you have research experience? Do you not like research, and therefore not try to get a position? Did you try, but couldn't find a place?
 
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future_doc1421

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Honestly, it was not something I really thought of as a freshman and when I realized the importance of it, I had difficulty finding it. Do you have any advice on how I can explain that despite that lack, I would be a good candidate because... etc?
 

Toutie

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Honestly, it was not something I really thought of as a freshman and when I realized the importance of it, I had difficulty finding it. Do you have any advice on how I can explain that despite that lack, I would be a good candidate because... etc?
You could say something along the lines of...it was not something I really thought of as a freshman and when I realized the importance of it, I had difficulty finding it.
 
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fldoctorgirl

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Honestly, it was not something I really thought of as a freshman and when I realized the importance of it, I had difficulty finding it. Do you have any advice on how I can explain that despite that lack, I would be a good candidate because... etc?
I would say something along the lines of "As a freshman adjusting to college kept me busy and focused on my schoolwork, and I hadn't considered research much. By the time I became interested in pursuing research, I found difficulty in finding a spot, as most labs were already full. I definitely wish I would have gotten involved in research, because I think I would be very good at it/I'm interested in it/etc. because x, y, z. I hope to get involved with research early on as a medical student to make up for the lost opportunity."
 
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knope321

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I agree to just be honest. It shows maturity to acknowledge this instead of just trying to double down and say research isn't that important. Also, maybe look more into the research programs that the schools you are applying to have. This would be a great point to pivot and say that you are interested in X school because they give you the opportunity to do summer research, provide a time to do scholarly, have research days for medical students, etc. If your fall semester doesn't look too bad, it might be worth asking around if you could volunteer/shadow for two weeks in someone's lab. This can further strengthen your argument that you are seriously considering research as a future. Also, focus on what you have done. Maybe you've volunteered a lot at a hospital and think that you would really like to get involved in clinical research. Were you active with a student org/non-profit/teaching? Maybe you'd like to ask research questions about best methods and patient communication.

I think it's great to prep early! Some schools will have PhDs do the medical school interviews, so definitely be prepared for this one.
 
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future_doc1421

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Awesome. Thank you guys! Do you have any advice on how to prepare for interviews? Any resources you think particularly helped you?
 

AttemptingScholar

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1. I absolutely agree that trying to get involved in research over the interview season is a good idea. "Is there anything else you'd like to tell us before the end of the interview?" "Yes, I've actually just begun doing research on X."
2. There's a lot of good interview advice out there. I'll stick to preparation. Know the format before you get there (you shouldn't be surprised that a school uses MMI) and the topics (you should research bioethical stuff a bit). Do practice interviews with friends, strangers, and on camera. A lot of people think they're good at interviews because they're good at the closest thing in everyday life--talking about their goals to their friends and family. Not the same thing, and not as good at interviews as they think. Interviewing is a skill that needs to be practiced.
 

future_doc1421

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did you use any specific website or service? Or more research and practice that way? I am trying to find research but again, very difficult as I work full time as a medical scribe and many want previous research experience since I am a graduate.
 

Dr. Souk

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did you use any specific website or service? Or more research and practice that way? I am trying to find research but again, very difficult as I work full time as a medical scribe and many want previous research experience since I am a graduate.
Hey guys,

I know this is early to prep but I had a quick question. I don't have any research experience and I feel like I may be asked "Why don't you have this" or something along the lines of if I am competent in terms of research. Do you guys have any advice on how to explain that shortcoming in my application? I just want to start thinking about that now because I am not sure if I will be asked that on a secondary either.

Thanks!
Hi OP you might find this blog post helpful for how to best approach any perceived weaknesses you may have questioned during your interview: How do I answer the interview question, "What is your greatest limitation?" Or "What's your greatest weakness" | BeMo Academic Consulting Also, never too early to prepare for interviews!
 

CyrilFiggis

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I never prepped for a standard interview beyond knowing my application extremely well. I did 6 interviews and never got asked about weaknesses, etc. Personally, those types of questions are BS. Once you move up in the world past your first job, interviews aren't about asinine questions, but about substance and personality. If you get an interview, the school obviously sees that you have the academic potential, so from there it's about who you are. If they open up with "tell me a bit about yourself", give them a 2 minute log line with some fun points about you, not in your application.

It's honestly fairly simple to control the discussion while still saying all you need to. Remember, at the end of the day, that interviewer(s) will be your champion for you. If all you have are canned answers for them you aren't having a conversation.
 

WinnDi

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I think they want to know that you've considered research but might not have done any because of different reasons in your life.
 

Dr. Souk

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I never prepped for a standard interview beyond knowing my application extremely well. I did 6 interviews and never got asked about weaknesses, etc. Personally, those types of questions are BS. Once you move up in the world past your first job, interviews aren't about asinine questions, but about substance and personality. If you get an interview, the school obviously sees that you have the academic potential, so from there it's about who you are. If they open up with "tell me a bit about yourself", give them a 2 minute log line with some fun points about you, not in your application.

It's honestly fairly simple to control the discussion while still saying all you need to. Remember, at the end of the day, that interviewer(s) will be your champion for you. If all you have are canned answers for them you aren't having a conversation.
Oh yeh canned/generic answers must just kill these guys after hearing them time and time again - not going to get anyone on your side taking that approach that's for sure!
 

Dr. Souk

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Good point about the PhDs a friend of mine had three panels with PhDs on them.
 

Dr. Souk

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You could say something along the lines of...it was not something I really thought of as a freshman and when I realized the importance of it, I had difficulty finding it.
Yeh - honesty is often the best policy. Can't lie your way through these processes.
 

Boxcar Social

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1. I absolutely agree that trying to get involved in research over the interview season is a good idea. "Is there anything else you'd like to tell us before the end of the interview?" "Yes, I've actually just begun doing research on X."
2. There's a lot of good interview advice out there. I'll stick to preparation. Know the format before you get there (you shouldn't be surprised that a school uses MMI) and the topics (you should research bioethical stuff a bit). Do practice interviews with friends, strangers, and on camera. A lot of people think they're good at interviews because they're good at the closest thing in everyday life--talking about their goals to their friends and family. Not the same thing, and not as good at interviews as they think. Interviewing is a skill that needs to be practiced.
Good point - interviews are there own thing, with very different pressures and specific structures designed to challenge in a way which is uncommon in day to day conversations.
 

studentdoctorpremed

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That's a tough question! Hopefully they won't ask but as other have pointed out it's best to be honest anything else will turn them off... Good luck on your interview!
 

TeddyBears

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Awesome. Thank you guys! Do you have any advice on how to prepare for interviews? Any resources you think particularly helped you?
Anyone have any further links for interview prep resources/practice questions etc? Many thanks in advance.
 

chemdoctor

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You can still get in, without research. Just talk about how you were busy with schoolwork and wanted to gain more social experience. Also talk about how you want to continue and get in more lab experience in the future, blah blah blah...
 
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