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Best way to get research experience?

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TypeA

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OK, pardon my absolute ignorance...but how does one go about landing a research spot? I want/need more experience and feel like everyone is 15 steps ahead of me. Any tips? :scared:
 

relentless11

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Call people (e.g.: professors, research labs, etc). There is always a demand for undergraduate slave labor ;) . Seriously though, just make sure they don't treat you like a slave, but are instead helpful towards your goals. Can also ask your school's advising office, since they should have tons of connections.
 

Bikeage

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Question pertaining to this thread: How exactly does one keep track of time spent in volunteering/research/etc?
 

relentless11

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Bikeage said:
Question pertaining to this thread: How exactly does one keep track of time spent in volunteering/research/etc?

Some school's have transcript notation, where the amount of your hours is confirmed by whoever is directing the program, and those amount of hours are recorded. Where as everything else...it is on the honor system more or less. So adcoms can view this as a grain of salt. Without real proof of volunteering/research experiences, the adcoms prolly will acknowledge it, but it won't have much weight compared to say having transcript notation, letters of rec from your volunteer/research experience, and/or publications.

Of course letters of rec, and publications may not be seen until you submit your secondaries, so if you are knocked out of the game after primary apps.....they won't see anything.
 

DrBowtie

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relentless11 said:
Some school's have transcript notation, where the amount of your hours is confirmed by whoever is directing the program, and those amount of hours are recorded. Where as everything else...it is on the honor system more or less. So adcoms can view this as a grain of salt. Without real proof of volunteering/research experiences, the adcoms prolly will acknowledge it, but it won't have much weight compared to say having transcript notation, letters of rec from your volunteer/research experience, and/or publications.

Of course letters of rec, and publications may not be seen until you submit your secondaries, so if you are knocked out of the game after primary apps.....they won't see anything.
Considering how schools won't see these transcript notations it is 100% on the honor system just like all of AMCAS.

That said, a LOR from a research prof would be expected if you worked in the lab for a legit amount of time.
 

Hallm_7

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Check out summer research programs around the country too. It's a good way to travel to new places and work full-time on an actual project. A lot of times as an undergrad you'll be doing cell culture or loading gels or some other mindless task. It's good to get a position that you can design your own experiments and run with your project to some degree. Most of these are called SURF programs or REUs or some other name. There's typically a required writing component or a presentation made to peers at the end of the summer.

As far as time on the application. There is an hours/week box for each activity (work, volunteer, research, sports, etc) you list on your AMCAS primary. You have to also provide a contact name and number for each experience, so they can check up on you if they question anything.
 

Bikeage

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BrettBatchelor said:
Considering how schools won't see these transcript notations it is 100% on the honor system just like all of AMCAS.

That said, a LOR from a research prof would be expected if you worked in the lab for a legit amount of time.

I see. Say it was during my second year at college and it was an volunteer internship at a hospital. Would a LOR be any use to my apps 2 years later, if at the least to serve as records for the amount of hours volunteered?
 

McMD

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My school holds onto LOR's for us and then sends them out when we need them and they won't send out anything to medical schools that is over a few months old. With that said, I think it's better to have them more up-to-date. But, what a few of my professors did was write the LOR when it was fresh in their head and I had just done research/taken a class with them and then they changed the date on the letter when I actually needed to send them out, so they looked more recent.
 

Bikeage

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McMD said:
My school holds onto LOR's for us and then sends them out when we need them and they won't send out anything to medical schools that is over a few months old. With that said, I think it's better to have them more up-to-date. But, what a few of my professors did was write the LOR when it was fresh in their head and I had just done research/taken a class with them and then they changed the date on the letter when I actually needed to send them out, so they looked more recent.

hahaha, pure genius
 
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McMD said:
My school holds onto LOR's for us and then sends them out when we need them and they won't send out anything to medical schools that is over a few months old. With that said, I think it's better to have them more up-to-date. But, what a few of my professors did was write the LOR when it was fresh in their head and I had just done research/taken a class with them and then they changed the date on the letter when I actually needed to send them out, so they looked more recent.
I've done that a few times - I had the LOR written originally for some scholarships, and then I just asked them to tweak it for med schools.

One of my LORs was probably two years old when I sent it out. I had more recent letters as well, but I don't see a problem with having a trend of good LORs.
 

dark knight

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TypeA said:
OK, pardon my absolute ignorance...but how does one go about landing a research spot? I want/need more experience and feel like everyone is 15 steps ahead of me. Any tips? :scared:
Email professors that are doing research you are interested in. It is easier if you have taken their class and know them. Also, if your school is affilated with a medical school check out their site for research positions. Good Luck.
 
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