Jul 1, 2015
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I'm a 34 year old veteran, pre-med student at UC-Berkeley. My question is if I should have a ton of research experience as a pre-med since I plan to rejoin the military after medical school? I want my application to be congruent with my future goals. Any advice?
 

WernickeDO

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I'm a 34 year old veteran, pre-med student at UC-Berkeley. My question is if I should have a ton of research experience as a pre-med since I plan to rejoin the military after medical school? I want my application to be congruent with my future goals. Any advice?
If you want to do research then avoid the military. A MD/Ph.D is a better bet.
 

WernickeDO

Returning to the womb
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I'm a 34 year old veteran, pre-med student at UC-Berkeley. My question is if I should have a ton of research experience as a pre-med since I plan to rejoin the military after medical school? I want my application to be congruent with my future goals. Any advice?
A more direct answer to your question is that research always helps pre-meds with med school admission, which is really your goal at this point. If you are at UC-Berkeley I am sure there is tons of research going on that you can help out with. My earlier post refers to the fact that most Army docs, even those with an interest in research, spend their time with clinical and clerical work. If being a doctor/researcher is your goal, then the mil is not a good option. Good luck.
 

mw18

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Jan 7, 2014
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You can get into med school without research, no doubt. It likely does make it easier. You don't need a ton of research though. You can do light work for a year, or heavy work on a project or two. Just show that you have the curiosity and that you've worked to learn the scientific process. The application process isn't supposed to be about checking boxes, but in a lot of ways it is. If you were all ready to apply and didn't have any experience, then I wouldn't tell you to delay it. But if you're early on enough that you can get some experience, then you should.
 

HighPriest

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research always helps. Don't do so much that you compromise your grades, because grades are the first thing admissions boards look at. If you have a poor GPA you're going to get pushed to the back of the line. It's not them being dicks, its just that they have tons of applications and they have to stratify them somehow. Once you have a good GPA, research will set you apart from those who don't have research. but ultimately military research is an oxymoron nowadays.
 

Kingfisher

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In my opinion military medicine does not do a very good job with "real" research. We just are not designed to do it very well. There are some places that do a better job in that area than others, but there is just too many organizational problems that keep us from doing the "real" research. We do a pretty good job at case reports and other similar publications but honest to goodness ACTUAL research is hard to find in the DOD. Problems:

1. Lack of staff that know how to do it right. At other civilian programs like Hopkins it is just embedded into what they do. We have not been into that very heavily so as a resident you may find it hard to find staff that knows how to navigate the red tape to get your project going.

2. Lack of support infrastructure in most MTFs. Often if you want to do something, you are left on your own because it is hard/nearly impossible to get funding for civilian positions to assist in research projects (ie stats, graphs, data, whatever).

3. Staff turnover can be high leading to inconsistency and projects left unfinished

4. Little interest in DOD MTFs to do the real stuff
 
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