Apr 8, 2010
37
0
0
New Hampshire
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Pre-Medical
I'm a non-trad with a degree in English who is back in a post-bac program. Although research is not where my true passion lies, I have heard that it is crucial to being accepted these days.

My question is ;
How do you go about getting "hired" to do this research without a BS? I have searched MANY hospitals, and everyone wants a science degree with research experience.

What do those of us who have a liberal arts degree do?

Thanks!
 

ShinyDome19

Evil in the making...
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Jul 15, 2009
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I'm a non-trad with a degree in English who is back in a post-bac program. Although research is not where my true passion lies, I have heard that it is crucial to being accepted these days.

My question is ;
How do you go about getting "hired" to do this research without a BS? I have searched MANY hospitals, and everyone wants a science degree with research experience.

What do those of us who have a liberal arts degree do?

Thanks!
I wouldnt say research is crucial as the majority of people accepted to medical school do not have research experience. That being said, the majority of people dont attend the top tier research heavy schools. If that is what your going for, then yes you will need research.

I would suggest, since your a post-bac student and not an undergrad who has several years left, to focus on research that isnt bench based - I would think that few graduate students/PI's would be willing to train you in laboratory techniques just to see you leave in a few semesters. Try a psychology dept or hospital that may be looking for a clinical research assitant. Talk to and get to know graduate students <-- they are key to getting volunteer positions at universities...I wouldnt count on finding a paid position in research unless you have a degree...even those are difficult to find currently.

Its kind of a long shot, but going by your Name: EMT - I am assuming you are certified as such; you could try finding a tech position at the ER and getting to know some of the doctors...maybe mention that your trying to find some research oppertunities and..if they are nice enough, might get in on a small case study or something..

Ultimately, talking to people/knowing people will be your best bet at finding the research oppertunities.
 
Last edited:

bonsaipalmtree

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Feb 5, 2008
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I did it for free while doing school and working at another paying job. Didn't get paid but at least got research experience and some great LORs. That experience got my hired at my current job, where I get paid :)
 
Apr 8, 2010
37
0
0
New Hampshire
Status
Pre-Medical
I did it for free while doing school and working at another paying job. Didn't get paid but at least got research experience and some great LORs. That experience got my hired at my current job, where I get paid :)
How did you go about finding these oppertunities without a science background? I think that is my main problem!
 
Apr 8, 2010
37
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0
New Hampshire
Status
Pre-Medical
Its kind of a long shot, but going by your Name: EMT - I am assuming you are certified as such; you could try finding a tech position at the ER and getting to know some of the doctors...maybe mention that your trying to find some research oppertunities and..if they are nice enough, might get in on a small case study or something..


I am indeed an EMT Intermediate. I have a pretty heavy load in the clinical department right now, as I'm working both as a professional EMT (was full time, but dropped down to per diem recently) as well as a cardiology technician in my local hospital. Although I get upwards of 50-60 clinical hours a week, I work in a small area (New Hampshire... enough said)... where the closest research hospitals are Boston and Dartmouth. Dartmouth is 180 miles from me, and Boston, while close, is difficult to find studies to jump into. There isn't a whole lot of research going on around the New Hampshire seacoast. Without "knowing" anyone in the research field, do you have any advice to hopping on board?

Also, I have been reading mixed reviews about the reasearch thing. Much of what I've seen says exactly what you've said-- top tiered schools it's a must, everywhere else it's a plus. It's just difficult to gague when I'm up against these 20 year olds with 3 years of cancer research and published articles out of Mass General. I would like to think my clinical and real-life (being out of school for a few years) would help level out the playing field. But I have also heard otherwise...
 

ShinyDome19

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my thoughts are this, and this is coming from someone who has a heavy research background: If someone is spending time in the lab year after year, they arnt spending that time getting clinical experience for the most part. If your the average joe trying to get into your every day medical school, then clinical experience will probably be weighted much higher than research experience.

When I first applied to medical school, I had worked full time (48-72 hrs a week) for a year as an EMT - this was the sum of my clinical experience...But, I had also been working in a lab for roughly 4 years and had 3 publications or there about...I was told by an adcom advisor at a non-research heavy school that my research was great and all, but my year of work as an EMT put me far behind my competetors (other applicants) in clinical experience... results that year were 1 interview out of something like 12 schools I applied to...rejected at the 1 i interviewed at in the end.
This year, after doing an entire year of clinical volunteering, I have been accepted to a DO school and waitlisted at the MD school which I interviewed at previously... My crappy MCAT hadnt changed between these two application cycles, only thing that really increased was clinical experience.
 
Apr 8, 2010
37
0
0
New Hampshire
Status
Pre-Medical
When I first applied to medical school, I had worked full time (48-72 hrs a week) for a year as an EMT - this was the sum of my clinical experience...But, I had also been working in a lab for roughly 4 years and had 3 publications or there about...I was told by an adcom advisor at a non-research heavy school that my research was great and all, but my year of work as an EMT put me far behind my competetors (other applicants) in clinical experience...QUOTE]

Thanks! Did you ever hear what was considered "significant" clinical experience? By the time I apply to school, I will have been an EMT for about 5 years, and working in cardiology for about 2, plus many hours of physician shadowing and 24 hours clinical time in an ED performing procedures, etc.
 

ShinyDome19

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Jul 15, 2009
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no, I think they were more interested in me showing an equal interest in the clinical side of things as I showed for research.. The dean of admissions at the school I interviewed at and am now waitlisted seemed much more "satisfied" with just me putting in the effort to get the experience they suggested - like you, I am a non-trad; I work 9-10 hours a day and am married; the amount of time I have to devote to volunteering is somewhat limited to weekends...I think giving up my saturdays every week to volunteer at a free clinic, for a year, seemed to satisfy them. But honestly the hours I did probably didnt put me any where near the number of hours that most undergrads that know medicine is what they want to do during their freshman year and start volunteering and what not then.
 
Feb 15, 2010
208
4
0
Columbus,OH
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm a non-trad with a degree in English who is back in a post-bac program. Although research is not where my true passion lies, I have heard that it is crucial to being accepted these days.

My question is ;
How do you go about getting "hired" to do this research without a BS? I have searched MANY hospitals, and everyone wants a science degree with research experience.

What do those of us who have a liberal arts degree do?

Thanks!

Dont get discouraged! I have been trying to get involved with a research project for nearly an entire year, and I JUST now caught someones attention enough to get an interview this Monday.My only lab experience thus far has been that of my chem/bio/phys classes

What I did was I found a young, enthusiastic, newly-minted PHD that is undergrad friendly (not a ton of researchers are) and showed true interest and enthusiasm in the type of projects they were doing.
 

d1ony5u5

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EMTI, I think the way to look at this is that research can only help you, and therefore it is desirable. You can, as many people do, get admitted without it, but not having it will close doors some places and it won't help in most (at best it is a neutral-negative). So, to cover all your bases, try it out!

It is hard to get started out, but once you do, you'll have good opportunities (you and others were misspelling the word, btw). I have been working in a basic science lab for nearly 3 years (with more than 4 years' experience in other places), and am now manager until I leave for Medschool this summer. I think the key to getting started is what the poster above me said: show enthusiasm and desire to learn.

I personally would take a humanities major without experience who seems genuinely interested in the research we do, than an obviously qualified, jaded science major. The only difficulty you will face is that no one will want to train you in the very basics of lab work (the stuff in your chem and bio UG labs), so you have to make sure you let them know that even though you are not a science major, you have those down. Looking over your lab notebooks to review the common techniques and such can help. Also get ahead by reading any recent publications from the labs you are trying to get into. Nothing shows more interest than taking the initiative.

Also, you shouldn't expect to get paid with your level of experience. Money in research is hard to come by, and the only way to get paid is by having a lot of experience. That is why entry-level technician jobs are difficult to land.

Lastly, I would recommend also looking into clinical or population based research. I can't give you any pointers for those since I have no significant experience with them. Your real-life and clinical experience will be more easily translatable to these types of investigation. Remember that any kind of research is fair game. If you were to find an English prof who let you into their research and you were to get published, that would also be good for your app.

Regarding another of your posts, don't worry. Your life experiences will definitely set you apart from the usual medical school applicant. It's all in how you portray yourself to the AdComs through your app. Make good arguments for strengths you have acquired through your less orthodox path to medicine, and you will have an app that will outshine that of most 20 year old neurotic pre-meds!

Good Luck!!
 
Apr 8, 2010
37
0
0
New Hampshire
Status
Pre-Medical
d1ony5u5-

THANK YOU for both the advice and the encouragement! And wow am I red-cheeked at my spelling errors! lol. What can I say? I am a victim of the spell check generation.

I may or may not choose to get into research after the responses to my posts, but, as important as I know it is, I have more interest in the human and clinical aspects of medicine-- the problem-solving, and science, combined with the patient contact. If it is possible for me to continue my path in the clinical field and still be looked on favorably by the ADCOM gods, then so be it. I do, after all, believe that your genuine interest and passion in something shines through in your app, and I think the Adcoms can certainly sniff out those who are doing things simply as resume polishers. What kind of physician would that make, anyway?

One quick question for anyone out there;

I have been published by a college professor in a piece of educational literature he has written. He is a well-known "expert" on the education of youth (particularly boys) and used a short creative writing piece I'd written in his class as a part of his most recent book, with, of course, my name in it. Is this worth mentioning in my app, or is it mundane and irrelevant considering it isn't purely "academic", but rather, creative?
 
Apr 8, 2010
37
0
0
New Hampshire
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you!

Any other yays or nays for mentioning the book publication?

PS- I just want to say that I'm new to SDN and am pretty much in love with it. These are the questions I've been dying to ask people in the know, and haven't been able to! THANK YOU ALL!
 
Mar 5, 2010
6
0
0
Status
ya I'm going through the same thing right now trying to find research for this summer. I'm thinking about doing a MD/PhD because I like doing research and I didn't get into the millions of programs that I applied to (some didn't even find the time to reject me via email... ) but have been emailing PI's that work in areas that I'm specifically interested in. If you have a genuine interest in their work, they have been really kind and actually respond either telling you they'd like to discuss an opportunity or at least referring your information to another person they know.
so basically just focus in on research you're already interested in bc it will make it easier to find PIs and don't get discouraged!