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Clinical experience vs. research

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by santoukie, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. santoukie

    santoukie Member
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    Sup guys,
    im in a tight bind. Lately my gpa has been decently good, im taking mcats coming april. SO winter quarter is my study quarter. However, im in a pickle because i have only 1 quarter of clinical exp. thats it. Im worried thats not enough. SO i signed up for more. however, i have to choose between that and doing research (which i have NO experience in). what should i do?
    should i opt for research over clinical experience, or opt for clinical exp.
    Either one i choose i plan to pursue for at least two quarters, than in the summer switch to the other activity i didnt choose.

    I kinda need to decide by friday.
    I would do both but i dont know how reasonable it is to carry a class load, internship and research while studying for mcats? is that what the avg med students doing now adays?

    Im shooting for ucsf, which is research heavy, but im also trying to keep my options open seeing how selective UCSF is.
    thanks guys

    ps-this should be a decent break from all the anxiety floating around the forum no?
     
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  3. Overeducated

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    If UCSF is your goal I would recommend starting the research ASAP.
     
  4. chandelantern

    chandelantern MSI at Mayo in August!
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    Are you planning on applying in June? It depends how meaningful each of the experiences are. If you're volunteering to make gurneys in the hospital or wash dishes in the lab, it's a toss up (both not great). If you're actually participating in seeing patients (like shadowing a doctor, taking vitals, etc) or actually have a project in the research than those are much better experiences. My advice is to do what you are most passionate about, not necessarily what you think will look better on paper.
     
  5. santoukie

    santoukie Member
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    I see, well the sucky thing is i really want to do some biochem research, and do some research in alzheimers disease. i shouldnt have started so late,
    am i late?
    also do students usually do research, and clinical experience at the same time? am i just being a wussy, in that its too much to do as a full time student?
    also would it be bad to do biochem lab research just to know for sure its not what i want to do?
     
  6. santoukie

    santoukie Member
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    by the way i shouldnt have qouted you, just pressed the wrong button haha...
     
  7. -Goose-

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    get goin' on some meaningful research if you want ucsf would be my advice...

    what sort of summer programs are available to you? i'd bet ucsf would have some good ones that would hook you up with some connections that might come in handy (read: LOR).

    g/l
     
  8. TracksuitsRock

    TracksuitsRock Senior Member
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    Can you find a clinical research position so you get the best of both worlds?
     
  9. StrssdOut

    StrssdOut Member
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    If your schedule's not too tight you could do both. You could find a nice volunteer position that takes minimal time, but is heavy on patient contact. I volunteer doing infant hearing screenings on Saturday mornings. Doesn't take a huge committment as far as time is concerned, but it's been great for conversation in interviews. I was able to swing it in undergrad while taking 22 credits and doing research, so like I said, minimal time for a good benefit!
     
  10. 1SwtWrld

    1SwtWrld Senior Member
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    Go for both........If you are shooting for a research oriented school, obviously research is important. However, there are many countless stories of people not being accepted due to lack of clinical experience. How do you know you want to go into medicine if you have not experienced it in some way?

    You will be bombarded with why not just Phd questions at your interview if you dont have significant clinical experience. With that being said, good clinical experience does not have to take lots of time. Shadow some docs over the summer (and try to do it with the same doc repeatedly to get a good letter). Also many hospitals will let you volunteer just once a week or once every other week for half the day.....That should be doable.
     
  11. santoukie

    santoukie Member
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    okay, ima try doing research
    yeah i hear if u dont have alot of clinical its almost rejection at the door.
    thats what im worried about
     
  12. unicorn06

    unicorn06 Senior Member
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    I would do research. Clinical experiences can be gained over the summer, but research requires a sustained commitment for atleast a year to accomplish something meaningful. UCSF will probably not take you if they don't think you're serious about research.
     
  13. Hey, im in the same dilemma. I am a sophomore with no clinical experience or research in college. I dont know what to choose either. I already have an internship lined up for the spring (clinical experience), but then a professor contacted me with a position for an assistantship doing research.

    My concern is that if i dont have any research experience, i cannot get into a summer research program. All of the summer programs i have come accross require previous research experience. If anyone knows of any summer programs that do not require research experience, lemme know please!!!

    btw, what summer research programs you guys planning to apply to?
     
  14. RubRoss LSU

    RubRoss LSU Trumpet Extraordinare
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    I spoke with the dean of admissions to LSU Shreveport and he told me that they prefer clinical experience with patient interaction than research. I have about 6months of biochem research in oncology and very little clinical experience. I shadowed an OB for a bit and that was all. Anyway, he told me to volunteer at a hospital or something, so good luck!
     
  15. nimotsu

    nimotsu 荷物
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    Usually research takes a fair amount of commitment to do much (training, working on project, nothing ever works until that one magical day). At my school, it's usually a 2-3 semester or more experience. If you are a science major, I think research is a great opportunity over clincal experience because it's not only an experience in indepedent thinking and problem solving but also it confirms that you don't want to use your degree for grad school (rather med school.. unless of course MD/Ph.D path). However, clincial is important as well.
     
  16. santoukie

    santoukie Member
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    quick question last one ahhaha,
    once again
    i have a offer for genetic lab?
    is it any fun?
    im a npb major so i dunno....
    should i opt for a biochem lab?
    or loose my oppurtunities in both labs and search for a research area
    in npb, specifically alzheimer's disease-my passion ?
    given its hard to find npb research/alzheimers disease this late into the quarter....whatyah guys think?
     
  17. SeventhSon

    SeventhSon SIMMER DOWN
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    it *seems* to me that you should always choose research over clinical experience.

    You need some clinical experience because you want to be able to explain with concrete examples that you know what it is to be a doctor.

    However, keep in mind that in every case you are going to an academic institution that lives and dies by research, and you will be interviewing with people who probably are conducting research. These reesarch-oriented schools want people who are not only going to practice medicine but improve medicine, and if you can show intellectual curiosity in a medical issue then they will look on you much more favorably in any case.

    If you're shooting for UCSF, start the research tomorrow.
     

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