Post-Bac Planning

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Post-Bac Planning

Postby Alice » Sat Aug 13, 2005 3:15 pm

I'm an undergraduate who is expected to graduate next year. I?m planning to take a year off prior to pursue in an MD/PhD program. I had many research experiences (both summer and year). I?m trying to maintain a long-term (1.5-2yrs) research experience since my CV looks chopped-off with short-term summer/internship programs. My first experience only lasted for 2months because the grad student was too busy with his publication. My second one was about 1.5yrs prior to my transition from pure biology to biomedical research. My third one (also my current one) was quite inconsistent as I participated in a semester-long internship program off-campus last year and a summer research program at another institution due to lack of summer funding from the lab this year. But the total period I spent in this current lab was about a year.

My original ideal post-bac plan would be staying in the current lab, work full-time for a year while applying for an MD/PhD program. However, the postdoc whom I had been working with last summer left for a position abroad. I had to switch project as well as working with another MD fellow. The project didn't interest me as much but I enjoyed the lab environment and was reluctant to make another lab transition (I was afraid of losing that long-term research record).

At the same time, I'm not all that confident with my academic record to pursue an MD/PhD program but my heart is set for 60% research and 40% medicine. In addition, I just learned that my current PI seats on the MD/PhD program selection committee of my university. I was too embarrassed about my academic record to speak with him about this. After researching other options, I came across many post-bac programs (NIH/other universities/industry) and I?m not sure if staying in the same lab would benefit me that much or if I should go for another lab with more interesting project for my post-bac year.
To leave or not to leave thus became a tough decision in planning my post-bac year?


Some other questions came up while I was researching for grad programs:

What happens if the project/PI you are dying to work for in a very specific field does not take grad student (he only takes postdocs)?

What about PhD abroad? I heard that it only takes 3-4 yrs to get a PhD in London (for example). I also have a specific research topic in mind.


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