Clinical research vs. Lab research (pre-med)

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New Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 13, 2016
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Hey guys-

I got offered two internship/mentorship opportunities: one for lab research and the other for clinical research (both at Mayo Clinic). Both would be for about 1 year (if they think I am beneficial to them and don't kick me out), since they can only hold an unpaid intern for so long. I have never done any sort of research or have any research experience so I am quite nervous. The only classes I've ever had with labs are my freshman biology/chem classes but of course it's hardly even comparable..

So my question is, which would be, as a pre-med student, the most beneficial to do/get the most useful experience out of? Also, would it be a downfall on applications if research was done for only 1 year? Would like to continue, but not sure if possible. Finally, do you have any advice for a nervous student starting out?

Thanks much

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Full Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2013
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I think it's hard to say which one is most beneficial isn't based on whether it's clinical or lab research, but on the opportunities you have and what you'll be able to get out of the experience. That said, it's kind of hard to know the environment before you're in the midst of it. It seems like most pre-meds do lab research and it is relevant and important to their application. I personally did clinical research because I don't particularly love the lab setting. I learned a ton about medicine and got to interact with patients and many healthcare professionals which was priceless in my opinion. Go with whatever sounds more interesting to you personally, either will be good! I also don't think there's anything wrong with a one year commitment, that's still a good chunk of time.
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