purpleorchidz

5+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2009
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Hi! I'm new to the forums. I'm a rising sophomore and I plan to become a psychiatrist someday. I have some questions and I've searched all the threads, but none have given me any answers. As a rising sophomore, do you think it's best for me to shadow a doctor or to participate in research? The reason why I ask is because I'm volunteering this summer at a hospital (I've also done other high school medical internship opportunities) and I feel that I have enough exposure to medicine for now. Also, I'll have an amazing opportunity this upcoming semester to engage in psychiatric research at an institution that is known for cutting edge research in that field. I've also gathered (by reading several posts) that gaining research experience early and continuing with that position throughout your undergraduate career enhances your profile for med school.

But....my freshman year, my gpa was pretty low (3.27), and I plan to boost that gpa up next semester. Considering the fact that assisting with research is a lot of work, should I stick with the clinical experience instead?

Also is psychiatric research treated the same as hard-science biomedical research?

Sorry for the long post!
 

rocketbooster

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10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 11, 2008
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hate to tell you this, but med schools don't care what you did in high school. you're going to have to get just as much clinical experience in college. I agree that high schoolers are mature enough to get real, meaningful exposure medicine, but med schools don't.

as for what you need, clinical experience is required to get into med school. research is not. you can always do both, as well. I did both, no prob.
 

MacdaddyDaniels

5+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2009
29
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  1. Pre-Medical
I am also a sophmore making similar decisions. I think these ECs r great but the bottom line if u dont have a good GPA u arent getting into med school. Look at ur schedule and figure out if you can handle everything. If u have a tough schedule I would consentrate on school.
 

Ignition

10+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2006
99
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  1. Medical Student
Here is my advice:

Do what you want to do. You'll find a way to become good at it and still be able to keep up with your studies. It may cut into your free time but will you really care if you truly love the job/research? In my opinion, a resume should be mainly built on activities that you are successful at because you like to spend the time to do well at them, not because you think some adcom will be impressed with it.

Also, it's usually much harder to land a meaningful research position than simply getting "clinical experience" (which can be as easy as following a physician around for hours or volunteering at a local clinic).

Lastly, no one says you can't do both if you think you can handle it. Based upon your initial response though, it seems you were worried about keeping up with classwork and doing intense xtracurrics. at the same time, so maybe it's best to ease into things and see how much free time you have remaining.

Best of luck.
 
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