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Is research needed?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by villiarp, Nov 20, 2002.

  1. villiarp

    villiarp Junior Member
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    Does research really count for that much when applying to medical school? or can I get away with not doing any.
     
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  3. whitesoxfan

    whitesoxfan Member
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    if you're not interested in research don't do it. do volunteer work and explain that you are more interested in patient interaction. i have no research experience and interviewed everywhere i applied, except san antonio.
     
  4. UCLAMAN

    UCLAMAN Air Jordan Collector
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    Don't do something because you think medical schools will like it. Research is not a necessity to get into medical school. I had a friend who got into UCSF with zero research. At the interview they asked him why he hadn't done any research. he said "because I think research is boring." (in those words)

    You are better off doing something you enjoy. Not everyone who gets into medical school did research as an undergrad.
     
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  5. BobbyDylanFan

    BobbyDylanFan Senior Member
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    i asked a doctor this same exact question. he responded, if research was needed to get into medical school, i'd be an accountant by now!

    i chose to participate in research, but only because i like it. the choice is yours
     
  6. gogiants

    gogiants Senior Member
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    although not doing research won't keep you out of med schools by any means, if you want to go to some of the more competitive med schools (say top 15) i think it can help open doors. these schools look for the kind of analytical skills that research imparts, and the chance to be involved in publishing a paper is a huge plus
     
  7. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat
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    Do whatever you want as long as you do something that looks good. I had no volunteer and next to no clinical but had tons of research, and I got in. Other people have the converse. But few have nothing at all.
     
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  8. ucbdancn00

    ucbdancn00 Senior Member
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    hey all...

    this is the piece of advice that i have....

    BE YOURSELF.

    Why would you want to get involved with things (ie Research) if you have no interest in it? Getting into medical school is about demonstrating your passion for working with people and your committement/dedication. Don't feel like you have to fit some sort of pre-med formula by doing things you don't enjoy. If you like research, then by all means do it........but it's not a requiste to get to medical school....

    After all u are trying to become a doctor, not a researcher!!

    just my thoughts :D
     
  9. jmanwaring

    jmanwaring VH Superfan
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    If you plan on going to the U of Utah Med School, you have to do research. One of the six, yes six, different LORs you send to them has to be from a professor who supervised your research experience--at least two months worth. That's the only school I know of that REQUIRES applicants to do research.
     
  10. solid snake

    solid snake Senior Member
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    How about doing reasearch to just see what a researcher does, like just out of curiosity or somethink like that? Would that be reasonable?
     
  11. tatabox80

    tatabox80 Super-Duper Member
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    I would go ahead and do research if you are bit curious about the whole process. I don't think you can really know whether or not you have a liking for research until you have some experience in the area. I participated in research last year and now I can say with some certainty that I really do not like the whole research process. It did give my an appreciation for the process though. However, there are other things that I DO like, such as working with children, tutoring and the like. The only way I could discover that I liked/disliked something is by trying it out
     
  12. jofrbr76

    jofrbr76 Senior Member
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    Yes you must do research, actually genetic research to be exact, specifically with a professor of the last name Burg. ;)

    J/k Paul, research isn't needed at all, especially with your other E.C.'s. Do some teacher assisting or volunteering since you probably want to go to wayne? (near Dana?) :D

    :eek:
    Joeman
     
  13. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member
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    I agree with tatabox. Although I do not care for research much, at least of the basic science variety, I do think that research plays a critical role in medicine. With all of the publications that come out every year, I think that it is important to have an idea about what goes into the production of a published article. If I were on an adcom, I would require at least a summer's worth of research. If you hate it, fine, you never have to do it again. At least you know what it's all about.
     
  14. LoneCoyote

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    What do people out there think about publishing and getting into more research-oriented schools like UCSF and Stanford? I ask because I have done 1 summer in an undergrad research program at another univeristy, and 3 semesters in a lab that is not medically related out of pure interest. The chances of my getting on a publication on any of the work is very slim. An advisor said she thought it might hurt my chances, and make the research look unsignificant since I will have done it for 2 years w/o getting published. Should I be worried about this? I am most interested in primary care and not research. Thanks.
     
  15. DarkChild

    DarkChild Senior Member
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    az... I really dont think getting published is the be all and end all of research.
    sure its nice, but the vast majority of successful med school applicatants to top 10s arent published.. and a significant number of MD/PhD acceptees arent either.
    I dont think medically related is all that either... for me the most important thing is to be able to articulate your interest and in research and display an enthusiasm for it...
    as I see it, the attraction seen by adcoms for a significant amount of research done by an undergrad is that it demonstrates to them that the student can critically evaluate/analyze data... a skill which is very important for doctors....
    YMMV
     
  16. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    i tend to disagree with your advisor. doing research as an undergrad for 2 years does NOT mean you necessarily should be published right now. getting published is something not many undergrads do and is dependent on several variables (how accepting your PI is, what type of research you do, etc). as long as you can take something out of the experience and be able to talk about it intelligbly, you'll be fine i think
     
  17. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member
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    Additionally, you can't look backwards. If your research is not going to be publishable, there is nothing you can do about it now. I don't think that it will hurt you much, and if it does hurt you a little, its too late to fix it. There are plenty of other, more important things to worry about.
     
  18. LoneCoyote

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    Thanks for the advice everyone :)

    I'm glad to hear SDNers don't think this is much to worry about. I was thinking along similar lines, that it is really too late to do anything about it now, and hopefully it won't make much difference that I didn't get published.

    Peace.
     
  19. TheElement

    TheElement Being Lazzy
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    Wow the thread search function finds really old threads... haha.

    I was filling out a bunch of applications for summer internship programs regarding research when I realized hmm I probably wouldn't enjoying doing this stuff. (Not at the rate of 8-5 every day of the week).
     
  20. derArzt

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    From another thread... some percents of students matriculating that have participated in undergraduate research:

    Stanford (96%)
    UCSD (93%)
    UC Irvine (92%)
    Pritzker (90%)
    UCSF (90%)
    UCLA (90%)
    Yale (88%)


    So... if you want to go to these (or many other top 20 schools, I imagine) you SHOULD do research. However if research isn't your thing, then don't go to a research-oriented school.
     
  21. Maxprime

    Maxprime Higgs chaser
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    I've had schools openly tell me that they love to see my research experience and to bring it up during interviews.

    As stated earlier, it's not a deal-breaker. But you need to put an equivalent amount of effort into something you do enjoy. I would suggest checking out research and just trying it - then you can say whether or not you really enjoy it. That kills 2 birds with one stone.
     
  22. Auron

    Auron Cruisin' the Cosmos
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    hey maxprime,

    I was thinking of doing 1 hour of research this spring, bringing me up to 17 hrs. The prof said it'd be 2-3 hours per week. Thing is I've never done it before and have a tough schedule this semester, I don't know what to expect. I have 2 excellent term clinical experieces lined up for spring which will continue till I graduate, so I'm wondering if I should just stick to clinical stuff for now and do research in senior year.

    I really want to go to my state med school, so I'm trying hard to get as much clinical experience as I can in a multitude of ways. My thinking is that having some research experience will just boost my app and make me more "rounded"

    any thoughts?
     
  23. medsrchr

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    I think research is necessary. I've gotten interviews from schools that never would've looked at me twice had I not done it with my stats. When you think about it, committing 2 - 3 hours/week for research is nothing - you've probably spent more time browsing SDN than what you'd spend at the bench. ;)

    I've committed 15 - 20 hours/week during my junior year (and it was my roughest year yet) and it was manageable. The key is to structure your time well. For me, my day consisted of classes, research, and studying. I'd party on Friday night and resume studying during the weekend. Senior year, I slimmed down my hours and spent about 10 hours/week. It's doable!
     
  24. derArzt

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    What opportunities did you find for less than 10 hours/week? Would you sign up for a research assistant position for like 1 credit hour?
     
  25. medsrchr

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    To be honest, I don't think you can do significant basic science research for just 2 - 3 hours /week. If you think about it, just digesting DNA and running it on a gel takes at least 3 hours (in one day). Asking for a 2 - 3 hour task would mean you're doing grunt work at the bench (flipping flies, making solutions, setting up a PCR reaction without knowing its outcome, etc.). If you really can't devote about 10 hours per week (go in about 3x a week for 3 hours), I wouldn't recommend basic science research.

    However, if you can code, this is totally doable. A lot of bio-computational science majors I know went this route and were able to do significant research by going in 2 - 3 hours a week (just to report to their postdoc/PI) and worked from home.

    If you can't devote this much time to bio research, I would suggest psych research. This would involve you mainly recruiting people for studies and most postdocs let you do this on your own time. The caveat is that it's not as sexy as more hands-on type research and I don't know how adcoms look at this.

    I think adcoms want you to be fully involved in research, not doing research for research sake. This means you are involved in the protocol, you know what you're doing each step of the way, and you contributed intellectually to it (e.g. you designed the DNA construct, you were the one troubleshooting, you are working on this aspect of the protein whereas your postdoc is working on another, etc.). I think it's obvious to adcoms if you've contributed significantly to the research because if you know each step of it, you can talk about it in more detail and you understand why you're working with that particular organism, why you're taking that approach, etc.

    And addressing your question, most people I know signed up for at least 3 credits of research (1 credit = 3 hours of research work). I wouldn't sign up for a research position for 1 credit (I'm assuming 3 hours/week) because I don't think I'd get much out of it (e.g. publication, poster, conference, etc.).

    I hope this helps.
     
  26. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy"
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    No, I don't have any. But have a good reason for not having any (and truthfully, there isn't any good reason).
     
  27. 87138

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    Really? Because "I looked into it and spoke with researchers/profs and decided I had no interest whatsoever" has worked quite, quite well for me so far.
     
  28. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy"
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    Then again, I had a LOT of PhD and MD researchers. They wouldn't like you bashing what they do for a living.
     
  29. 87138

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    What I did/said was in NO WAY bashing. My most "successful" explanation (based on the interviewer's positive response) was with a PhD who was big into research. I carefully and clearly explained that I had looked into it, and decided it was not for me, and she seemed genuinely impressed that I had actually given it some thought and pursued avenues to find out what it was about, rather than having dismissed it with no actual thought.

    3 weeks later, fat packet in the mail.
     
  30. Alvarez13

    Alvarez13 PGEEE2 mediates FEEEVER
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    What do adcoms think about non-academic research? I currently work as an R&D Engineer for a company that designs surgical devices for ortho, neuro, and cardiothoracic puposes. We've gotten to undertake some pretty cool projects (like developing orthopedic screws that are reabsobed into the body as the patient heals) and work with surgeons on a regular basis. Not as much about bettering the quality of life as it is about making $$$ for the company, but it's still helping to make surgeries go better. Just wondering if adcoms would look any differently on this since I am making a profit from it and not dedicating as much time to going to school full time (I'm doing a post-bac now).
     
  31. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy"
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    Most people can't do that though, can they?
     
  32. 87138

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    Perhaps not.
     

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