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Is all research the same or do adcom look for something specific?

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PharmtoMD

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So a few professors have openings at our research facility and I was having a tough time choosing which one I should pursue. There is definitely some areas of research that interest me more but I feel like Adcoms wont take as seriously because they are less science intensive than some other research options I have.

Things I'm interested in:
-Discovering a way to cause parasite inactivity in leshmaniasis infected patients
-Neuropharmacology effects of certain drugs on alcohol dependence and sex differences in response to alcohol

Other options I have:
Studying the genetific differences and interactions/ADME relationships of a specific CYP450 enzyme for nicotine metabolism
Studying specific mechanisms to determine the pathophysiology of Barth Syndrome
Studying the mechanistic development of pancreatic ductal dysplasia.

Should I just pursue what I am actually interested in, pursue something that appears to be the most beneficial to adcoms, or the pursue the research project that gives me the best chance to get my name published? I plan on working a total of ~500 hours within this next year.

Cheers!
 

Goro

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We don't care if you study oncogenes, or clams off of Fiji. The key is that you learn something about the scientific method.
To quote the wise DrMidlife: "you've preferably had some exposure to research so you can be convinced that Wakefield used malicious dirtbag methods and is not the savior of the world's children.”
 
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Shirafune

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So a few professors have openings at our research facility and I was having a tough time choosing which one I should pursue. There is definitely some areas of research that interest me more but I feel like Adcoms wont take as seriously because they are less science intensive than some other research options I have.

Things I'm interested in:
-Discovering a way to cause parasite inactivity in leshmaniasis infected patients
-Neuropharmacology effects of certain drugs on alcohol dependence and sex differences in response to alcohol

Other options I have:
Studying the genetific differences and interactions/ADME relationships of a specific CYP450 enzyme for nicotine metabolism
Studying specific mechanisms to determine the pathophysiology of Barth Syndrome
Studying the mechanistic development of pancreatic ductal dysplasia.

Should I just pursue what I am actually interested in, pursue something that appears to be the most beneficial to adcoms, or the pursue the research project that gives me the best chance to get my name published? I plan on working a total of ~500 hours within this next year.

Cheers!

They are all fine. Nobody cares what you study for undergraduate research. As Goro said, it's what you get out of it (i.e. what critical thinking/scientific skills did you gain to prepare you as a physician?). People are more interested in someone who has put in substantial work studying a seemingly random niche in sociology and can talk eloquently and elaborately about it. This is opposed to someone who studied cancer, but can only talk about the few times they ran a Western Blot.
 

Lucca

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Pick the best combination of: potentially good mentor and a topic that interests you. Give more weight to the former than the latter. The science isn't really that important at this stage. In all honesty, the likelihood of you making a significant contribution to the lab at your level of training in most fields is very small and mostly a matter of luck and timing. However, having a good mentor who can help you learn how to think about science and not just how to do a couple of token experiments is *priceless*. If you end up loving research and end up wanting a research career, that type of mentorship will also, ideally, help you become more independent and organized. Even if you never do research again a single day in your life afterwards, those skills will come in handy.

Of course, I'm a bit biased since I enjoy the process more than I am enamored with any particular topic. I could study basically anything and have a good time really. But, the takeaway is that you should find a mentor you connect with that seems at least keen on if not excited to mentor you.
 
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JustAPhD

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It really doesn't matter, try to pick the option that you'll be involved the most in.

...although if you do have an opportunity for that clams off of Fiji gig Goro mentioned I'd take it.
 
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