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Research, anyone?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by AntiviralsRule, May 14, 2007.

  1. AntiviralsRule

    AntiviralsRule Student Pharmacist

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    I've been looking at a lot of pharmacy school Web sites and various articles; some of them say it's helpful for prospective students to have research experience.

    Is research experience a big advantage for an applicant? Or is it simply looked at like all the other stuff: volunteerism, pharmacy shadowing, etc..

    As a midcareer applicant with a so-so GPA, I'm trying to get a handle on what I need to do to maximize my chances of admission.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. patmcd

    patmcd Senior Member
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    I'd say its on par with the other ec's you could have. I did a lot of research in undergrad and it provided goot interview conversation.
     
  4. cp5lb

    cp5lb Go Browns!!!

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    I did a summer of research before applying. It was pharmaceutical research so it definitely gave me something good to talk about for interviews, but it can be a double edged sword. I was talking a lot about it in an interview at a practice oriented (i.e. not research oriented) school, and the interviewers said "why aren't you applying to a bigger research school like Kansas, or MD, or Ohio St." (I'm going to Maryland next year, by the way).
    So, it was definitely helpful, but like every other piece of your application, it's more helpful for some programs than for others. In general the schools are just looking for someone who fits their program.
     
  5. xshooshix

    xshooshix Accepted Pharmacy Student

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    Any advice as to how to get research during undergrad?
     
  6. cp5lb

    cp5lb Go Browns!!!

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    I think most undergraduate schools have a research advisor or director of undergraduate research. You can check out professors' websites as well and find out what kind of research they are interested in. If all else fails, talk to your advisor and ask about research opportunities. They should be able to point you in the right direction. It doesn't have to be pharmaceutical in nature either. It was lucky for me that we have an organic chem professor who is interested in new antiboiotics. But I know students who are applying to pharm schools who are doing microbiology and cell membrane research in the biology department as well as some who are working on chemicals to clean dumped waste out of local waterways. It's more about the experience.
     
  7. MR. C

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    just about every professor at a university does research.. just find one that you like and think you would learn from and ask him if he is doing/interested in doing research. If they are not they will point you in the direction of someone who is. This will give you research to add to your application as well as a great LOR.
     
  8. pharmer8747

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    I did undergraduate research while in school as well as worked as a research assistant for 2 years after graduation. As an undergrad there was a special course that you could take that was called undergraduate research. You found a professor that had a project that you were interested in and worked with them. Both research experiences were great for getting letters of recomendation. All 3 of my letters came from people I had done research with. Research will definately help but I'm not sure I would put it on the same level with actual pharmacy experience.
     
  9. krsnyf

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    it's a great experience but before you jump into it, consider if you are willing to cut out study hours. you spend on avg ~ 15 hrs (sometimes a lot more ) a week, but you get perks like using the lab for studying whenever (since you get the building keys) and be surrounded by people who can guide you.
     
  10. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator
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    I will be finishing up my second year in my laboratory.

    It's been an interesting experience, but it taught me that academia and research weren't my favorite things and forte. The position exposed my time-management deficiencies that nearly cost me admission, but it was probably for the best in the long run when I enter pharmacy school this fall.
     
  11. AntiviralsRule

    AntiviralsRule Student Pharmacist

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    Great advice and info everyone, thanks!
     
  12. davyjone96431

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    yes, absolutely!

    my senior thesis was the deciding factor that helped me get into UCSD. they accepted only 60 out of 1260+ and my thesis help me stand out because during the interview, when they found out that i did an independent research thesis and got it published in a science journal, they couldn't stop asking questions about it. they were OBSESSED with it. my gpa was about 4-5 standard deviations from the average of the applicants that they accepted based on figures from the class of 2010 (which i assume isn't too far off the stats for this year) so that research i did compensated for a lot!
     
  13. suntzu

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    My GPA was decent and I had excellent PCAT scores, but less than a single day's worth of actual 'pharmacy experience'. Even that was broken up over two days. That was a major weakness in my application. I'm convinced that my research experience made up for it. At every school I interviewed, I was told that they'd like to see more of the class participate in research while obtaining their PharmD.

    Research experience isn't necessary, but it certainly can help out weaker points in an application. As was said before -- great interview fodder.
     
  14. omnione

    omnione SDN Pharmoderator
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    That was my story too = no actual pharmacy experience but lots of time spent in the lab with one LOR from my research adviser. That experience really smoothed things over with my interviewers went they asked about pharmacy experience.
     
  15. xshooshix

    xshooshix Accepted Pharmacy Student

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    So I finally found a research gig! :) After reading this thread a second time, some of the comments here have got me thinking. I'm doing a project that involves particular drugs, which is GREAT to talk about if I were to get an interview. After reading what cp5lb, posted, I can't help but wonder if it can also be a disadvantage to getting into pharmacy school. The school I want to get into is launching Pharm.D/PhD program, and I am wondering should my experience should come up during the interview, the adcom will end up interogating me as to why I didn't apply to their other program. I did the research to get my feet wet with other areas of Pharmacy since I have absolutely no prior experience, and I figured it was something I could possibly look into in the future if retail or hospital work doesn't work for me.
     

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