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Would like some input

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by JLC, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. JLC

    JLC 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2008
    Hey guys/gals, I just had some thoughts and would like to ask for some opinions about my application.

    I just took the June 13th mcat so that is the unknown variable in my application right now. Everything else is on my mdapps

    (I've been getting 11-13 on both BS and PS and 9-11 on verbal on my practices aamc)

    One thing that has been bothering me applying MSTP this cycle is as of this very second I have no research article pubs. The biggest reason is the fact that the lab which I began working in HS moved only after a year I was actually being productive. (this lab is sorta like the lab everybody dreams about....seriously where everyone is having fun, the lab is rich and productive the professors are amazingly caring and was just heaven.)

    But last year the PI was promoted and had to move to another city, during this time two projects got very good results and I was presenting them at some conferences (one of the project was mine and the other I had a small role). However, there was a delay of around 3 months where I had to help the lab move all their stuff. This ultimately delayed progress on my project. Just last month I was emailed the professor and he told me that both projects were going to be finalized and manuscripts for both would be sent to me during the summer so I could help work on them (I'll be third author on one paper and either first or second or coauthor on the other)

    The lab I currently work at(its been a year) is also awsome although the PI is sorta like the cocky young talented scientist who is a much better scientist than an actual mentor. In anycase my projects are sorta halfway but I'm optimistic I can get some data before I have to leave the lab. But there will def be no pubs until after I submit my application.

    I also worked in some other labs but for short term and whether I'll get pubs is still in the air.

    As I'm applying now, I'm a little nervous after seeing all the MSTP people having authorships, even if they were small roles, I know how much it can impress. To be honest I'm tempted to just apply next cycle so I can simply have lots of pubs to list, but then I don't like that idea very much as I think it would be a waste of time.

    I don't know what to think right now, but to make things worse, I really want to go to some of the top 20 schools, and I already know I prob won't even get secondaries without a pub. Any opinions or experiences that relate to mine?

    Many thanks
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  3. ecoli

    ecoli 2+ Year Member

    Jun 9, 2008
    From what I've read, publications are not required, but only supplement your application.

    I'm in a similar boat as you... no MCAT scores yet, plenty of research but no publications. In my case, it more because the research I happened to be doing is slow work, ( spending 6 months trying to do a bacterial cloning experiment is not conducive to a publication, plus we were dealing with a lot of unknowns). Also, I started a new project this semester, so I have results yet (hopefully that will change by the end of the summer). It's possible I could get a first author publication out of it by the end of the year, which won't matter for med school applications.

    Anyway, my assumption is that more applicants don't have publications than do. It's what you got out of your research that's important.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  4. JLC

    JLC 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2008

    I cloned and purified a histag protein and it turns out that it didn't what I thought it did, we actually don't even know what the hell it does. Now I'm basically feeding it random stuff to see if its even active, :confused:
  5. JHopRevisit

    JHopRevisit 7+ Year Member

    Feb 12, 2008
    No pubs required.

    Strong research experience =
    1) a few years in various labs
    2) great letters of rec from your PIs
    3) an ability to clearly communicate your research on your application and during the interview day
    4) an ability to discuss the broader field, and in some cases science/medicine in general (esp. the role of the physician/scientist), on your application and during the interview day
    5) enthusiasm for scientific research, an ability to engage your interviewer

    Sounds silly and trite, but in my experience its true. For most fields, getting your name on a pub as an undergrad is arbitrary, except for the few wunderkind who actually developed their own projects beginning from sophomore year.

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