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Decisions, Decisions….Baylor SMART or DeBakey Surgery Summer Program

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dog366

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Hey guys, recently I was fortunate enough to be accepted into both the DeBakey Surgery program and the Baylor SMART (Summer Medical and Research Training) program. I have a hard time choosing between the two. Which of these programs do you believe helps more in the admissions process? I appreciate all comments, thanks.
 

Vvandenn

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I'd say the Debakey one but that's just from my perspective. I have no real reasoning. :D
 

dog366

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Haha, thanks but could I get more substantiated reasoning.
 

Jolie South

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it depends. if you need to beef up your clinical exposure or are really into surgery, definitely go with the DeBakey program.

if you have plenty of clinical experience and are interested in research, do SMART.

either way is a good use of a summer. :thumbup:
 

dog366

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yeah, that's what I thought too, but I heard someone say that the admissions committee
didn't think too highly of shadowing since you can't do too much besides observing. I don't agree with this statement but I at the same time I feel is semi-true.
 

abesha

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yeah, that's what I thought too, but I heard someone say that the admissions committee
didn't think too highly of shadowing since you can't do too much besides observing. I don't agree with this statement but I at the same time I feel is semi-true.

I wouldn't say that the debakey program is just shadowing. from what i heard its a much more involved program that shadowing. apart from other comments also remember that the debakey program is kinda of intense, thats good or bad depending on how much your into it. smart program is as intense as u want it to be.
 

TexPre-Med

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yeah, that's what I thought too, but I heard someone say that the admissions committee
didn't think too highly of shadowing since you can't do too much besides observing. I don't agree with this statement but I at the same time I feel is semi-true.

Research is equally as useless if you don't publish. While each program is a good program in itself, neither is awe-inspiring on an application (unless you can publish in the SMART program). The Debakey program has a good name on it, but let's be honest, you'll be shadowing. Research is boring (my opinion) also. IMO they are both a waste of time.

If I were you, I'd scrap both, and do a medical mission trip in Africa or something. See islonline.org or other websites that do medical mission trips. They are costly, but a truly unique experience that few people have. I was asked about my trip on almost every interview. I was never asked about my Baylor SOM summer internship despite scrubbing-in with the head of a department every day for 2 months. Waste of my time.
 

TexPre-Med

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I wouldn't say that the debakey program is just shadowing. from what i heard its a much more involved program that shadowing. apart from other comments also remember that the debakey program is kinda of intense, thats good or bad depending on how much your into it. smart program is as intense as u want it to be.

Quote from their website: The Michael E. DeBakey Summer Surgery Program offers the pre-medical student a glimpse of a career in surgery long before they will ever pick up a scalpel for the first time.

What makes this better than shadowing if you can't pick up a scalpel? Its shadowing at its finest!
 

diosa428

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Research is equally as useless if you don't publish.

Not true. If you don't have any research experience, even having some can benefit an app. Esp if the OP decides to apply to top research programs. Just b/c you didn't like your research experience doesn't make it a waste of time.

I would agree that medical mission trips are great experiences for premeds and def give something to write about in your PS and secondaries, but they tend to be very expensive...
 

TexPre-Med

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Not true. If you don't have any research experience, even having some can benefit an app. Esp if the OP decides to apply to top research programs. Just b/c you didn't like your research experience doesn't make it a waste of time.

I would agree that medical mission trips are great experiences for premeds and def give something to write about in your PS and secondaries, but they tend to be very expensive...

Just interviewed for a program (completely unrelated to research) where I was asked to explain why I didn't publish on some research I did. Honestly, I think it would have been better if I didn't put that on my application at all. Sure research might help a tiny bit if you don't publish, but it doesn't impress anybody. It is easy to do. Another faculty member (M.D.) has asked me why I ever wasted my time on bench research because you don't do squat. His words.

Looking back, I would have never done bench research my entire life. Its not that I didn't find it fun some days, but because "intramural basketball" has had more favorable comments during interviews. I would have done minimal shadowing also. My leadership experiences and medical mission trips were the highlight of every interview I had. I guess because it is unique.

Inteviewed at 10 medical schools with 2 interviews each. While in medical school, I've interviewed for 5 programs. Approximately 25 interviews. The only good thing I've heard about any of my research - 1 article I've submitted for publication that is pending review. The non-paper stuff - 0 good comments. The ph.d.'s I've done bench research under weren't nobodys either.
 

diosa428

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Just interviewed for a program (completely unrelated to research) where I was asked to explain why I didn't publish on some research I did. Honestly, I think it would have been better if I didn't put that on my application at all. Sure research might help a tiny bit if you don't publish, but it doesn't impress anybody. It is easy to do. Another faculty member (M.D.) has asked me why I ever wasted my time on bench research because you don't do squat. His words.

Looking back, I would have never done bench research my entire life. Its not that I didn't find it fun some days, but because "intramural basketball" has had more favorable comments during interviews. I would have done minimal shadowing also. My leadership experiences and medical mission trips were the highlight of every interview I had. I guess because it is unique.

Inteviewed at 10 medical schools with 2 interviews each. While in medical school, I've interviewed for 5 programs. Approximately 25 interviews. The only good thing I've heard about any of my research - 1 article I've submitted for publication that is pending review. The non-paper stuff - 0 good comments. The ph.d.'s I've done bench research under weren't nobodys either.

I agree that doing one summer of research, esp w/o a pub, won't make you "stand out", because most premeds do have some research experience these days... but because of that I think it's highly possible that, esp at some of the more research intensive institutions, it might be disadvantageous NOT to have any research experience.
 

gergl

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They both sounds interesting and quite different. You could always try doing which one sounds more interesting to you, rather than what you think an admissions committee would find more impressive.
 

JA Prufrock

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They both sounds interesting and quite different. You could always try doing which one sounds more interesting to you, rather than what you think an admissions committee would find more impressive.

here's a real idealist. it wouldn't be a premed decision without considering what would impress adcoms more.
 

TheRealMD

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Just interviewed for a program (completely unrelated to research) where I was asked to explain why I didn't publish on some research I did. Honestly, I think it would have been better if I didn't put that on my application at all. Sure research might help a tiny bit if you don't publish, but it doesn't impress anybody. It is easy to do. Another faculty member (M.D.) has asked me why I ever wasted my time on bench research because you don't do squat. His words.

Looking back, I would have never done bench research my entire life. Its not that I didn't find it fun some days, but because "intramural basketball" has had more favorable comments during interviews. I would have done minimal shadowing also. My leadership experiences and medical mission trips were the highlight of every interview I had. I guess because it is unique.

Inteviewed at 10 medical schools with 2 interviews each. While in medical school, I've interviewed for 5 programs. Approximately 25 interviews. The only good thing I've heard about any of my research - 1 article I've submitted for publication that is pending review. The non-paper stuff - 0 good comments. The ph.d.'s I've done bench research under weren't nobodys either.

I was told on numerous occasions the only thing WRONG with my application was that I didn't have any research. Sure, I did fine anyway, but that's 50/50 hindsight talking.
 
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172858

Hey guys, recently I was fortunate enough to be accepted into both the DeBakey Surgery program and the Baylor SMART (Summer Medical and Research Training) program. I have a hard time choosing between the two. Which of these programs do you believe helps more in the admissions process? I appreciate all comments, thanks.

speaking from experience, i was fortunate enough to participate in the debakey program and it was AMAZING. and honestly, i never was that interested in surgery - but the program offers so much more of a comprehensive experience that you would initially think.

i have a friend who did the SMART program that same summer and thought it was ok - but he actually said he envied me when we talked and compared our experiences.

just my two cents. hope it helps.
 

Monarch Kong

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speaking from experience, i was fortunate enough to participate in the debakey program and it was AMAZING. and honestly, i never was that interested in surgery - but the program offers so much more of a comprehensive experience that you would initially think.

i have a friend who did the SMART program that same summer and thought it was ok - but he actually said he envied me when we talked and compared our experiences.

just my two cents. hope it helps.

I did the SMART program and if you are even remotely a social person, this is the funner and more valuable program (unless you're hell bent on surgery). Aside from research, you constantly have get-togethers, DAILY basic/clinical research presentations, and opportunities to shadow doctors at Ben Taub.

Ironically I had a friend in the DeBakey program and he said how he wanted to be in the SMART program instead, haha.
 

dog366

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this decision is harder than expected. I have done two years of research already and have been a research mentor for a program. Though the DeBakey program offers excellent experience, I just don't know if I need an entire dedicated program for it. I also want to obtain a rec letter from the person that I'll be working with, and I don't know if I can do it with the DeBakey since I will only spend a limited amount of time with each one before rotating to another surgeon. My heart says DeBakey but my brain says SMART, haha.
 

TexPre-Med

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I was told on numerous occasions the only thing WRONG with my application was that I didn't have any research. Sure, I did fine anyway, but that's 50/50 hindsight talking.

You say that lack of research "hurt" your application, but your profile says "Baylor COM." If I'm not mistaken, isn't that one of the Top 15 medical schools in the nation (give or take a few)?

Curious.....knowing that you have an acceptance to Baylor, would you have gone back and traded an experience to do bench research or follow yet another doctor around? I sure wouldn't.
 

TheRealMD

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You say that lack of research "hurt" your application, but your profile says "Baylor COM." If I'm not mistaken, isn't that one of the Top 15 medical schools in the nation (give or take a few)?

Curious.....knowing that you have an acceptance to Baylor, would you have gone back and traded an experience to do bench research or follow yet another doctor around? I sure wouldn't.

Hence the 50/50 hindsight. If you had asked me BEFORE I got into Baylor, then I'd be wishing that I had some. No one really wants to apply to med school hoping they overlook stuff but they do anyway. If you can get all your ducks in a row before your try, I suggest you do so.

And even still I wish I had done some research. It's weird to feel like the odd duck out.
 
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