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How important is undergraduate research?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Slash, May 4, 2004.

  1. Slash

    Slash Senior Member
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    I'm just wondering what the opinion is of the importance of doing undergraduate science research. Is it something that really benefits you during the admissions process to dental schools? I have the opportunity to do some summer research work, but I haven't yet decided. Thoughts?
     
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  3. DrTacoElf

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    Only do it if you are interested and can TALK about it. don't just go sit in a lab and wash dishes and try to pass that off as research. generally any activity that you feel strongly about and can talk about in an interview honestly will benefit you.
     
  4. Cheeks1038

    Cheeks1038 Junior Member
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    It would depend on your involvement in the research and whether or not you actually enjoy doing the research. There is a space on the AADSAS application that asks whether or not you have performed research and, if so, describe it and state any publications. This alone is evidence of its level of importance for the overall applicant (however important that may be still remains to be determined). Interviewers will ask about research, i guess it depends moreso on the school and whether research is an intergral part of their curriculum. Nonetheless, it is something that you can talk about during each interview and thus can only benefit you (assuming you had an active role in the research and know the topic quite well). It is another thing to add to your application; not the smoking gun, but definitely icing on the cake. I performed research at the dental school at my undergraduate institution for a year and was asked about it during each interview. I would say do it if you really think you will enjoy it.
     
  5. trypmo

    trypmo Arch Fiend
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    I'd say that if you haven't tried it yet, by all means give it a shot. You'll get some experience, learn about a hot topic of research, be around people you can ask questions about it, and hopefully, find a place you'll fit in and feel comfortable. I've supervised a few research assistantships that proved very valuable to the participants, whether the jobs ended up in their getting more involved or in their ultimately realizing research was not for them.

    My opinion is that it will only add to your knowledge and skill set, but only *you* can decide whether it would be more valuable to you than what you'd do otherwise. For example, if you'd be taking more summer courses otherwise and you feel behind the curve in your studies, maybe doing that would end up being more helpful to you, but if you'd planned to get a full-time job at the local donut shop otherwise, then I'd definitely pick the research.

    Not everyone gets the opportunity to do research as an undergrad, so generally I'd say go for it, especially if the group seems like a friendly and positive bunch of people (if other students working there seem unhappy, of course, I'd avoid working with that group).

    I've done lots of research myself, so feel free to PM me with (or ask here!) any other specific questions you may have. Good luck! :thumbup:
     
  6. adamlc18

    adamlc18 Senior Member
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    I agree with the other posts. Doing research can help you to stand out from the other applicants. Plus I think the best benefit of doing research is the opprotunity to get published. Schools look very favorably on undergrads who get published in peer-reviewed journals. If you want to specialize, it would be wise to start the research now, as you will probably have to do some in dental school as well if you want to be competitive for an ortho, endo, or oral residency program.
     

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