jdido09

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I am looking to begin my research next Fall (sophomore year) and hopefully continue with the same mentor throughout my undergrad. I am really interested in being included in a publication, and hope this dedication will lead to such. Here are a few questions I could really use help with:

I am meeting with a total of three different neurosurgeons, each doing different research. Is this a bad idea, will two be offended if I end up not proceeding with them? Or should I try to do research with more than one of them?

I am hoping to also get academic credit for the research (8-10 hrs a week is 2 credits). Is this usually acceptable to ask for?

What should I wear to be meeting with them?

How can I approach asking the likability of being part of a publication?

Thanks for all of the help! I'm meeting with all three next week!
 

DrYoda

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I am meeting with a total of three different neurosurgeons, each doing different research. Is this a bad idea, will two be offended if I end up not proceeding with them? Or should I try to do research with more than one of them?
It's normal to interview for multiple positions. They are probably going to assume you're interviewing with other people as well.

I am hoping to also get academic credit for the research (8-10 hrs a week is 2 credits). Is this usually acceptable to ask for?
Yes.

What should I wear to be meeting with them?
Dress professionally (shirt+tie if you're a guy).
 

Drexon

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I am looking to begin my research next Fall (sophomore year) and hopefully continue with the same mentor throughout my undergrad. I am really interested in being included in a publication, and hope this dedication will lead to such. Here are a few questions I could really use help with:

I am meeting with a total of three different neurosurgeons, each doing different research. Is this a bad idea, will two be offended if I end up not proceeding with them? Or should I try to do research with more than one of them?

It's ok to interview more than one PI for a research position. But please, remember this.. they're choosing YOU not the other way around. I personally wouldn't want to be in 2 labs at once... you can't seriously devote enough time to one lab and you'll end up half assing in both labs. Half-assing in my research lab = get out.


I am hoping to also get academic credit for the research (8-10 hrs a week is 2 credits). Is this usually acceptable to ask for?

Asking for units is alright. We have similar practice at my university. What do you hope to accomplish by being in lab 8-10hrs a week? If you're going for a publication that simply isn't enough... but then again this depends on the professors. From my own experience, professors don't simply hand out publications and when they do.. the undergrads have contributed to the actual experimentation or planning to garner a publication. Just a bit of FYI (bottom line pub isn't going to be easy)

What should I wear to be meeting with them?

Business casual in my opinion.

How can I approach asking the likability of being part of a publication?

Ask to be put on a project where you will have a significant contributions and hopefully a publication. Publications aren't guaranteed with undergrad research. From what i've heard, only a hand full of applicants have a publication. Plus sometimes your work might take years before it gets published... ( had a friend who got some data , PI just sat on the data for 2 years and now he's writing a manuscript for the results of the work my friend did when she was an undergrad. )

Thanks for all of the help! I'm meeting with all three next week!
Best of luck on those interviews and getting into a research position!
 

insane

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Chances are if you get lucky you might get a presentation or two, but as other posters have said its not extremely common for undergraduates to get publications. It happens, but not as often as people make it out to be. Also as other posters have said, it takes more than the PI liking you to get a publication, you have to make a contribution to either the experimentation or writing of the manuscript.
 

jdido09

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Thanks for the helpful answers! Is it important to bring up the desire to be in a publication at the interview and discuss such experimentation leading to that, or is that something to let take course/wait till you've broken the ice?

Thanks!
 

Pwny

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Thanks for the helpful answers! Is it important to bring up the desire to be in a publication at the interview and discuss such experimentation leading to that, or is that something to let take course/wait till you've broken the ice?

Thanks!
I think most of them will know what a lot of pre-health undergrads eventually want to achieve in their lab, so I wouldn't recommend bringing it up. If all works well wherever you end up and you've shown dedication to their research, opportunities like that will present themselves to you.

I've also talked to interviewers for highly regarded clinics at my school, and the common consensus is that they look down on those who state themselves as premeds who simply want experience. I guess this is a bit off topic to your case on hand, but likewise, you also want to be careful to tread lightly on expressing interest in being in a publication during your meetings.

Best of luck with everything! Neurosurgery is super awesome, by the way. :thumbup:
 

jdido09

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Thanks for all the help.. Last question I have: In the case that I do get offered to work in the lab of more then one surgeon, should I just be honest and say I am considering working elsewhere? What if one offers me an opportunity on the spot, although I still have other interviews scheduled?

Thanks!
 

jdido09

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Anyone with advice??

Also, just had a physician's administrative assistant ask me to send her a resume via e-mail. I don't have a resume and have never actually created one.. What should I be including?
 

d1ony5u5

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Don't worry, it is totally fine to tell them that you have other offers you are waiting on. They won't be jealous. This is to PI's very alike to interviewing people for jobs... They know that if you are smart, you are pursuing several options concurrently and will choose the best offer. Don't sweat it about this... And when/if you turn them down (in a polite manner, of course), they probably will forget about you within a couple of weeks.

I would recommend being very tactful about the publication part. All research is done with the intention of being published. Only some of it ever gets to that point... No one should guarantee you a publication, and if they do, you should probably beware of them. You don't want to come across as the neurotic pre-med that is only there to advance his personal goals. Just show interest in the work, and pick according to what you find most interesting, if you are offered several positions.

Finally, about the CV: look up some resources in your University's career advising. This is the sort of thing they are there for. If all else fails, there is google... CV's are pretty standard, and at your level, it shouldn't be too complicated to construct. Good luck!
 

TheFlashMD

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Anyone with advice??

Also, just had a physician's administrative assistant ask me to send her a resume via e-mail. I don't have a resume and have never actually created one.. What should I be including?
Use Micosoft Word, they have some good templates for the basic format.

Here's some things to include in a resume (I'm assuming this is clinical or translational research position...)


Education:
College Attending
Expected Graduation Date (mm/yyyy)
GPA

Experience (where, when, responsibilities):
Any healthcare related
ANy research related

Lab Techniques (a list is sufficient):
If applicable

Computer Skills:
Micosoft Office, etc.
 

jdido09

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d1ony5u5 - Thanks for help, you covered everything really well. If I were to be offered a spot then on the first interview, would it make most sense to say that I'd like to get back with them after considering my options?

I just don't want to come off as rude to a physician whose job demands a lot of his time and yet is still offering me an hour.

TheFlashMD - Thanks, I've found a lot of info now after looking around and think the CV won't be too much of a problem, although I think I may have a lack of experience!
 

d1ony5u5

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jdido,

Yes, I think the common sense answer anyone would expect is that: "Let me consider your offer and I'll get back to you as soon as I have made a decision." I think it is unlikely they will offer you the position right away, any way. But just in case, yes, that would be a reasonable response.

Just be polite, and try to strike a balance between overconfidence and lack of confidence. I know this is hard to do, specially when you don't have experience with this sort of thing, but the bottom line is that this is a compromise. They have opportunities for you to gain experience, and you have cheap (if not free) labor and enthusiasm to offer them. Be humble but don't bow down and let them walk all over you. Sorry I can't be more explicit. this is the kind of thing that you only get good at after some practice.
 

jdido09

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That makes a lot of sense. I figured they wouldn't offer right away, but I wanted to prepare myself in case ;) . I do not plan to get payed, but hope to use it for academic credit. That is completely normal and understandable to ask for right?
 

d1ony5u5

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Yeah, academic credit is absolutely fine. At my institution, however, this is not up to the PI, but to the university's academic department... I would suggest you find out who authorizes this and what the procedure is for getting academic credit before your interviews. This way you can ask for signatures, research reports, etc. that you may need to inform the potential PI about.
 

jdido09

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After my first interview, the surgeon has actually offered more than I could imagine... He told me I could begin research projects this coming Fall, as well as shadow him in the OR, and even mentioned working on a "paper" together. So with that, it is hard to say no right?

Here is my issue; from the three surgeons left to interview with, one is the Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery, the other is the Chief of Neurosurgery. They are both professors at the medical school, one being in charge of academic affairs. The surgeon I met with today is fresh off of residency two years ago, and is an assistant professor at the medical school. Should I continue to go for the other two surgeons? Thanks!