fw5tape6kq

5+ Year Member
May 28, 2012
182
40
Status
Medical Student
I had another medical school interview today, and spoke with a number of peers who are currently pursuing post-graduation medical research at various New York hospitals. For example, one student was working on breast cancer research, another on special kidney surgery. Please tell me what I am missing here. How are these inexperienced, untrained students procuring these coveted positions? I've considered this type of research as an option in case I take a gap year, but so far, I don't think it would even be possible if I wanted to! My local hospitals have no such opportunities for freshly graduated students. Tell me: is it just my area, or is there some back door "technique" that everyone else seems to know that grants one access to these jobs? Am I lacking the requisite "connections," "knowledge" or what?
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrBelle
Oct 24, 2011
281
32
Philadelphia
Status
Medical Student
It is all about networking. Also, most recent graduates who get paid clinical positions right out of college are either very lucky in their timing or interned in that lab during undergrad.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BurberryDoc

Reckoner

Lacks theology and geometry
7+ Year Member
Sep 27, 2011
1,380
2,955
Status
MD/PhD Student
How are these inexperienced, untrained students procuring these coveted positions?
If you saw what they did at work all day, you probably wouldn't call them coveted.

But yeah, it's a combination of networking (mostly in the form of having a well connected PI as an undergrad), luck, and previous research experience.
 
Nov 21, 2012
645
317
Status
Networking is the #1 way. It's how I got my RA job. I'm pretty sure several people in my group got involved through online applications though. If you have a great resume, it's very possible. There are usually lots of openings, albeit very competitive, if you're willing to commit to 2 years.
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
I had another medical school interview today, and spoke with a number of peers who are currently pursuing post-graduation medical research at various New York hospitals. For example, one student was working on breast cancer research, another on special kidney surgery. Please tell me what I am missing here. How are these inexperienced, untrained students procuring these coveted positions? I've considered this type of research as an option in case I take a gap year, but so far, I don't think it would even be possible if I wanted to! My local hospitals have no such opportunities for freshly graduated students. Tell me: is it just my area, or is there some back door "technique" that everyone else seems to know that grants one access to these jobs? Am I lacking the requisite "connections," "knowledge" or what?
Networking can be a big part of getting any job but these jobs are neither as scarce nor as difficult to get into as you think.

Large academic research centers generally have lots of entry-level research jobs that are pretty much designed for premeds looking to do a gap year or two and then move on. They generally involve data collection, data entry, other administrative or lab research scutwork, etc. There is little to no ability to advance in these jobs aside from going to medical/graduate school, which is what everyone pretty much does after them.

For bench positions I imagine they might be looking for specific lab techniques or just familiarity in a lab that you could have learned in undergrad. For more clinical/epi research (like my group does) we care less about previous research experience and more about whether or not the person has experience indicating emotional maturity and responsibility since our entry level jobs involve interviewing patients.

Having reviewed resumes for these positions I can tell you that 90% of applicants have absolutely no idea how to put together a competent resume and cover letter and if you can, you have a very good chance of landing these jobs.
 
Last edited:

Espadaleader

7+ Year Member
May 27, 2010
1,434
780
Status
Medical Student
It helps if you worked in the lab or institution before. If you don't have a network you just have to work a little harder, cold email people etc. Definitely have a good resume.
 

nemo123

5+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2011
2,035
986
Status
Medical Student
Emailing PIs works wonders, as opposed to submitting a resume on the online job application site. And like others have said networking works. My current PI was a grad student in my ex-lab, which is the reason why I think I got my job. I also know of people who asked their undergrad PIs for contacts and recommendations on people to email and got their jobs that way.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kyamh
Mar 8, 2013
95
4
I had another medical school interview today, and spoke with a number of peers who are currently pursuing post-graduation medical research at various New York hospitals. For example, one student was working on breast cancer research, another on special kidney surgery. Please tell me what I am missing here. How are these inexperienced, untrained students procuring these coveted positions? I've considered this type of research as an option in case I take a gap year, but so far, I don't think it would even be possible if I wanted to! My local hospitals have no such opportunities for freshly graduated students. Tell me: is it just my area, or is there some back door "technique" that everyone else seems to know that grants one access to these jobs? Am I lacking the requisite "connections," "knowledge" or what?
i know several ppl who are working part or full time at labs they worked in, while they were undergrads. Def try emailing PIs and if you have some experience, they will be responsive.
Chances are, not many will want to train someone (with zero experience) who will only be at the lab for a year....
 
Feb 16, 2013
229
66
Status
Medical Student
I had another medical school interview today, and spoke with a number of peers who are currently pursuing post-graduation medical research at various New York hospitals. For example, one student was working on breast cancer research, another on special kidney surgery. Please tell me what I am missing here. How are these inexperienced, untrained students procuring these coveted positions? I've considered this type of research as an option in case I take a gap year, but so far, I don't think it would even be possible if I wanted to! My local hospitals have no such opportunities for freshly graduated students. Tell me: is it just my area, or is there some back door "technique" that everyone else seems to know that grants one access to these jobs? Am I lacking the requisite "connections," "knowledge" or what?
When we filled positions in my old lab (a very desirable west coast institution), we would only seriously consider applicants if they had previous research experience, could commit for a minimum of two years, attended a good undergrad, and they were (obviously) willing to move across the country.

I got my research job after college by applying to jobs listed on the websites of different university hospitals.
 

nemo123

5+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2011
2,035
986
Status
Medical Student
i know several ppl who are working part or full time at labs they worked in, while they were undergrads. Def try emailing PIs and if you have some experience, they will be responsive.
Chances are, not many will want to train someone (with zero experience) who will only be at the lab for a year....
This was a big problem for me. I would get job interviews from labs, only to find out that they require a minimum 2 year commitment, which I could not make. Thankfully, there were about 3 or so labs that didn't care when I told them I could only commit for a year.
 
Apr 23, 2013
1,697
743
Status
Medical Student
This was a big problem for me. I would get job interviews from labs, only to find out that they require a minimum 2 year commitment, which I could not make. Thankfully, there were about 3 or so labs that didn't care when I told them I could only commit for a year.
A lot of places will want 2 years but sometimes knowing someone will be leaving after a year is a good thing if you have a grant that's about to end and don't want to have to fire someone.

On balance I'd say it's harder to find a one year position but as you say, definitely not impossible.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nemo123

osujic1

2+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2015
64
8
Status
Pre-Medical
I had another medical school interview today, and spoke with a number of peers who are currently pursuing post-graduation medical research at various New York hospitals. For example, one student was working on breast cancer research, another on special kidney surgery. Please tell me what I am missing here. How are these inexperienced, untrained students procuring these coveted positions? I've considered this type of research as an option in case I take a gap year, but so far, I don't think it would even be possible if I wanted to! My local hospitals have no such opportunities for freshly graduated students. Tell me: is it just my area, or is there some back door "technique" that everyone else seems to know that grants one access to these jobs? Am I lacking the requisite "connections," "knowledge" or what?
Its two years later and Im in your exact position now. Ive emailed SOO many PI's from the NIH looking for an internship. The hospitals around me really don't have research opportunities. Im in NJ and NY is a shortish drive/train ride away but that seems like a lot for a volunteer position, and I would really only consider going for a paid(even if it paid pennies) research position. The volunteer positions, at least around here just have people stapling papers together. . I graduated in January and really want something for the next year if not just for the summer. What did you end up doing? Networking was great advise, can anyone recommend anything else?