anhnen5

2+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2015
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Pre-Medical
Hello everyone! I'm currently applying for research positions to do for the next 2 years. I'm working on my resume/cover letters to send out to some positions I'm interested in.

I was always interested in research and I regret not doing it during my undergrad years. However, I do remember my research oriented course professors seemed biased against pre-meds. Honestly, it always felt like they were harder and more harsh on my friend and I's work (we were the only Pre-meds in our graduating class, everyone else was pursuing PhDs and Masters). Bioinformatics major though. Is this a common thing or am I just being silly?

After graduating, I worked as a scribe for 2 years. I've never had any formal lab experience, so I want to explore my interest in research now to see if it would be something I would be interested in during med school (If I get in of course). Would it be taboo to mention I was a medical scribe for 2 years on my resume and during interviews (and most of my activities are all med related)? I know either way I have to eventually (if not immediately) mention I'm planning to pursue medical school. I definitely don't want them to think I'm just doing research to fulfill a checklist. I genuinely do want to learn from these experiences.

Any feedback appreciated. Thank you! :)
 
Last edited:
Jul 23, 2017
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Be honest. Don't you plan on taking time off for interviews? Asking a PI for a letter? Sharing your hopes and dreams with your coworkers over a beer? I've worked as a research assistant for a number of years. Its going to take a year to just get you up to speed and productive. If you can commit 2-4 years to the job you'll have more to show for it (both in terms of expertise and publications), and be worth their time. If you want to work in a lab do your homework. Show you care about their research and relate it back to your own interests and coursework.

They know full well you're not going to stay in a $30-40k job running gels forever.

Some SDNers get the idea all the PI's, post-docs, and grad students in the world had unfulfilled dreams of being doctors, and want to take it out on those starry-eyed premeds who dare aim higher. Labs are weary of anyone planning to apply to medical, graduate or veterinary schools who will be flaky and ditch them after a year. Often these students plan to apply during a gap year, want money, but not the indignity of Panera Bread.
 
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Catalystik

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I was always interested in research and I regret not doing it during my undergrad years. However, I do remember my research oriented course professors seemed biased against pre-meds. . . . Is this a common thing or am I just being silly?
It wasn't your imagination. This is a common thing.
 
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Goro

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Be honest. Don't you plan on taking time off for interviews? Asking a PI for a letter? Sharing your hopes and dreams with your coworkers over a beer? I've worked as a research assistant for a number of years. Its going to take a year to just get you up to speed and productive. If you can commit 2-4 years to the job you'll have more to show for it (both in terms of expertise and publications), and be worth their time. If you want to work in a lab do your homework. Show you care about their research and relate it back to your own interests and coursework.

They know full well you're not going to stay in a $30-40k job running gels forever.

Some SDNers get the idea all the PI's, post-docs, and grad students in the world had unfulfilled dreams of being doctors, and want to take it out on those starry-eyed premeds who dare aim higher. Labs are weary of anyone planning to apply to medical, graduate or veterinary schools who will be flaky and ditch them after a year. Often these students plan to apply during a gap year, want money, but not the indignity of Panera Bread.
It's also that some PIs feel that UG students aren't worth the effort to train. I've had people who took an entire summer just learning how to pipette. I don't mind someone wanting to go to professional school...very few people end up being techs for a career. Hell, even I didn't want to stay a tech forever!
 
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DameJulie

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Apr 23, 2016
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First of all, don't lie to your PI that you're not pre-med if you are one already. It won't be pleasant situation once they find out after your joined the lab. One should be proud of their pre-med identity, instead of trying to cover it.

At the interview, just be honest about your career goal. Most PIs understand most students in lab aren't going to be there forever.

However, I do remember my research oriented course professors seemed biased against pre-med
This is true, but also remember there're also PIs who don't bias against pre-med. Understand that PIs have to spend $$$, time and effort to train UG student.

There are PIs who are biased against pre-med, some of them are because they have taught UG pre-med classes and have witnessed some unpleasant side of pre-meds. I know labs that have to fire a number of UG student before finding a truly good fit. It's challenging for labs too to find good UG student. But there's also a good side of pre-med students; they work hard and hoping to become a life-saver one day. Many PIs embrace that quality.
 
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anhnen5

anhnen5

2+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2015
44
18
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you for the responses everyone!

I'll keep it honest and tell them I'm planning to pursue medical school if they ask, but definitely mention I can dedicate at least 2 years in the lab. I really want to learn from this experience and hopefully my skills and attributes can be of use to them in a meaningful way. I hope to learn a lot about the research field as well. I guess I shouldn't worry about it then because if any PI or HR is biased against hiring me for mentioning I'm Pre-Med I guess it wouldn't have worked out anyway since I would have to ask for time off for interviews and other things.

Again, thank you so much for the feedback everyone, I really appreciate it!
 

MareNostrummm

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Oct 17, 2015
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Just say you are interested in MD/PHD or MD/MS (masters in translational research etc) and want to run your own research projects as a physician... they usually give you bonus points especially if you mention MD/PHD because you will sound super dedicated.

I work in a lab right now. Pretty much everyone hates premeds who just want to check a box. Show some passion about research and you'll get your own project otherwise you'll be doing scutwork.
 
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