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Research Advice

Clinical Shadowing Summer '22 Programs
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orangekid

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So I'm a CS major leaning towards applying to med school, and I had a question about the research experience that med schools like to see in their applicants (looking at research-heavy schools). I'm involved with a lab that is doing research with cellular mechanisms, and I'm involved in a project where they want me to help develop (write programs) imaging techniques for the data that they're collecting from wet lab experiments.

Is this considered research experience? I'm not really sure because it does just seem like programming to me, though with a bio application which is nice. I do intend on continuing working with this group, but I'm just curious to see if I should also be looking to get a more traditional research experience before applying for med schools.

Thanks in advance!
 

Shirafune

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Sounds like research experience to me. With big data becoming more and more prevalent in science, the ability to analyze these huge data sets is becoming more and more important.

"Research experience" refers to participation in the scientific process (i.e. hypothesis driven research). If you're developing analytics, you're going to need to understand the underlying biology so that the analysis is meaningful and validated. You'll compare your data to an established technique that validates your program, fine-tuning your program along the way. These so called methods papers are also important. There are many transferable skills in what you're doing and traditional wet lab work.
 

Dirtybird

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Sounds like research experience to me. With big data becoming more and more prevalent in science, the ability to analyze these huge data sets is becoming more and more important.

Totally agree. I was just thinking the other day how useful it would be if I had more compsci knowledge, big data is the future. Proteomics, microarray, GWAS, etc - cutting edge technology leads to innovative research findings. Hopefully you'll get to expand on what you can contribute in your lab, take the initiative to branch out if your skills are up there and you know how you can help. As long as you have an understanding of the research and realize how your efforts are being utilized, I feel like your type of work would be valued at any forward thinking medical school.
 
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