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Mentioning med school in job interview

Little Rascal

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I have an interview for a research position and I'm concerned about mentioning that I'm currently applying to med school. Everyone keeps telling me not to mention it, but that doesn't sit well with me. If I get the job what would I say about needing time for interviews? Plus, if I'm accepted I would leave by August or so, which is only about five months away.
 

darknation

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It might not sit well with you but i mean if you're only going to potentially give them 5 months they probably dont want to deal with you....I'd say get your foot in the door and then tell them what's up if it comes up / you do need days off, etc.
 

Little Rascal

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It might not sit well with you but i mean if you're only going to potentially give them 5 months they probably dont want to deal with you....I'd say get your foot in the door and then tell them what's up if it comes up / you do need days off, etc.
Yeah, that's what my friends have been saying as well. So if they ask how long of a commitment can I make, and as of yet I don't have an acceptance, I say at least a year?
 
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msundi83

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you should be upfront about it, but if you need a job you need a job. you could get a job that is used to people quitting after five months, but if this job is just better paying and gives you things you absolutly can't survive without. well...i know what i would probably do.
 

LizzyM

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If you don't already hold an offer you can honestly say that you hope to attend medical school sometime down the road and that's no lie -- it is only a hope that you will get in during this cycle or later.

If you already have an offer to start med school in ~August 2007, then I think that you should be up-front about that.
 

sirus_virus

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I have an interview for a research position and I'm concerned about mentioning that I'm currently applying to med school. Everyone keeps telling me not to mention it, but that doesn't sit well with me. If I get the job what would I say about needing time for interviews? Plus, if I'm accepted I would leave by August or so, which is only about five months away.

While you are at it, you might as well tell them the color of your underwear. Look, if you do quit because you had to go to medschool, there will be someone capable and willing to replace you. Do you think they will tell you they have funding problems and might lay you off in 2 years at the interview?
 

Meli308314

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I agree you should mention it during your job interview. My friends also told me not to mention applying to medical school while applying for jobs, but I thought it would be dishonest to do so. I think that if you are upfront about it from the start your PI is going to be much more understanding of you needing to travel for interviews. Telling them will allow you to feel out how flexible your employer will be when interview trips come up.
 

RAD11

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I'm glad someone started this thread. I actually have a break in employment for ~1 year since I decided to re-take some of my pre-req full-time to help me for the MCAT and would like to apply to med school this yr. I'm non-trad. I have extensive clinical experience from working in the hospital, but now want to get into clinical research and am worried they'll ask about the break in employment......I want to try to avoid telling potential employers about my med school plans.
 

sheepunite

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this was a difficult question for me, back when i was looking for work. i was just starting to interview, so it was virtually impossible for me to mask the fact that i was applying to med school; needing to take 2 days off at a time necessitated my full disclosure. at the same time, i missed out on about 5 brilliant jobs that wanted me long-term. ultimately, i was able to find a job that interested me and was perfectly ok with my limited availability. still, it was a hard period to go through.
 

musiclink213

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I wouldn't mention it. It's really probably not a good idea, because why would they hire someone who will only be available for a few months? Unless it specifically states it's a short term position, or a job where it's not meant to be a permanent thing. I'm a sub teacher, and everyone knows I'm going to med school, they all knew I would go on interviews. When I got my first acceptance, the prinicipal made an announcement over the loudspeaker. But when I was interviewing for an entry level place at a lab, I just said that I was thinking about possibly going to grad school somewhere down the line, and I wanted some real world experience first. However, I decided not to take that job because it wasn't as flexible with the dates as being a sub.
 

foofish

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When I interviewed for my current job (research lab) last June, I did mention I was hoping to start med school in the summer/fall of 2007. That said, I was able to give at least a year commitment and the particular lab I was applying to was used to having someone hold the position for a year or two before moving on. I was above and beyond glad I had been upfront about applying because they were incredibly nice about letting me arrange my weekly schedule to accommodate interviews....I know people who tried to not tell their job they were applying, and figuring out how to get time off for interviews was a nightmare for them.

So for anyone reading this thread, if you're just about to *start* your application cycle, I would definitely be up-front about applying to medical school.

For the OP, personally I would probably dodge the research job altogether and go for a laid back job that pays enough to get you through to the start of school and just have fun. If you're all about money and near a city, there are often high-paid temp positions available at banks and other big companies....a short-term gig doesn't have to mean you don't get paid well. The problem with research is that often it takes a few months to train the person and have them settle in....and it's not really fair on the lab if you're just going to take off in a few months. Also, what benefit are *you* going to get? It's not enough time do really do anything of significance, and after you bail on them they're probably not going to be a great reference/LOR.
 

diggitybop

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do not mention it. keep it to yourself until you are in. you will deal with scheduling interviews when the time comes. until then you need to do things in parallel, and in the professional world that means not disclosing your dreams to employers or coworkers unless you ultimately can trust them. this may seem like a-hole advice but its just; like; my opinion, man.
 
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polofanPKP

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do not mention it. I mentioned it at an interview, was told "That's great, my best employees are the ones who want to achieve in life". Needless to say a week later I was turned down because I couldn't give them enough time. At my next interview I didn't mention it, started working, got in, when I told my boss she was obviously a bit agitated at first. But 20 minutes later she was happy for me, since then she has brought me with her to surgery every thursday and networked me with a group of Orthopaedic surgeons that I can work with between my 1st and 2nd years.
 

Gut Shot

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I have an interview for a research position and I'm concerned about mentioning that I'm currently applying to med school. Everyone keeps telling me not to mention it, but that doesn't sit well with me. If I get the job what would I say about needing time for interviews? Plus, if I'm accepted I would leave by August or so, which is only about five months away.

Don't mention it. Face it, most employers lie all the time about what your life will be like on the job, so why should you bear the yoke of unrequited honesty? Protect your interests, because nobody is going to do it for you.
 

Koch

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Dude, if it doesn't sit right, don't do it. I was in your same position last year and I was upfront about it. I actually got two interviews because they said they respected my honesty about it on my personal statement.
 

green453

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When I interviewed for my current job (research lab) last June, I did mention I was hoping to start med school in the summer/fall of 2007. That said, I was able to give at least a year commitment and the particular lab I was applying to was used to having someone hold the position for a year or two before moving on. I was above and beyond glad I had been upfront about applying because they were incredibly nice about letting me arrange my weekly schedule to accommodate interviews....I know people who tried to not tell their job they were applying, and figuring out how to get time off for interviews was a nightmare for them.

So for anyone reading this thread, if you're just about to *start* your application cycle, I would definitely be up-front about applying to medical school.

For the OP, personally I would probably dodge the research job altogether and go for a laid back job that pays enough to get you through to the start of school and just have fun. If you're all about money and near a city, there are often high-paid temp positions available at banks and other big companies....a short-term gig doesn't have to mean you don't get paid well. The problem with research is that often it takes a few months to train the person and have them settle in....and it's not really fair on the lab if you're just going to take off in a few months. Also, what benefit are *you* going to get? It's not enough time do really do anything of significance, and after you bail on them they're probably not going to be a great reference/LOR.

I was in the same situation as quoted. I completely feel for you because I really felt that it would be dishonest to omit the extremely pertinant fact that I could only work for a year. I decided to be honest about it (it may have helped that I already had two offers), and was happy I did. It cost me one job I interviewed for, but got me my current position.

I told my perspective PI up front that I would probably be headed to med school, and he was ok with it because I had a skill set well matched to the lab I'm working in. As a result, he has been extremely helpful (reviewing PS, writing LoR for secondaries, mock interviews, etc).


Finally, I think there is a lot of wisdom in considering doing something besides research for your last 5 months. There isn't really enough time for it to effect your admissions outcome and you might as well do something super laid back/fun because this is your last opportunity in a long time. Plus, as other have mentioned, training for research isn't a one day thing. If you have a PI willing to make the financial and time comittment to train you for only 5 months of your time, then go for it. Otherwise, take a three month stint working on a cruise ship or something. Hard work, but at least you'll get to visit some cool places...
 

sprinkibrio

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Yeah, that's what my friends have been saying as well. So if they ask how long of a commitment can I make, and as of yet I don't have an acceptance, I say at least a year?

If you don't have an acceptance there is no reason to mention it. The job will be a good back up if you don't hear any good news this application round.

For all you applying... be upfront if you are so early in the application process that you are going to need time off for interviews. Most places will give you a job because they'll know they will have you for a year. The OP however, is only going to work there for late spring and summer and probably won't need much time off for interviews. Very different situations.
 

aspiring med

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OP why are you applying for the research job? in case you don't get in this cycle?
(I agree with Foofish.)

I would suggest getting some other paid job to deal with bills, and apply for a research job in May, when you'd be more certain of whether you'd be getting in med school Fall 2007.

If you are getting interviews etc now, and u want a research job to augment your app for this cycle, then i would opt for doing unpaid work at a research lab for a few months.

there is no point in working in a lab for a few months only to burn bridges once you get into med school. most PIs are happy to have their applicants apply to medical school, but the work commitment has to be at least 9 months, ideally at least a year.

So i suggest you wait it out until you know your situation better. that way you can avoid burning bridges...you never know, that golden residency might somehow involve the PI you surprised by quitting. you'd be surprised at how many people know people and know other people...
 

Little Rascal

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Thanks for all the great replies.
OP why are you applying for the research job? in case you don't get in this cycle?
(I agree with Foofish.)
Well, I finished grad school just a few weeks ago, I took an extra semester instead of finishing last May. So, I guess a couple reasons. I'm actually really interested in the research (genomics) and yeah, if I don't get in I think it would be a great position to learn, get experience, possibly letters, etc.
 

chad5871

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I had a job interview at a local hospital/medical school for a pretty crappy position in guest relations (i.e. very little contact with patients or health care providers). During the interview I was inevitable asked one of the most popular interview questions, "where do you see yourself in five years?" Of course I answered that I was hoping to be in medical school at that point. I ended up not getting the job, but when the interviewer called me to tell me that they were going with another candidate, she looked into other positions there that I was qualified for and would afford me clinical experiences. I interviewed for and was offered a job right in the middle of the emergency department, where I will be able to see all types of patients and interact with doctors/nurses/residents/med students.

So I don't necessarily think it's always going to be a bad thing to do; however for positions that aren't medically related it may be not such a good idea as you're basically telling them you won't be around for a whole lot of time.
 

diggitybop

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OP why are you applying for the research job? in case you don't get in this cycle?
(I agree with Foofish.)

I would suggest getting some other paid job to deal with bills, and apply for a research job in May, when you'd be more certain of whether you'd be getting in med school Fall 2007.

If you are getting interviews etc now, and u want a research job to augment your app for this cycle, then i would opt for doing unpaid work at a research lab for a few months.

there is no point in working in a lab for a few months only to burn bridges once you get into med school. most PIs are happy to have their applicants apply to medical school, but the work commitment has to be at least 9 months, ideally at least a year.

So i suggest you wait it out until you know your situation better. that way you can avoid burning bridges...you never know, that golden residency might somehow involve the PI you surprised by quitting. you'd be surprised at how many people know people and know other people...


i agree with this. i am coming from the industry (pharmaceuticals) side of things, and it seems you needed advice for a more purely academic type job.
 

aspiring med

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then i would suggest being honest with the genomics lab and volunteering there until you have a more certain idea about whether you get in this yr.

especially since you have a genuine interest in the research, it could hurt you in the long run if you surprise them and quit early, when you might do such research again in the future.

plus, if you show enough enthusiasm, your volunteering could make you a shoo-in for the paid position in May.

but it just occurred to me...i don't know about the reapplication process, but it seems like it would be tough to get strong LORs at the lab working from March to say, July when you'd need them for the next app cycle for fall 2008,right? the most you could get from this is fodder for secondary app essays and interview conversation. if this is right, it makes even more sense to be honest, volunteer at lab and wait it out
 
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boomerang

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I was in your position last summer. I interviewed for a research coordinator position in June, and I was getting married in September and already turned in my application (AMCAS) to med school.

1. Although you are applying you DON'T know that you will be accepted. So they may pre-emptively FIRE you before HIRING you...unneccesarily

2. Unless they specifically, strongly encourage or require at least a year committment, it is none of their business before they hire you. For all they know you could be secretly planning your retirement in Florida.

3. Employers discriminate any chance they can find. So, you don't talk about kids, weddings, orientation etc. unless you possibly want to be screwed.


BY the way, it is best if you could stay at least a year in any job because it looks more dependable.

In the end, it all depends on the type of study, and your conscience.


Good luck
 

bola

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OK i went through this exact same dilemma last year. But what I'm going to tell you is that for your sanity, your self-respect, etc...let your employer know up front! My current boss did not want to take me in because of the app process, interviews and the distraction they bring, but I explained to her that I was willing to commit my full day to work and not on any app stuff, I also promised that I was willing to work weekends if I needed to catch up on work that I might have missed due to interviews.

Thank GOD it worked out well and she agreed. But think of how you will look if you come in half way through and start asking for time off here and there because of interviews. There is no way you can say you didn't know before hand that you were going to apply to med sch is there?
 

Psyche Estrelle

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I'm with most of the people here... if you mention it, it's a kiss of death... I totally hear you on the inner conflict... but in situations like this, for reasons everyone else has said, it's just better to omit potentially harmful information than to be honest. If you just omit information, you're not outright lying! :>
 

squeaky

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It's a really hard decision to make, and I speak from personal experience. When I interviewed for my current position (pharmaceutical industry), I decided it was important for me to be upfront about my desire to return to school so I told them blatantly that I would only work for 1 to 2 years. Nevertheless, they hired me.

I feel reprecussions for being so honest...everyday. Especially when fall rolls around, or when I ask for personal time off, I get -- I wouldn't go as far as hostile -- but a not so friendly vibe from my boss and coworkers. They tend to like to find mistakes in my work during these times, to get me to sweat a little I guess. :mad: Also, I feel I do good work, but I constantly feel my work challenged as a way to discourage my believe that I am an intelligent person. I guess I'm a bit soft in letting them jerk me around, but I never expected them to have the mentality that they could perhaps "assimilate" me. :(


I have coworkers who I know have strong aspirations to return to school, but they are very discreet. They tend to have a better time than I do.


I guess it is all relative to your situation, and I am just offering my 2 cents as a cautionary tale. Sometimes, the right thing is not the best thing.
 

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I have an interview for a research position and I'm concerned about mentioning that I'm currently applying to med school. Everyone keeps telling me not to mention it, but that doesn't sit well with me. If I get the job what would I say about needing time for interviews? Plus, if I'm accepted I would leave by August or so, which is only about five months away.

I recently started a job during the first 7 months of this year before I matriculate. Every med school interviewer has asked me with a concerned look whether my PI knows I'm doing that--of course she does. Now I always qualify my statement that I have a new job, and yes, my boss knows all about my plans.

I think it's important to be up front about it for a number of reasons:

1. You do not want to burn bridges, for yourself or future research techs. Plus what if you decide you want a LOR at some point? What if you had a chance for publication later but your boss doesn't put you as an author because you pissed them off? I've seen that happen.

2. You are going to need the help of your boss to go through the interview process (time mostly).

3. Funds in science are scarce, especially right now, and you aren't going to make any friends by taking time to come up to speed on a project and then dropping off the face of the earth with little notice. Often labs will be very up front about their minimum requirements.

Last thing to say is I think there are positions out there for a short period. I had to find something for this winter and spring before school and thought I would never get a job, but actually found two, which for various reasons only needed someone for a few months. I even have benefits! Good luck....
 

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If you don't already hold an offer you can honestly say that you hope to attend medical school sometime down the road and that's no lie -- it is only a hope that you will get in during this cycle or later.

If you already have an offer to start med school in ~August 2007, then I think that you should be up-front about that.

This is pretty much what I did and I got a job.
 

Emma

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It happened to me...
In my job interview my interviewer and I talked about me possibly attending medical school. I didn't get the job.
3 months later I interviewed at the same hospital with a different interviewer in a different unit and I didn't say one word about med school. I got the job.
Just as well- I like this job more that I would have liked the other one.:rolleyes:
 

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don't mention it. Life is all about looking for the best opportunities and survival of the fittest. It's their loss if they dont know your plans. They are not entitled to know anyway. Telling them would be TMI.
 

aspiring med

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it's not just a "moral obligation". it's in the OP's selfish interest to not piss off PI's and be fairly honest. I think another poster's anecdote about concerned med school interviewers questioning the poster about whether his PI knew that he was applying to medical school is a case in point..it reflects on you badly if you are not a responsible researcher.

PS I have found it very rare that research assts are fired at the "drop of a hat". usually PIs hire only when they know they have the funds..and are very straightfwd about the length of time they can pay the asst.

i'm not sure why i keep posting on this thread, and i'm sorry if it's overkill...but working in research is one of the few things i know a lot about
 

gary5

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5 months is rather short. I'd be honest about it. Now, if there's a good chance that you'll be reapplying and starting med school over a year from now, then I would say apply for the job and don't mention med school. I was working and taking premed courses at night, and I intentionally didn't mention med school to my employer. It was unrelated to my job and so I didn't discuss it. If I had told them and the company had layoffs, they would pick me, "the guy who isn't staying anyway". Another option is to work for a temp agency...
 
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