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Research Experience

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by dara678, Oct 30, 2002.

  1. dara678

    dara678 Hello Kitty Fan
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    Hi!

    I just wanted to get some feedback about research experience. I've been trying to work in labs this year (my junior year), but I keep getting turned down by haughty professors or stuck in menial jobs like washing glassware. Do you guys have any suggestions about what to do? I guess I should mention that I'm not too keen on doing research -- at least from what I've seen in these labs -- and that I'd rather spend my time doing other worthwhile things like volunteering or studying or something. But research experience seems to be required for the med school app ... what do you guys think?

    Thanks! :p
     
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  3. lll505

    lll505 Senior Member
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    Do research if it interests you... don't do things just for a resume.
    That said, you can learn a ton of things doing research, and it is exciting and interesting.

    When I started my post-bac program, I did not have a single science course, couldn't even convert milliliters to liters. So I approached PI's via email whose labs I wanted to work in, with excellent letters of ref, saying I wanted a chance to learn, and would be willing to do whatever at first. My PI told me he took me b/c of my references, and then I ended up having the chance to conduct my own experiments!
     
  4. cabruen

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    dara678 --

    I suspect that you may be having problems finding a research position because you are not enthusiastic about it. Which is fine! You need to find something that you are passionate about, and throw yourself into it!! Remember the admission committees are not looking for cookie cutter pre-med students, they want to see something that makes you stand out. Research is not a box that that you need to check. If you love research, then claw your way into a lab, and excel. If you love volunteering, do that. If you want to work in a clinic, do that. None of these are easy, but if it is something that you love, I guarantee that you will find a way to do it. And it is that fire, that will make the experience rewarding, thrilling, enjoyable. And THAT is what will turn on the admissions committee.

    Best of luck
     
  5. vivekap2007

    vivekap2007 cowtown indo hornet
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    Many medical schools have summer research programs (Baylor has somthing called SMART etc) I would talk to your premed advisor to get a list of these programs or just search the web. Once you find some programs look through the faculty listings and find someone who works on somthing you're interested in.

    I don't think research is necessary for a med school however it does show "intellectual curiosity". However, if you don't like the idea of doing research then I suggest maybe taking a medical mission trip to another country or some other significant experience that could really cement and demonstrate your desire to enter medicine.
     
  6. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    i agree with the above posters...maybe you should find something you're more passionate about than research to explore. also, i started off at one of my research jobs washing dishes, making stock solutions, and autoclaving. eventually i was given my own projects. i ended up learning that i did not particuarly enjoy most bench research, but now i work in clinical research and like it much better.

    if you'd rather volunteer, then by all means volunteer!! i loved my undergrad volunteer experience so much that i've stuck with it since graduation. do something meaningful to you-- there's no formula or check-off sheet for getting in to med school. best of luck!!
     
  7. ccCrazie

    ccCrazie Senior Member
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    Are you looking for paid research positions? That may be your problem. If you are looking to get paid and don't know how to do anything you're going to get stuck doing crap, and in research you have to have experience to get experience. The solution is independent studies. Sign up as a class and then you will have to have your own research project to work on and won't have to do crap work because it's not your job. Then you'll have the experience to get good summer internships and if you keep that up by the time you get to med school apps you'll be way ahead of the competition.
     
  8. scooter31

    scooter31 'Ello Guv'nah!
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    Hey Dara-

    Don't give up hope- it took me tons of unreturned emails and calls to find a research project worthwhile and interesting, and then the coolest one dropped into my lap at the end of my junior year, about a week or two prior to finals. I got to do small animal surgeries with a PhD in avian physio, which then led me to TA Human Anatomy, which led me to even further, more involved research and clinical opportunities, all of which was related to my major or background. All it took was persistence, and a fellow student who knew people that were desperate to find anyone responsible and enthusiastic to help them out in their lab. Keep plugging away, and the big opportunity may come from a place you never imagined would, and may lead you to bigger, more impressive things...


    Oh yeah- where in Vegas are you from? Finally, another Sin City resident on SDN!!!! :clap:
     
  9. exigente chica

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    I agree with everyting that the above posters said:

    First, realize that research is NOT required for medical school, people seem to think this for some weird reason:confused:

    I'm a firm beleiver in doing what u like and makes you happy, not with what someones else(adcoms) will like. If i did that, I would have had a terribly biring time in college. If you like to volunteer, do it, mission trips are great, clinical experience is nice, and so are about 30 other things that you could do. Don't fit into the mold.

    If you want to do research, really. Then go up to your advisor or one of your profs that u ahd for a class that u did well in. Tell her/him that u are interested in trying research out, ask tehm to explain their project to you. Then ask if you can either "sit in" and learn some things or if they need another student in the lab. If not, ask another proff. Summer programs are also a great way to get some experience and travel for about 8 weeks.

    Need nething pm me.
    Good luck
     
  10. Lancer_VII

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    The teaching hospital I volunteer at has many opportunities for people who wish to volunteer in a medical research lab. It's an awesome way to gain clinical experience as well as research!

    I have to say though, getting a job in research is definitely a pain - the first time I applied to research positions, my science GPA was a 3.1. I submitted 20 applications and got accepted to one program. But after that, getting research was much easier because I had that initial experience to talk about and guide my interests.

    Try volunteering in a lab for a bit....being able to write or talk about something when applying to other programs makes a HUGE difference!

    scooter31, I see you're from the same neighborhood as myself! What part of slummerville are you in? I recently moved north of the charles in hopes of finding cheaper rent!
     
  11. scooter31

    scooter31 'Ello Guv'nah!
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    First a fellow Las Vegan and now another Slummerville peep? Dig on that.... I live across the street from Tufts, near Powderhouse Square. Close to campus, and not that bad a walk to the T to get to work every day. And yes, the rent is sooo much cheaper than in town. Drawback? About a block away, there's an adult halfway house, so sometimes, it can be an interesting walk into Davis Square... :eek: Ahhh, Slummerville, America's suburb!
     
  12. dara678

    dara678 Hello Kitty Fan
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    I'm from around Sunrise Mountain (so Las Vegas proper). Yay!

    Anyways, thanks so much for all your advice! Is there anyone who has not had research experience who is in med school?
     
  13. NUgoofygirl

    NUgoofygirl Junior Member

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    I've never had any research experience, and I'm an M1 at Northwestern which is a school which I believe "strongly recomends" research for applicants. So don't dispair, if you don't want to do it, don't.
     
  14. dara678

    dara678 Hello Kitty Fan
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    NUGoofyGirl, you're not HPME right?

    I go to NU for undergrad. :)
     
  15. NUgoofygirl

    NUgoofygirl Junior Member

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    nope, not HPME, just regular acceptance.
     
  16. scooter31

    scooter31 'Ello Guv'nah!
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    Sunrise Mtn? Me too! Over by Eldorado High, off of Nellis Blvd. Is that your neck of the woods, Dara? Sunrise Manor district, if I remember correctly..... :clap:
     
  17. isidella

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    Another thing. . . I did a bachelors thesis for three years as an undergrad. I did the research because I loved it, not other reason-my interest in medicine evolved later. On more than one occasion, my mentor scoffed at students who wanted to do research in his lab to pad their med school resumes. I would not brag about doing research to solely increase your chances of med school acceptance. Just MHO though. . . I agree with the other posters, be yourself, be an individual. I cannot tell you the number of times that I have heard schools prefer the olympic athlete or the clasical guitarist or the avid marksman over the typical pre-med drone.
    Isid
     
  18. dara678

    dara678 Hello Kitty Fan
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    Hey Scooter!

    Yup, that's exactly where I am! I'm about four blocks up on Bonanza from Eldorado. Did you go to Eldorado for high school? where are you for undergrad?
     

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