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Research..when is it enough?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jux212, Jan 8, 2002.

  1. jux212

    jux212 Junior Member

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    Hi Guys I I need some advice...

    I've been doing reearch for a year. Unfortunately I havent received much recognition for it other than school credit due to constant bad data. It takes up so much time that i feel it will adversely affect my grades if i continue on withis. My question is how much research experience would you guys say is enough and do u think it would be a good idea for me to quit and concentrate on my grades and the MCAT which is ultimately more important right? or do u guys feel i should stick with it. I also work at a clinic.
    Thanks any responses would be appreciates
     
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  3. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats

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    Quit

    1 year is good. You can always go back to it at a later date.
     
  4. none

    none 1K Member

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    Geeze! Stop if you don't like it and aren't good at it! This definitely isn't a deal-breaker for med school!
     
  5. Street Philosopher

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    if you don't like where you're at, go find a more interesting subject for research. personally, i've been really lucky, and been at the same lab for one and a half years. good data too :cool: ok i'll stop.
     
  6. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper

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    Try this. I spent about 3 months training to use an instrument (very complicated). I then was issued my own project. After spending 9 months overcoming numerous problems and calibrating the device to be extremely sensitive so that it can acquire viable data (I was only in the lab 10hrs/wk), THE FRIGGIN' THING CRAPS OUT ON ME!!! A grad student was held responsible for fixing the thing (too complicated and expensive for me to do). Instead of fixing the thing; she took over my lab space, disassembled my instrument and misplaced my data (fortunately I have an extra set on a zip disk). I've been away from the lab for a while now, but have to write my senior thesis. What the hell am I going to say?!? "Uh, I spent a year calibrating an instrument." I guess I'll pack the paper full of background research, nice calibration graphs, etc... The whole experience has left me with a bad feeling about research. If I ever do it in the future, it will be entirely clinical in nature.


    jux, if you don't like your research...quit. I don't think it is really worth it. When I answer questions about my research at interviews, they usually say "ok" with a confused look on their faces. The only credit I can get for it is credit for merely having done it. Nobody knows what the hell I'm talking about.
     
  7. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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  8. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper

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    Andrew,

    Yes, but I ultimately want to be a surgeon. What I find interesting is that surgeons, who rarely do benchtop research (if ever), are expected to do research while in med school. I was very disappointed to hear this, as I really have no desire to do it. I was told by a med student that it helps to "separate the cream from the milk". I hope this student was exaggerating the competition!
     
  9. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member

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    How much is enough is how much you can take. For me it was 2 months, 2 weeks and a day- I quit at that point. The lab and the people were fine, i was just going crazy. If you don't like it, bail. But make sure no one is really counting on your contribution, you don't wanna leave anyone out to dry. G'luck --Trek
     
  10. serpiente

    serpiente Senior Member

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    Swamp Man, I had the exact same experience as you!--you weren't doing analytical chem research were you? I spent all senior year attempting to gather data from a homemade analytical instrument that leaked all the time, letting air into the system which majorly screwed up the reaction I was studying. I didn't get final data till 2 wks before my thesis was due and I had to write the whole thing (100 pgs) in a few days. Anway I was pretty soured on research after this but I weent back for more! I took a job as a tech at a med school doing biomedical research. It was completely different. I'm actually getting a paper etc. and working on stuff that can actually affect human lives. So don't let one bad experience ruin it for you. Quality of an experience can totally depend on the project and your knowledge. Anyway I've never had any clinical research but I've heard that's also very different, maybe you could try that in med school? Anyway back to original poster, if you've had enough, than it's enough. Research is really not needed to get into medical school, anyway.
     
  11. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper

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    Yes, serpiente. It was an analytical chem project that used a self-built instrument. I'm glad (well, not really) that I'm not the only one who went through this type of hell.

    100 pages! Man, I'm only shooting for 50. I think 35-40 is more realistic, though, considering my inability to actually yield results.
     
  12. serpiente

    serpiente Senior Member

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    Only 35-40? I had about 30 pages of data charts, and graphs, figures, etc, so it certainly wasn't 100 pages of text. I also wrote a really long intro section and a really long results section. But I was going for length. I was doing it for an honors thesis and there was actually a length requirement.
     
  13. Rumit

    Rumit Senior Member

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    100 pages? Heh, a friend of mine had a 13 page senior thesis. Actually, two friends of mine were in the same lab and they were competing to see who would have the shortest thesis, the other guy had about 20 pages.

    Anyhow, to the original poster. If you don't like it, you shouldn't do it, and especially not if you're only doing it to put on your med school app. Just make sure that when you quit (if you do) that you don't offend anyone or leave anyone hanging. You may need letters of rec or advice from those people at a later date as well.

    Good luck,

    Adam
     
  14. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    20 pages sounds about right for the seniors I've had come through. My dissertation won't even break 100 pages.

    Andrew
     
  15. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper

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    Each of my progress papers (I had to do one each semester) was 20 pages, so maybe I'm not in as bad a position as I feel I am.
     
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  17. CoffeeCat

    CoffeeCat SDN Angel

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    Arg! Calibrating instruments...I spent a whole summer (all right, not as impressive as 9 months) playing with this new machine the department had just gotten and it was SO FRUSTRATING! I could write a whole paper on background checks. The machine itself was in this little room off to the side with no air conditioning so I was sweating the whole time and the rest of the building was highly air conditioned. The machine finally sort of worked but the experiment never panned out. However, I've had much more interesting lab experiences since then but each lab has its quirks.
     

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