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Quitting Research.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by medschoolworries, 09.24.14.

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  1. medschoolworries

    medschoolworries 2+ Year Member

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    Hello!

    I wanted to some advice on quitting research and whether it would look bad when I apply. For some background, I'm a junior with about 2 years of research experience. After these two years I have really only learned one thing: I absolutely do no like research. I do not like any part of it...

    I started working in a lab the summer of my freshmen year and stuck with that lab for another semester in the fall. I realized that I did not really fit in with that lab. The PI was on vacation for pretty much the entire 8 weeks I was there for the summer and the post-doc I was working with had a baby and was also very busy so I really wasn't learning much.

    I left that lab amicably to join another one that I thought would be more interesting. Again, the PI has been MIA for most of the time and I find that I'm mostly just doing grunt work kind of stuff and not really doing research. I work about 10 hours a week.

    Honestly, I just don't like research and don't have much interest in it. I'm also simply not good at it :(. I think I mainly did it because people told me you had to do it to get into med school.

    My question is, will it look bad if I quit research permanently? I don't want to try again and go through the process of joining another lab. Also, at this point, I think I'm too old to join another lab because not many professors want to take a second semester junior... by the time they train me I'll only be there for a year. I also would just be so much happier to quit.

    How would medical schools honestly respond to this situation if I quit? Especially since my school is a research heavy school...like 70% of biology majors do it. Will interviewers question me on this? How would I even respond? It would sound so bad if I told them I don't like research...

    Any advice would really help!! Thanks guys!
     
    dcguthrie7 likes this.
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  3. MysteryF

    MysteryF

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    Hey, I was in the same situation as you my junior year. I joined a lab my freshman and stuck with it for two years. I did not like it and I was not good at it either. I found it really boring to sit inside for hours. None of the my interviewers so far have asked about it. Also, it is better to have had and quit than to never had done any research. Now you know exactly how you feel about it and you still learned something from the experience.
     
  4. cactus8910

    cactus8910

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    If you apply to schools that aren't research-focused, it won't matter. You can simply say that you tried research but discovered that you're much more interested in patient care. Schools that are more focused on primary care than research will appreciate that.
     
  5. amad01

    amad01 2+ Year Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: 09.27.14
  6. medschoolworries

    medschoolworries 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks for the input! Did you still get a LOR from your PI? If I quit I probably won't get one :/
     
  7. medschoolworries

    medschoolworries 2+ Year Member

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    Unfortunately, I'm really not close enough with my PI to get a good LOR... I'm unsure of how to try to develop a better relationship with him because he travels a lot. He also just seems disinterested in mentoring me.
     
  8. Strudel19

    Strudel19 5+ Year Member

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    I LOLd
     
    Ace Khalifa likes this.
  9. 403710

    403710 Guest 2+ Year Member

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    I'm no expert, and I've been thinking of quoting my research too since I feel exactly the same way. From my idea of the general consensus on this topic, it would be best to lie through your teeth if asked about research. I mean, like an above poster mentioned, i don't think it'll be a point of focus during interviews, but just have a spin on your research experience ready. Best to stay positive during interviews, and given your 2 years of experience, I think it'd be better to say that you enjoyed some aspect of it than that you couldn't find anything enjoyable about it yet did it for 2 years like some automaton.


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  10. MysteryF

    MysteryF

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    I think I could have gotten one if I had asked but I didn't feel like she would write me a good one. It's better to have no letter than a bad one.
     
  11. Make Or Break

    Make Or Break 2+ Year Member

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    bcea240292ea9544a2e9d3bb56212091.jpg

    I think what this wise dog is trying to tell us all is that it is better to have done something than to not have done it at all.
     
    medschoolworries likes this.
  12. SN12357

    SN12357 2+ Year Member

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    If you don't like research, you don't need to do it, particularly at an undergraduate level. You sound like you've done more than enough for your med school application and more during undergrad isn't going to be helpful if you hate it. Spend your time elsewhere.

    It's very true that you can be an extremely successful doctor without research. However, there are some specialties and types of medicine that are much more research focused so you should be aware of that. Most importantly, though, once you get to med school you'll be able to explore lots of types of research that aren't as accessible as an undergrad. From my observation most pre-meds have an inaccurately narrow view of what 'research' includes. I hate, hate, hated lab research but really like clinical research. Needless to say any research I pursue in medical school will not be based in a lab.

    From what you've said here I'd give research a break for the rest of your time in undergrad and then maybe give it another chance in med school. But if you don't like it then either that's totally fine too.
     
  13. medschoolworries

    medschoolworries 2+ Year Member

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    Thank you!! I actually really wish I could have more access to clinical research but unfortunately there aren't any opportunities at the specific university I go to. I volunteered as a clinical research assistant over the summer and actually enjoyed it. It's exciting that there will be more opportunities once I (hopefully) get into medical school :)

    Can you expand more on which specialties more research focused?
     
  14. SN12357

    SN12357 2+ Year Member

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    The more competitive a specialty is, the more likely research is going to be either a de facto requirement or heavily favored when it comes time to apply for residencies. So: derm, plastics, optho, ortho, ENT, etc. However, you can get more than enough research to be a strong candidate for any of these fields once you get to medical school. So there's no reason to keep banging your head against the wall of basic bio lab research in undergrad if it's not your thing. Concentrate on getting to medical school and then enjoy the greener research pastures once you get here :)
     
  15. Ace Khalifa

    Ace Khalifa I am the definition of awesomeness 2+ Year Member

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    Just tell your future interviewers that you gave it a shot and you found out research just wasn't meant for you. Research is not an absolute requirement. I got interviews this cycle without any formal research experience listed on my application. I was only asked about my lack of research once, and I said I was exposed to enough "research" while taking Biochem (we had to read and analyze a lot of research papers, do online discussions about them, and take exams with problems based on them) for me to see that research was NOT fitting for me as a career-related option. I also said I value the importance and necessity of research for advancing the field of medicine, so make sure you don't forget to say that either.

    I have no qualms about trying clinical research in medical school, especially if I decide I want to do a competitive specialty.
     
    newbeginnings likes this.

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