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ExercMed

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  1. ExercMed

    Research Experience Help

    I recommend taking a deep breath and chilling. Research is far from necessary to get into med. A lot of people just view it as a box that needs to be checked and in my opinion if you have the choice between counting cells for a summer or doing something more meaningful, do the latter. That being said, it's never too late to get involved in research. I didn't start until my 4th year of undergrad and I ended up tacking on an extra year to my undergrad just so I could do an honours because I enjoyed the work. Don't sacrifice doing well on the MCAT just to cram in some half assed research over the summer.
  2. ExercMed

    Approaching professors

    I guess it doesn't really matter how you go about it, but I would rank these professors in order of who you would like to work with most. Read up on their most recent publications to get an idea of their research projects before sending any emails. Send an email to them one at a time starting from the top. If you were to contact them all at the same time and ended up talking with multiple and getting offered positions to volunteer, it might be strange to turn some down after going through the whole process (maybe not, but I might be a bit sour if I took time to sit down with an Undergrad only to have them blow off the opportunity I gave them). As far as the content of the email goes, explain why you are interested in the lab, talk about how their recent publications are really interesting and you would like to get involved in the lab. Finally, say something along the lines of "I would be happy to meet and discuss this further in person if there is a time that works best for you." Hope it works out! PM me if you have any questions.
  3. Always a bad idea to look at the application again after submitting!
  4. Admissions needs to be able to verify the publication somehow. So if there is no way that they can get access to it (online or otherwise) then it's not really published by definition. A non peer reviewed abstract, if actually published, could probably go under non-peer reviewed publications in the application system. My concern is the "publication" aspect of your original question. I've done a number of poster and oral presentations of my abstracts at small conferences but I know I can't find them "published" anywhere accessible. I could find proof that I actually presented, but the abstract isn't available if someone wanted to find it.
  5. Yeah, that's not a publication that I think you can put down in your application at all. The application manual says "This may include oral and poster presentations as long as the abstract has been published in the conference proceedings." The pamphlet does not classify as conference proceedings it is just a guide to what is occurring during the conference. I.e. If I can't find a summary including your abstract on the local research day website then don't include it at all. Local research days are great and you can totally put them down of a CV but if it's not peer reviewed and published in a journal after the conference then I wouldn't put it down. My understanding is that non peer reviewed academic or non academic publications are things like undergraduate journals, fiction or nonfiction publications, poetry, etc.
  6. This is generally an interesting question and I would also love some input from anyone who has worked with admissions. Coming from a basic research background, original research papers (i.e. not reviews), hold much more weight when it comes to applying to grants and scholarships despite both being peer reviewed. And frankly the reason for this is quite valid as reviewing the literature does not fully speak to one's research ability. Going through the process of experimental design, failed experiments, and peer review is much more involved and intense when publishing an original research paper compared to a literature review paper. From what I gather, med admissions doesn't really care about this (although maybe they should) and holds all peer review publications to the same standard. Would be interested in other individual's thoughts on this.
  7. I would list as variable hours and put the reasoning in the box provided for "Flexible Schedule Description"
  8. ExercMed

    no honours

    Do you have any other research volunteering? Also, would this be basic research or something more clinical or epidemiology? All that aside, it really depends on the supervisor. All you can do is contact potential supervisors and outline your situation. On the funding side of things, no all masters programs do not have guaranteed funding. It also depends on the institution that you are going to be doing your research at. Make sure to check online policies because some programs will not accept you if you can not provide some proof of funding, supervisor or otherwise.
  9. ExercMed

    Research Hours

    Yeah it 100% still counts! I'd be pretty confused if someone said my PhD research doesn't count as research because it's not volunteer (may as well be with the amount grad students make though).
  10. ExercMed

    Top 10s

    You are correct that the UofC application doesn't have a specific "ECs" section. But the point of Top 10s is not to state all the ECs that you have ever done, it is to outline the Top 10 most impactful experiences and how they have shaped you as a person. This doesn't have to be volunteer activities, it can be single moments in time that have really impacted you (family struggles, single day activities, etc). If an EC/Volunteer activity doesn't make that list then there isn't really any point in mentioning it in my opinion.
  11. Your best bet if this is something you want to do is to (1) find an established lab at your institute and talk to the PI (2) see if you can start a summer research project (3) work your butt off. As an undergrad you are going to likely get very little say in how to conduct your study (especially in basic research). More likely, your project will end up being a small part of one of the PhD students' or Post-docs' projects. Even when this stuff gets published, you would be pretty low on the author list (I'm just speaking generally here). That being said, it's not impossible for it to work out in your favour. Expanding a summer project into an honours degree could give you the time to put enough work into the project for a first author publication if you are a hard worker (i've seen it happen on rare occasion). A lot of it will also depend on how motivated your PI is to publish. Some labs are paper factories and just pump them out. Others like to take their time and just publish 1 very high impact paper a year. Before joining a lab, make sure to look at their publication productivity. Finally, don't expect this all to happen while you are still in your undergrad.... Even if the project gets finished by the time you graduate, there is still the submission/review process that takes a few months. All in all, basic research takes a LOT of time and money!!!
  12. I don't think there is any harm in including them. If anything I think it's pretty interesting. It would just have to go under "non peer-reviewed academic or nonacademic publications".
  13. ExercMed

    Previous application

    I can't speak confidently to the first point (I don't believe that it is). However, for the second, top 10 will entirely depend on the applicant pool and who is marking them. Dr Walker talks about this in his admissions podcast. Don't be surprised if your scores change for this section but If you scored well previously then I wouldn't make any drastic changes.
  14. ExercMed

    How to research

    This is how you bias your data to show what you want it to show... Clearly you want to do a literature review, have a hypothesis, and a rough experimental plan, but DO NOT "think of what data you want". You don't know what the data will show you until you start doing experiments. Those experiments probably wont tell you the full story, so then you plan to do more experiments based on that. Once you have data that you think tells a cohesive story, THEN you can start to write a paper around the data. Writing the paper first introduces MASSIVE bias as you don't know what you are going to see. 90% of the time, experiments don't work out or have insignificant results that don't merit further discussion (an unfortunate truth about our peer review system). If that's the case then your paper, that you spent all this time writing, is dead in the water and needs to be revised. To quote the article by George Whitesides that the above poster suggested, "Realize that your objective in research is to formulate and test hypothesis, to draw conclusions from these tests, and to teach these conclusions to others. Your objective is not to 'collect data'."
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