southpawcannon

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What have you ladies and gents done to get some experience with the research aspect of medicine? Did it make any of you consider research along with clinical medicine? Did your undergraduate studies or real-world work experience give you an idea of something you'd like to research and/or design during your medical schooling or career?(Besides a cure for cancer and AIDS)
 

Captain Fantastic

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I answered an ad asking for help with a clinical research study. That lead to an independent project within the same department.

For the first study, I was involved with identification of participants, verification of eligibility, enrollment, performed study measurements, outcome tracking, and data processing. I did a lot of grunt work, but I also saw how difficult it is to work with "volunteer" participants (even though we paid them they were not very compliant which kills the data).

For my "independent project", I designed the study, did the lit review, collected the data (chart audits, mostly), programmed the statistical models, and did the analysis. I'm currently writing the first draft of the manuscript. I also did all the IRB documentation. I had a LOT of hand holding from my mentors: an MD and a PhD.

Both experiences were/have been great. I have a much better understanding of the processes and challenges of medical research.

I do have some ideas of what I'd like to work on during medical school, but that's going to depend in large part where I get in. Hopefully that school will have some faculty doing research in an area where I can join/piggy-back a project.
 

relentless11

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What have you ladies and gents done to get some experience with the research aspect of medicine? Did it make any of you consider research along with clinical medicine? Did your undergraduate studies or real-world work experience give you an idea of something you'd like to research and/or design during your medical schooling or career?(Besides a cure for cancer and AIDS)

I did clinical research as an undergrad, and totally enjoyed it. Which allowed me to see no problem in doing a PhD (currently). I mainly focused on biomedical engineering, and biomedical systems as an undergrad. I now focus more on the clinical trials of such systems, as well as their clinical relevance.

My undergraduate studies helped in terms of providing the basic foundations for my PhD program. I don't think my undergrad life helped me design my PhD or will help my med school life....since that was so long ago (other than being a foundation). My PhD life though will..since many of our core classes were med school classes...so it'll be fun to repeat or skip classes;).
 
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What have you ladies and gents done to get some experience with the research aspect of medicine? Did it make any of you consider research along with clinical medicine? Did your undergraduate studies or real-world work experience give you an idea of something you'd like to research and/or design during your medical schooling or career?(Besides a cure for cancer and AIDS)
I did two years of basic science research during college, then went to grad school and got my MS. I worked for a while at a couple of jobs, one of which was as a research tech, and then went back to grad school and finished my PhD. I'm in my first year of med school now and still doing research; I plan to continue with a research career. Initially I considered not even doing a residency (you don't need to do one if you don't plan to ever practice), but I decided it's kind of silly to go through all the hassle of med school and then not get licensed. There are actually residencies that are geared toward people who want to be researchers. So that's my plan now. :)
 

jtsai

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i had 2 yrs of undergraduate research experience. Then 2 additional years in grad school. I accepted a position for a research assistant position at Georgetown for oncology...which later lead to a position into a clinical research coordinator position for brain injury. Since my master's was in neuroscience...that seemed to be the more sensible route. Working in the hospital on the neurology floor...i am able to see the different research protocols dr's conduct. It's an incredibly great experience. Real work experience is completely different than when researching academically.
 

spicedmanna

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What have you ladies and gents done to get some experience with the research aspect of medicine? Did it make any of you consider research along with clinical medicine? Did your undergraduate studies or real-world work experience give you an idea of something you'd like to research and/or design during your medical schooling or career?(Besides a cure for cancer and AIDS)

I have about 4 years worth of research experience (give or take). I began as a volunteer the freshman year of college at the NIH and held a series of fellowships there. The entire time I was at NIH, I worked with the same PI. We studied aspects related to the stress axis, sometimes clinical in nature, other times more akin to basic research. It was a tremendous experience for me because I was treated like a post-doc while I was there. I not only got my hands "dirty" on most every project, but I led a number of them. I got a chance to present our work and to write some abstracts. However, my desire to connect wellbeing with my studies were indirect at best. I moved onto more biopsychology type research later in my undergraduate career. I enjoyed research and was good at it; several people tried to convince me that it was what I should pursue. I disagreed. While research was fun, it didn't have the direct and extensive people interaction I was looking for. I decided to continue exploring the promotion of wellness at the experiential level. Naturally, this path led me to medicine many years later. My experience in biomedicine, though, has been a great asset in my path towards medicine. It provided a very strong foundation and another perspective in which to view health and wellness. I readily enjoyed finding the intersection of varying perspectives. My understanding of the stress-axis finds it's way into just about everything that I do.

I think some kind of exposure to research methodology is becoming increasingly important as we move further along with evidence-based medicine. I see doctors looking at efficacy and morbidity-reduction studies, etc., in conjunction with their examination of a patient records in deciding on appropriate and effective treatment for their conditions. I definitely foresee myself getting involved in some clinical research in the future, although not as a primary focus.

While my extensive research experience has been important to me, it never came up directly during my recent interview, ironically!
 

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I've been looking for jobs in research for a long time now, and it seems like nobody is hiring for part time work, or you need all sorts of qualifications. Can anyone give me some hints about getting research experience? I am getting really frustrated with not hearing back from PI's and HR depts.


***I know I am suppposed to look at the teaching universities in my area. believe me I have, it just hasn't been that successful so far. I just wanted to note that so no one would give me that as a suggestion again.***
 

spicedmanna

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I've been looking for jobs in research for a long time now, and it seems like nobody is hiring for part time work, or you need all sorts of qualifications. Can anyone give me some hints about getting research experience? I am getting really frustrated with not hearing back from PI's and HR depts.


***I know I am suppposed to look at the teaching universities in my area. believe me I have, it just hasn't been that successful so far. I just wanted to note that so no one would give me that as a suggestion again.***

Research isn't the best way to make money, in my opinion. If you do manage to get them to pay you, I'm betting the little bit that you will get wouldn't be exactly worth your while. However, unless you already have some research experience, have some special credential, and/or are willing to put your axe to the grindstone, most PI's might be reluctant to hire you (most won't object to you volunteering, however). PI's have a limited budget for their staff, usually taken out of their research grant; they will often hire the individual(s) that can provide them with the most support and benefit. I would offer to volunteer first in the lab where you want to work and are interested in the research they are doing. I would consider it as valuable experience and get my money elsewhere. Maybe after you volunteer in the lab for awhile and make yourself invaluable, you can get them to actually pay you.
 

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I did about 3 years of research in graduate school. It involved independent research for my thesis, accepting two separate research assistantships in other areas, and participating in still more independent research for publication in an area separate from my thesis. Its all about making contacts and taking advantage of opportunities really. After Grad school, I took on a full time employment research position with the State, then was hired by a genetics diagnostic facility for 3 years. Finally, I have gone back to school for another grad degree program and have more exposure through that as well. In undergrad, I assisted with some small projects, but nothing that I would claim as research for my AMCAS.
 

Jacq

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I'd like to get in to research, but I have absolutely ZERO experience.
How does one go about getting into it? Any suggestions on how to get a foot in the door?
 

droyd78

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I was able to get a chance to join a lab and project by getting to know a professor and then just asking for a chance. By the way, I have no experience (English major) and I've only been through Gen Chem I and am currently in Gen Chem II and Gen Bio I.

So basically I am a set of hands to do little chores and clean up, but I'm in a lab and learning and when I've got some more classes under my belt I'll be able to be even more involved.
 

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I was completing a master's degree in Applied Physiology to augment my personal training career and decided to do some clinical rehab/biomechanics related research with a Parkinson's disease population for a year. When I decided to pursue med school, I went ahead with my pre-reqs and was fortunate enough to fall in love with organic chemistry... did a semester of synthetic orgo research with my teacher - then decided pitch these qualifications to a local medical college/hospital and tried to land an entry-level position in a biophysics lab. I got lucky - that's what I do now, M-F 9-5. Even put my personal training business on hold so I could find room for MCAT prep before and after working in the lab. Planning to apply to MSTP programs beginning in June.
 
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