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MCAT vs. Published research

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by NIYO2K2, May 7, 2002.

  1. NIYO2K2

    NIYO2K2 Member

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    Hello everyone, I'm hoping you can help me out. I have to decide between spending two and a half months studying for the MCAT for August(it would be my first time) or spend the whole summer researching and hopfully have my work published and on top of that I will be paid to do so. Which am I do choose? :confused:
     
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  3. Doctora Foxy

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    What year are you in school?
     
  4. nezlab99

    nezlab99 Senior Member

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    give it the old college try and do both! :D
     
  5. coop

    coop Senior Member

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    I say do both. Studying for the mcat is not a full time job. Work in the lab part time (20-25 hrs a week) like 3 full days or 5 half days, and study for the test the rest of the time. This is totally doable, I did it myself and know many others who have done the same with great success (in both endeavors).
     
  6. NIYO2K2

    NIYO2K2 Member

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    I just finished my 2nd year of undergrad
     
  7. TheAce

    TheAce Attending

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    Considering that you just finished your second year of undergrad, why don't you just do the research and study for the MCAT part-time. Is there any compelling reason to take the MCAT now rather than at the end of your Junior year.

    Also, research is not something that can regularly be performed in 2 1/2 months and published. It takes time to get results and publish, especially if you've never done it before.
     
  8. gel1

    gel1 Senior Member

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    Just do both! Trust me. I studied by myself (no course) for the MCAT the summer after sophomore year, did research full time, and volunteered at 2 different organizations every week. Not only did I manage to pull double digits in each section, I also got that research published. You can do it--it isn't that difficult if you are good at managing your time!! :)
     
  9. encee

    encee Member

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    If the research is interesting to you, try studying for MCATs and doing research. Give both of them lots of effort, and then as MCAT date approaches you can assess whether you feel ready to take the exam. If you do not feel ready, wait to take it until next April. That way you will be familiar with what studying for the test entails, and you will know how much time you personally need to put into it.

    Research is not the same experience for all. It depends on how much time and effort is expected of you. Many investigators will want you there for long hours if your name is going to go on a paper.

    The bottom line is that poor MCATs will deter you from getting into med school. Not having publications will not deter you from getting into med school. Good scores and publications are optimal though.

    Just be real with yourself about what you can handle.

    good luck
     
  10. Nuclearrabbit

    Nuclearrabbit Senior Member

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    I wouldn't assume that you can get a publication by working in a lab for 2-3 months. By the time you get trained to do everything your summer will be almost over. Nevertheless, i guess it's possible to get a third author on something that might be submitted months or years from now.
    It depends on your p.i., and how much work you can get done.

    If you decide to take the mcat, i'd put as many hours into it as you can.

    i guess, pick either the mcat or research, and go gung-ho. its better to do one thing well then both things at a mediocre level. especially the MCAT!
     
  11. TechMan

    TechMan Dreams Stuff are Made of.

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    dude.. there is no way that you can't do both... this past semester i worked in the lab (i'm about to get my first publication), studied for and took the mcat, and took 16 hrs of courses.
     
  12. texasgal1112

    texasgal1112 Member

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    I took the MCAT for the first time the summer after my second year also and worked part/full time. I would say it depends on your research job. If it is the type of research that you can run an experiment and go study for a couple of hours then do both. But that summer I did clinical research where I couldn't study at work. As a result I didn't do so well on the MCAT and had to take it again.
    Good luck!
    :)
     
  13. wes c. adle

    wes c. adle Member

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    I worked part time last summer while studying for the MCAT, so it can be done, but I'm not sure about getting pubished while working part time in a lab for 3 months. I'm in a lab now, and I'm just about to get my first publication (7 months in). During the summer I asked my PI if I could start in the lab part-time while studying for the MCAT and he advised against it. You really need to put a lot of time into research to get good results.
     

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