kleo0986

weeee!
10+ Year Member
Mar 29, 2008
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Pre-Medical
Hi guys- I'll have 2 years of full time research under my belt (I'm an air force behavioral scientist) when I apply to med school (2011). I don't have any publications, and as of right now it looks like all I'll be getting is maybe a tech report or a lit review at best. I've heard that research without publications looks bad because it seems like you didn't produce/accomplish anything, especially because I'm doing it full time... is that true? I can't really manage my own projects or perform my own research here, so while publishing my own studies would be out, I might be able to swing a lit review if it would make any difference or add credibility. Any ideas? My other stats are pretty good (~3.7 sGPA, ~3.5 cGPA, no mcat yet, starting volunteering at a hospital this summer), but I of course want to check all my boxes! thanks!
 

OBK

10+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2009
52
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Pre-Medical
i think you are worrying too much - im sure your research is interesting and worthwhile (with respect to your application) without a publication
 

jslo85

Resident
7+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2010
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Resident [Any Field]
It really depends and I do see your point about not having something of substance to show for it. It's more or less analogous to saying you shadowed 3598213575 hours yet have no LOR from the doctor to show for it or if you worked for several years for an EMT agency yet you can't produce a letter of evaluation from your supervising senior paramedic. It varies according to who reviews your application/conducts your interview is what I would say from past experience. I have 2 publications under my belt (1st and 2nd author) and I was asked about them quite a bit by the Basic Science faculty that was my third interviewer more from curiousity I believe. But I think like OBK has mentioned that you are thinking about it too much and handle it when it comes because frankly there is nothing you can really do about it now. I would try and obtain a LOR from one of the professors or PI that you work with/for though.
 
Jun 11, 2009
45
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0
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Pre-Medical
Hey, OP - are you active duty?

If so, you could talk to the career planner or whoever handles your EAS paperwork and see if they could put a little extra explanation on your DD214. Another think to think about would be getting a letter from the CO of whatever agency you work for to detail your contributions. Maybe you could also talk to the unit's flight surgeon and see what he/she thinks.

Good luck, Zoomie!
 
Dec 30, 2009
191
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I did about 9 months of full-time research as a undergraduate without any publications. It doesn't really matter if you have them or not, just as long as you can at least describe the research and what you did/learn. I did write a 35 page paper at the end of my research describing the experiments, problems, what needs to be done next, etc so its nice to have at least something like that that summarizes everything for you. I'm not sure if you could send something like that to AMCAS for the adcoms to look at but what ever.

Most of the time, the only way you get on the names for a publication is if your a graduate student or have a Ph.D; Now, I'm not saying you can't have your name put on a publication if you don't have a MS or Ph.D but its really hard and rare to find that.

My whole point is, don't worry about it. A lot people, like myself, have done research but did not have any publications. Research sometimes takes years to do, at least in my case it did, I was not even close to finishing the research at the time my temp position finished and you can't write a publications until your research is finished and whether it shows that it supported or not supported your hypothesis.
 

NTF

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2008
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Attending Physician
As long as you can get a strong LOR from your supervisor or PI it's not a big deal. Publications are nice but if you have all the other bells & whistles (GPA, MCAT, LORs, essays, ECs) than it won't be a big deal.

Not being able to get an LOR from a lab you worked for 2 years for would raise eyebrows though.
 

Kneige

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 24, 2008
149
0
91
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Pre-Medical
Yup, what everyone else said. No publications is just fine. It is really hard to get published so I'm sure the admin people understand that. If you do, great for you but yeah no worries.