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More Research or Strictly Clinical?

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Lazybum2014

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I need a little help.
I am a junior now.I have done surface chemistry with my professor since spring of freshman year and will most likely have two published papers by graduation. I presented my work last year in a conference and hopefully twice more by the end of this year. :)

As far as clinical goes, I shadowed all of freshman year in one clinic (I didn't really know how long or what I was doing until late in the year). I also did the RA program in Connecticut. This is my only clinical experience, I had to stop after sophomore year because of an unfortunate car accident.

My research advisor says I should partake in research in other institutions (for obvious reasons), whereas my pre-health advisor says I should do strictly clinical things (volunteer and such) to "catch-up."

My question is that should I still do some research at other institutions this summer (if I apply and get accepted)? Would it look bad if I didn't continue research and only did it in my college? From my experience so far, I don't think I want to pursue a PhD

Or should I do what my pre-health advisor says? He's pretty new, so while I do trust him, if most of SDN backs him up, it would be great.
 

ttothemac

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I would suggest that you continue research at your institution and volunteer at a hospital/free clinic/hospice. Also what was your experience at the free clinic? That may actually have been volunteering and not shadowing. If that is the case you should also try to shadow a couple of doctors, including a primary care physician.
 

Lazybum2014

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I would suggest that you continue research at your institution and volunteer at a hospital/free clinic/hospice. Also what was your experience at the free clinic? That may actually have been volunteering and not shadowing. If that is the case you should also try to shadow a couple of doctors, including a primary care physician.

The clinic was the main office of a general surgeon. I basically watched him for about 5 hours a week for 12 months. I also worked with three radiologists and the nurse who worked in his office.

maybe clinic isn't the right term...but yea
 

iggs99988

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I'd probably vote volunteering due it sounding like you have an EXTENSIVE amount of research with some actual valid credentials, and comparatively little volunteering work. That being said, why do you present it as an either or? Is your schedule very tight to where you can't casually continue with whatever research you're currently doing? I don't recall the two being mutually exclusive.
 

btown8908

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If you've done research for that long, do some volunteer/clinical stuff for a change? Diversify yourself.
 

Lazybum2014

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I'd probably vote volunteering due it sounding like you have an EXTENSIVE amount of research with some actual valid credentials, and comparatively little volunteering work. That being said, why do you present it as an either or? Is your schedule very tight to where you can't casually continue with whatever research you're currently doing? I don't recall the two being mutually exclusive.

I thought many of the research programs are about ten weeks long with work from 9-5? I just thought I wouldn't be able to put in as many hours in volunteering as I wanted to if I join a research program.I night be wrong tho...
 

notbobtrustme

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You've done a lot of research. Two papers is great, most applicants, even those heavily focused in research, don't have any. As far as getting enough research in, I think you've done enough if you want to stop right now. You can keep doing it if you like it.

As for clinical stuff, I'd just volunteer at a hospital once or twice a week for a few hours. It seems like you already got a lot of hours shadowing so you should be fine with a decent commitment (~100 hours) in a volunteer setting.

My advice applies to most schools, but not top 20, so take that with a grain of salt.
 

Lazybum2014

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Sorry to bring this up again-
Am I going to have to wait in a gap year for lack of clinical experience?

I ask because parents brought cousin back in the homeland getting married in summer and we might have to go...but I know that the summer is crucial for applications too...
 

airuike

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I'd listen to the advisor, but also think about yourself for a second. The shadowing and the research isn't done so you can prove the an admissions committee that you're made to be a doctor, it's for YOU.

Do you know what you're getting into? Can you see yourself doing research every day for 8 hours? What about the doctor you shadowed, would sacrifice the next 7 years of your life, not to mention the debt you'll incur, just to have his job?

The point of these experiences is to help you decide if you can commit that much of your life to the career. Do you think it's a job you want? Does it seem rewarding enough? Will it make you smile every day?

The old adage about liking your job and not working a day in your life is true--make sure this is a job you'll love. Choose your next set of experiences appropriately so that you can be well informed when you make this big decision.
 

1TB4RKSB4CK

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Half and half clinical volunteering with nonclinical volunteering.
 
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