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How Important is Research?

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by mizzou11, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. mizzou11

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    A doctor I was talking to about medical school told me that research was more important than clinical experience. Is that a true statement? It is very difficult for me to find research in my area except for summer research programs you have to apply for by the middle of this month. I have done some shadowing over this break and will continue to volunteer at a hospital near my University and was wondering what the best way to spend my summer was. Is there any other way to find research other than summer programs that Universities offer? Also if I take research for class credit will that count and just work at a hospital over the summer?
     
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  3. 202781

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    Nope that doctor was wrong (Unless you want to do an MD/PhD) I have heard of people getting into all types of schools all the time with no research...but have never heard of someone getting in with 0 clinical experience.

    If you want to go to WashU, Hopkins, Stanford, Harvard, Duke...or another school that is known for research I would say that you should find a way to do some research because it may count against you at those schools

    I had 0 research (because it is boring) and I have been accepted to 5 schools so far this cycle and have actually turned down some interviews (and I have pretty average stats). most the schools I interviewed at asked if I had done research (usually closed file interviews) and I just said no. It was not a big deal for any of the schools I had been accepted to. Most of them said it was pretty pointless because the research opportunities in med school are so much better anyway and you will actually be able to contribute (most interviewers said that a bunch of people that put research down on their app were obviously exaggerating their responsibilities.)
     
  4. 229141

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    Seems like everyone I know who gets in has a ton of research, but it is not needed if you make up for it in other ways.
     
  5. erskine

    erskine hit it, H
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    are you by any research universities? Just email professors and ask if you can work in their lab, since during the summer most undergraduates, including the work-study guys, are gone and they always need help. Last summer I was fortunate enough to work in 2 different labs, without any fellowship program, which involved just them casually hiring me for 10 weeks or so. You likely won't be in the lab long enough to get a publication, but you'll get lots of experience, which will help get future lab positions.
     
  6. J ROD

    J ROD Watch my TAN walk!!
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    Clinical is > than research.

    Research is only important as a MD/PhD or at the top schools or highly research oriented schools.

    Just know where you are applying.


    Personally, the only research I do is on here! :D
     
  7. Catalystik

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    Research is desirable, but not essential. Clinical experience is essential. Research taken for credit is still a research experience to list on your application. Be sure to give the details of what you did, if you mention it.
     
  8. flip26

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    :thumbup:
     
  9. UTKD

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    #8 UTKD, Jan 8, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  10. BlueElmo

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    What exactly constitutes clinical experience? Is it volunteering at a hospital setting?
     
  11. RecyclingBinh

    RecyclingBinh Class of 2014 hopeful!
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    clinical experience or exposure is like volunteering in a medical setting. it doesn't have to be volunteering. it can be work or shadowing.

    i was told by a dean of admissions that on the application, in the box that asks for research experience, it is ok to have it blank.

    if you want, try emailing professors at your school because it is easier to find research opportunities that way. i hate laboratory research so i went with clinical. i had an opportunity to be accepted into a co-op program that my school has with Baylor so i was able to get started with my research. it was an opportunity of a lifetime.
     
  12. Mobius1985

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    You can get clinical experience through the workplace, for class credit, data gathering for a clinical trial, by physician shadowing, or via volunteerism. It can be gained at a clinic, hospice, hospital, residential home, or nursing home (among others). Unpaid clinical exposure isn't always a volunteer experience. If there is any purpose that serves you, other than altruism, it's not "volunteer".

    The advantage of gaining clinical exposure through volunteerism, is that it also is looked on as community service, another unwritten requirement for your application.

    Shadowing is a type of clinical exposure, but because it is passive (you just watch how a physician conducts business with patients and staff), it is not sufficient in itself. Though you choose voluntarily to shadow, it is not a "volunteer" experience, as it does not serve the patient. Adcomms are looking to see that you've had face-to face-interactions with sick people. Some med schools do not regard shadowing at all, and others value it highly as it gives one the best idea of what being a physician is all about. In order for your application to appeal to the broadest number of schools, it is wise (but not obligatory) to include this type of experience.
     
    #11 Mobius1985, Jan 9, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2009
  13. cavalier329

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    does a crisis hotline count as clinical experience? Its not face to face...but you do interact with people and offer suggestions and referrals.

    Sometimes these people have some serious issues too.
     
  14. Mobius1985

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    Yes. But I think you need "face-to-face" experience, in addition. It should not be your sole source of clinical experience.
     
  15. cavalier329

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    right, I have that. Was just curious about the hotline. Never was sure where to put that one.
     
  16. Pghboy18

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    This is one of the most ridiculous things that I have read on SDN.

    Any experience in which you don't get paid and provide a service to others is a volunteer experience. If it helps you get into medical school (and probably makes you a better medical student), there's nothing wrong with it.

    Many hospitals have structured volunteer programs that include elements of general labor (transporting patients/cleaning/stocking supplies) and a more clinical component (shadowing/helping with research). Contacting the hospitals in your area and investigating their programs is a great place to start looking for clinical exposure. It's also a lot easier to find research positions at academic hospitals if you have already volunteered there in some other capacity.
     
  17. flip26

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    The chief point being made in the earlier post - I believe - is that not all unpaid experiences are "volunteer" - for instance, shadowing is clearly not a volunteer experience.

    Furthermore, if you have a "job" and are unpaid, it is also not necessarily a volunteer experience. It is more correctly classified as an unpaid job...this would include an unpaid job in a lab or in an office...

    Really not that hard trying to figure out what qualifies as a volunteer experience...
     
  18. Mobius1985

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    For the purposes of filling out the AMCAS application form, one needs to decide how to categorize one's experiences. The categories are already provided, so you just have to decide which one is most suitable. Of course, some experiences might qualify for more than one category, leaving you to choose which helps to make your application look the most balanced.

    A crisis hotline worker, might choose 1) "Community Service/Volunteer-Medical/Clinical" if they volunteer to give advice, 2) "Research/Lab" if they do it to collect data for a project, 3) "Community Service/Volunteer-not Medical/Clinical if they were connecting callers to mental health professionals (and not giving advice)," or 4) "Paid Employment-Not Military if they receive a salary."

    For AMCAS purposes, you would not call an experience "Volunteer/Community Service" (though, of course, you had the option of participating or not participating) if you are getting research credit, compensation in some form ($, room and board for an RA, tuition forgiveness), or for a shadowing experience.


    A person needing to list a research project on the AMCAS form: 1) as a volunteer could mark it as a volunteer activity, 2) as a job could mark "Paid Employment-not Military," or 3) if done through a class, let the transcript provide the information. But all would more appropriately choose 4) "Research/Lab," and would describe the project in the narrative portion. Yes, OP, it will count.
     
    #17 Mobius1985, Jan 9, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2009

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