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Too Many Publications?

Force Healer

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I'm a research fellow at a great lab that's given me opportunities to be published multiple times. So far I have six publications total, two of which I am first author on. This is fairly uncommon among undergrads, and I'm starting to wonder if my higher number of publications may come off as suspicious or unrealistic? Like, will adcoms think mine are less legitimate or that someone did the work for me (which they didn't!)? They are all in peer-reviewed, PubMed searchable journals. If you think that may be the case, what should I do? I can't exactly un-publish them :(
 
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Lawpy

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I'm a research fellow at a great lab that's given me opportunities to be published multiple times. So far I have six publications total, two of which I am first author on. This is fairly uncommon among undergrads, and I'm starting to wonder if my higher number of publications may come off as suspicious or unrealistic? Like, will adcoms think mine are less legitimate or that someone did the work for me (which they didn't!)? They are all in peer-reviewed, PubMed searchable journals. If you think that may be the case, what should I do? I can't exactly un-publish them :(

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Force Healer

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Fair enough guys! I'm really sorry it came off that way, it really was a legitimate question in my head but I can see how it now seems very braggy! Feel free to close down this thread or whatever haha. How embarrassing of myself :(
 

begoood95

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Fair enough guys! I'm really sorry it came off that way, it really was a legitimate question in my head but I can see how it now seems very braggy! Feel free to close down this thread or whatever haha. How embarrassing of myself :(
Your fine, lol, but it is a funny thing to be afraid of nonetheless! You will be A-OK, and no ADCOM will be worried; it will be a big plus on your app.
 
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iLoveMaPoTofu

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I'm a research fellow at a great lab that's given me opportunities to be published multiple times. So far I have six publications total, two of which I am first author on. This is fairly uncommon among undergrads, and I'm starting to wonder if my higher number of publications may come off as suspicious or unrealistic? Like, will adcoms think mine are less legitimate or that someone did the work for me (which they didn't!)? They are all in peer-reviewed, PubMed searchable journals. If you think that may be the case, what should I do? I can't exactly un-publish them :(
Everyone is so mean on these forums. I'm in a similar situation to you and am currently applying this cycle. Since it's still early, I haven't attended an interview yet, but have received some favorable news from some schools. I'd imagine that you'd be expected to know the ins and outs of your publications. If you couldn't phrase some basic questions, it would look very foolish. Otherwise, you're in great shape, and your PI should be writing a strong endorsement letter that would validate the legitimacy of your papers.
 
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DameJulie

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First, this post let me realize that some people are too concerned with one or no pub, and some people are concerned with too many.

My follow-up comment would be if you're too heavily on research and aren't balanced out with other EC, you might get the "why not PhD" situation.
 
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zurc2014

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Bruh...A huge chuck of my class has 5+ pubs (myself included). I didnt get one question about it during my interview trail lol no one batted an eye. Now maybe this is different for some non-Mudpud applicant applying with 10-15 pubs. But I think 5 and 6 pubs still falls within the (upper limit) bell curve.
 
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I'm a research fellow at a great lab that's given me opportunities to be published multiple times. So far I have six publications total, two of which I am first author on. This is fairly uncommon among undergrads, and I'm starting to wonder if my higher number of publications may come off as suspicious or unrealistic? Like, will adcoms think mine are less legitimate or that someone did the work for me (which they didn't!)? They are all in peer-reviewed, PubMed searchable journals. If you think that may be the case, what should I do? I can't exactly un-publish them :(
Take four of these, please
xanax-1.jpg
 
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Force Healer

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Actually, it is a problem. It makes me wonder what the rest of your application looks like, particularly in terms of clinical volunteering and community service. Do you have sufficient time in those areas or have you spent all your time in the lab?

I've done clinical volunteering at my local hospital but I want to gain a more meaningful experience through volunteering as a school nurse assistant (I'm a CNA) this upcoming school year! I have a lot of involvement and leadership in student organizations, but community service is definitely somewhere I want to improve (I switched to pre-med one year ago). What should be my goal in terms of hours? Sorry if this is something I should already know.
 

DameJulie

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Actually, it is a problem. It makes me wonder what the rest of your application looks like, particularly in terms of clinical volunteering and community service. Do you have sufficient time in those areas or have you spent all your time in the lab?

If we took a gap year dedicated to research, and didn't devote to other EC and classes, would it justify the higher number of pub?
 

gonnif

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I've done clinical volunteering at my local hospital but I want to gain a more meaningful experience through volunteering as a school nurse assistant (I'm a CNA) this upcoming school year! I have a lot of involvement and leadership in student organizations, but community service is definitely somewhere I want to improve (I switched to pre-med one year ago). What should be my goal in terms of hours? Sorry if this is something I should already know.

If I remember correctly, 400-500 hours should put you on a competitive range in terms of hours.

Having a "set" number of hours is far too simplistic an measure, even though all students want this. My very broad, very general, rule of thumb is about 100-150 each of clinical volunteering and community service to about the minimum to be competitive. However, that must be put in the context of the rest of your application. The overlapping measure is total healthcare experience (clinical volunteering, employment, or shadowing). All of these must be seen in the context of your overall application and really cant be seen as isolated and separate factors
 
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gonnif

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If we took a gap year dedicated to research, and didn't devote to other EC and classes, would it justify the higher number of pub?
Nothing is justified or not justified. What does taking a gap year for research say about you both the positive and the negative?
 
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Force Healer

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Having a "set" number of hours is far too simplistic an measure, even though all students want this. My very broad, very general, rule of thumb is about 100-150 each of clinical volunteering and community service to about the minimum to be competitive. However, that must be put in the context of the rest of your application. The overlapping measure is total healthcare experience (clinical volunteering, employment, or shadowing). All of these must be seen in the context of your overall application and really cant be seen as isolated and separate factors

This is kind of off-topic but if I have previous volunteer experiences that are below 100-150 hours (30-50 hours each) are they worth including or do they make me seem unreliable?
 

gonnif

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This is kind of off-topic but if I have previous volunteer experiences that are below 100-150 hours (30-50 hours each) are they worth including or do they make me seem unreliable?
You misunderstood me. Having a TOTAL of 100-150 hours in each area (clinical & community volunteer) not each entry
 
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Dr. Stalker

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I'm a research fellow at a great lab that's given me opportunities to be published multiple times. So far I have six publications total, two of which I am first author on. This is fairly uncommon among undergrads, and I'm starting to wonder if my higher number of publications may come off as suspicious or unrealistic? Like, will adcoms think mine are less legitimate or that someone did the work for me (which they didn't!)? They are all in peer-reviewed, PubMed searchable journals. If you think that may be the case, what should I do? I can't exactly un-publish them :(
OP - yeah this is gonna come off as really really bad. Adcoms are gonna assume mommy/daddy knew your mentor and persuaded said mentor to publish you.

I'd apply to DO/Carib if I were you. TBH, not even DO.
 
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bananafish94

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I actually had a very similar problem. I had 27 publications when I was applying but I was only first author on 24 of them and only 18 were in Nature, NEJM, or Cell. Thankfully, it only came up at 55/72 interviews. I explained that the three which I wasn't a first author on were a result of taking a week off in the summer of 2014 to study for the MCAT. Embarrassingly, I only got a 44 so it was basically a waste of time, but it all worked out in the end I suppose.
 
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Force Healer

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OP - yeah this is gonna come off as really really bad. Adcoms are gonna assume mommy/daddy knew your mentor and persuaded said mentor to publish you.

I'd apply to DO/Carib if I were you. TBH, not even DO.

Are you being serious or are you just messing with me because of how unintentionally braggy my question came off as? Honest question
 

efle

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Are these quick little papers from some kind of clinical lab going into journals that accept almost all decent submissions? I don't think that will raise any eyebrows. If these are big basic science projects, very different story.
 
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NotAnotherPreMed

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At UTSW, a "huge chuck" of your class does not have more than 5+ pubs. 90% of students haven't even published
LOL I agree though. I come from a premed feeder research heavy undergrad and interviewed at (and now attend) a few top 10 schools. Nowhere did a large chunk of students have 5+ pubs...Now that I'm in med school and see all those churner clinical outcomes labs Id wager it's possible but not "a huge chunk" still.
 
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Med Ed

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but community service is definitely somewhere I want to improve (I switched to pre-med one year ago). What should be my goal in terms of hours?

Your goal should be to find a service activity that you enjoy enough to keep doing with some consistency, and then do it. If that happens the hours issue works itself out.
 
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