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sGPA "Padding" with reserach

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Mid or Feed, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. Mid or Feed

    Mid or Feed

    Sep 19, 2014
    Before I graduate, I'll have 45 graded units of biology research as a research assistant. I expect my PI to give me A's for all quarters. 45 units is a large chunk of my overall courseload, and it will no doubt significantly affect my GPA. I do so much research because I love doing it. My PI is really nice, the work is really interesting, and I get to help conduct MRI's among other things. The work itself isn't very hard, just time-intensive. Will medical schools care that these units are essentially "inflating" my GPA?
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  3. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    It will be noted and it may very well hurt you, because you don't go to medical school to do research.

  4. AlteredScale

    AlteredScale Administrator Moderator 2+ Year Member

    May 10, 2013
    A beautiful cubicle space.
    What is your sGPA before and after your research lab grades?
  5. Shirafune

    Shirafune 2+ Year Member

    Jan 2, 2014
    If you do fine with your other science courses, nobody will really care what grades you get for independent research credit. I would just take more classes that you enjoy. That being said, if you want to graduate early, then by all means, go ahead and grab those units.
  6. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun! Administrator Physician 5+ Year Member

    May 15, 2011
    Honestly, I probably wouldn't notice because I don't do more than a brief glance at the course listing. But as Goro said, some people will probably notice, and if your GPA is not good without those 45 credits of 4.0, it could do harm.
  7. zzxxzz

    zzxxzz 5+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2012
    Umm how much did you work for those credits? At my institution, 45 quarter credits of research would be 9 hours a day, every day of the week, for an entire year.
  8. madmuttal

    madmuttal 2+ Year Member

    May 27, 2012
    did you get your name in publication(s)? that's one way of showing you were doing serious work. if you did good in prereqs and other science classes, it wouldn't be a problem.
    I was doing a lot of research that my PI told me to take it for credit because they couldn't pay due to funding issues. I took about 25-30 units of research credit over two year period. My PI gave my final grade based on final paper and recommendations of my performance from my mentor. All of this included in my PI LOR. And my work ended me with second author publication. All of which shows serious work and not easy grades. Try to show ad coms that these aren't easy grades. Also do well in mcat (sciences scores). good science scores would at least wouldn't raise questions about the disparity between science mcat scores and your sgpa.
  9. Mid or Feed

    Mid or Feed

    Sep 19, 2014
    3 years of research, 5 units per quarter / 15 units per year. 5 units equates to 15-20 hours per week of research.

    No, but I'm planning to publish my own paper next year. I appreciate your anecdote.
  10. Afford

    Afford 2+ Year Member

    Jul 29, 2014
    Well what's your sGPA without the research?
  11. mimelim

    mimelim Vascular Surgery Rocket Scientist Physician 5+ Year Member

    Sep 19, 2011
    I would notice it and it would be a negative thing. Research isn't a class. It is something you do outside of your academics. We see this from time to time and it is as transparent as you think it would be. The purpose of your GPA/MCAT is to establish that you can handle the academic rigors of medical school. A random single research class/semester/year being factored in is irrelevant. More than that is a red flag. If you enjoy research so much, you should be doing it outside of the confines of a class.

    Also, 3 years in a single lab without tangible production (abstracts, posters, presentations, publications) is a pretty big red flag if you are planning to have research be a big part of your application. You don't need ANY of those things to get into medical school, but it just doesn't make sense to say, "I love research and I have spent 3 years doing it!" and have nothing on paper to show for it. It just looks really bad.

    As an aside, I would add an addendum to @Goro. Most people don't do research in medical school and beyond. But, a significant minority do. A small, but very real group of practicing MDs do a fair bit of research as well. It is a big plus to have a strong research background, assuming that you have the rest of the package to go with it.
    Psai likes this.

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