Does research during/after med school applications count?

acsb_21

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Sorry if this question has been answered already. I don’t mean to beat a dead horse. If it has, kindly point me to the thread!

Because of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, I’m leaning towards taking a year off (currently a rising junior) instead of suffering through online classes, which obviously aren’t well suited for science labs. Thanks to some finagling of my electives/core classes/part time in the gap year, I will be able to get most of my critical science requirements + labs in by the end of junior year. This allows me to take the MCAT by the end of junior year, apply to med schools throughout senior year, and hopefully matriculate directly after senior year.

The only thing I’m concerned about is getting in ample research. My available summers will be possibly summer post gap year, summer post junior year, and summer post senior year, but I hope to take the MCAT post junior year and start applying in senior year. I might be able to do some research during the school year junior year, but it’s not a guarantee. So it begs the question, does research performed at the time of application or after the time of application count in admission boards’ eyes? I’m assuming concurrent research might but research in senior summer won’t matter apart from its inherent value as experience because I’ll have already applied to schools by then (unless I don’t get in and must apply in the next cycle, then I assume it would count). Thanks for reading this lengthy post.
 

gonnif

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If you have started a position by application time, you can list the projected future hours. However, any projected hours are just that: projected and do not carry a significant amount of weight with adcom. However, as I tell all students, with 60% of applicants ultimately rejected, you must assume that you will be a reapplicant and therefore must continue enhancing you record for a probable reapplication
 
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KnightDoc

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Sorry if this question has been answered already. I don’t mean to beat a dead horse. If it has, kindly point me to the thread!

Because of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, I’m leaning towards taking a year off (currently a rising junior) instead of suffering through online classes, which obviously aren’t well suited for science labs. Thanks to some finagling of my electives/core classes/part time in the gap year, I will be able to get most of my critical science requirements + labs in by the end of junior year. This allows me to take the MCAT by the end of junior year, apply to med schools throughout senior year, and hopefully matriculate directly after senior year.

The only thing I’m concerned about is getting in ample research. My available summers will be possibly summer post gap year, summer post junior year, and summer post senior year, but I hope to take the MCAT post junior year and start applying in senior year. I might be able to do some research during the school year junior year, but it’s not a guarantee. So it begs the question, does research performed at the time of application or after the time of application count in admission boards’ eyes? I’m assuming concurrent research might but research in senior summer won’t matter apart from its inherent value as experience because I’ll have already applied to schools by then (unless I don’t get in and must apply in the next cycle, then I assume it would count). Thanks for reading this lengthy post.
It appears as though you are a little confused with respect to timing. There is no "senior summer" if you aren't taking a gap year after graduation. You will graduate in May and start med school in July or August. Admission decisions will be made well before then, and you will be making arrangements to matriculate and enjoying whatever free time you still have left, not performing last minute scientific research. Also, there is no "start applying in senior year." Applications for the current cycle opened in May and will be done (other than the interviewing and decisions) shortly after Labor Day for most (DO extends to around Thanksgiving).

Many schools do not require research, and those that do will be looking for more than whatever "check the box" activity you manage to fit in, so my advice would be to not worry about it until you get back to school, and, even then, only pursue it if it really interests you.
 
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acsb_21

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Why not do a research project now? Obviously, you can't do bench research, but I think there might be clinical research projects that need data analysis or online/library research.

Good point... I've been looking for research opportunities and I've reached out to a handful of professors, but I don't really know where to look for remote project work (networking?)
 

acsb_21

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It appears as though you are a little confused with respect to timing. There is no "senior summer" if you aren't taking a gap year after graduation. You will graduate in May and start med school in July or August. Admission decisions will be made well before then, and you will be making arrangements to matriculate and enjoying whatever free time you still have left, not performing last minute scientific research. Also, there is no "start applying in senior year." Applications for the current cycle opened in May and will be done (other than the interviewing and decisions) shortly after Labor Day for most (DO extends to around Thanksgiving).

Many schools do not require research, and those that do will be looking for more than whatever "check the box" activity you manage to fit in, so my advice would be to not worry about it until you get back to school, and, even then, only pursue it if it really interests you.

Thank you for clarifying that. I guess I was a little confused. My original plan was to go straight through with 4 years of undergrad and take a year off after graduation, but I'm considering taking that gap year now because of COVID-19, as I mentioned. I may just have to take 2 gap years, although it didn't seem ideal at first thought.

Your second point surprised me-- lots of people I've talked to and resources I've viewed (including SDN) harp on the undergrad research! Is it less emphasized at DO vs. MD schools? Is it more along the lines of an unofficially required thing, where you don't need it to get in but you need it if you want to have a solid shot?
 
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KnightDoc

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Thank you for clarifying that. I guess I was a little confused. My original plan was to go straight through with 4 years of undergrad and take a year off after graduation, but I'm considering taking that gap year now because of COVID-19, as I mentioned. I may just have to take 2 gap years, although it didn't seem ideal at first thought.

Your second point surprised me-- lots of people I've talked to and resources I've viewed (including SDN) harp on the undergrad research! Is it less emphasized at DO vs. MD schools? Is it more along the lines of an unofficially required thing, where you don't need it to get in but you need it if you want to have a solid shot?
Nope. People here emphasize it because it's a big deal at some of the schools that people here focus on - primarily T20. Even for them, it's not a "requirement," but pretty much everyone has it and they do look for it.

For most other schools, unless you are looking for MD/PhD, it's not a big deal. It's good to have, but it's definitely not a deal breaker, and tons of students are admitted every year without it. If you're not interested in it and you're not gunning for a tippy top school, you really don't need it. Just ask one of the adcoms like @LizzyM, @gyngyn, @gonnif, @Goro, etc. to confirm.
 
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gonnif

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Nope. People here emphasize it because it's a big deal at some of the schools that people here focus on - primarily T20. Even for them, it's not a "requirement," but pretty much everyone has it and they do look for it.

For most other schools, unless you are looking for MD/PhD, it's not a big deal. It's good to have, but it's definitely not a deal breaker, and tons of students are admitted every year without it. If you're not interested in it and you're not gunning for a tippy top school, you really don't need it. Just ask one of the adcoms like @LizzyM, @gyngyn, @gonnif, @Goro, etc. to confirm.

In a 2013 AAMC survey* where 127 medical admissions offices responded, found research experience is only of medium importance at private schools and of low importance to public schools as an experiential factor in offering both interview invitations and acceptance. Healthcare experience, community service/volunteer experience, experience with underserved populations, navigated through cultural barriers or challenges, leadership experience were considered of higher importance in factors for interview invites and offers of acceptances. This was further borne out in the 2015 AAMC Survey** where 130 medical school admissions found that both community service or volunteer in both medical and non-medical settings ranked higher in importance than physician shadowing Paid employment (medical/clinical), Research/lab, Military Service, Teaching/Tutoring/ Paid employment (not medical/clinical), Intercollegiate athletics Honors/awards/recognition, and presentations/posters/publications.


*see page 7 (pdf page 12) Table 1. Mean Importance Ratings of Academic, Experiential, and Demographic Application Data Used by Admissions Committees for Making Decisions about Which Applicants to Receive an Interview Invitation and Offer Acceptance (N=127)

** See page 14 (pdf page 21) Table 1. Mean Importance Ratings of Academic, Experiential, Demographic, and Interview Data Used by Admissions Committees for Making Decisions about Which Applicants Receive Interview Invitations and Acceptance Offers (N=130)
 
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LunaOri

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Good point... I've been looking for research opportunities and I've reached out to a handful of professors, but I don't really know where to look for remote project work (networking?)
I think you have to reach out to professors and see if anyone needs help with a project or a manuscript
 
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