Jun 30, 2013
Hey guys,

I'm a history major pursuing med school admissions. As a liberal arts major, I'm close with a few of my professors, one of whom wants me to help him write a scholarly paper on a subject we covered in class.

I would really like to pursue this opportunity, both for personal enjoyment and in case I don't end up finishing my pre med courses and go a different route. But right now med school is my goal and my dream, so I'm afraid to make such a big committment that will definitely take away from my med school work.

So could doing this research opportunity satisfy med school's requirement of research conducted? or would it just be a waste of time?

Thanks for any answers
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I certainly think it would qualify as "research" in adcom's eyes, especially if it's published in a peer-reviewed journal, though I'm not sure there are any medical schools that require research. It certainly helps applications, but I don't think it's required for any school, or at least not for the vast majority of schools. That being said, having history research will also likely be something that sets you apart from other applicants because I'm sure that's not something they see everyday. If you think it would take away from doing well in school or other pre-medical requirements, that is something to consider. Are you thinking it'd lead to worse grades or just less time for extra-curriculars?


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There is no requirement for research as an applicant to medical school. Of course, research can be a bonus for more competitive programs and indeed a requirement for some research-specific programs and schools.
Sounds like you really want to do this project. It's even better if the topic is something you are passionate about. Being passionate about what you are doing is NEVER a waste of time and will always serve you well in admissions (and life). My school (Case Western Reserve) likes to see such "scholarly" efforts - as they show intellectual curiosity. Of course this goes without saying that it should not come at the cost of poor grades/no volunteering/poor MCAT.

Also, as part of my research year I am collaborating with a history PhD candidate on a history of medicine research project - including traveling to archives and doing primary literature searches in the Early American medicine. Nobody has ever questioned the "validity" of this work or been anything other than supportive of this work as "research". You might want to look into medical history as a way to "cover both bases" if you are so inclined.