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Research or Shadowing?

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kypdurron5

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So I’ve been rejected for 2006 and now I’m preparing to apply for 2007. This Saturday I’m retaking the MCAT to try for a few more points, and I’m trying to decide on the experience side whether I should throw myself into a research opportunity (non-clinical) or into shadowing/volunteering. Unfortunately I have none of either, and I had decided the Monday after the MCAT I would crack open the phonebook and start calling around for someplace to shadow seeing as though I have no personal doctor contacts. I just received an email though from a professor who wants to discuss research with me. I have another professor who’s asked several times, and I’m actually really interested in her research (rat neurology >). Still, I feel as though it would be very difficult to try and coordinate both, and my feeling is that shadowing would be more important to obtain, especially since one of my rejection letters suggested obtaining “hands-on clinical experience.” What do the old, wise, sages of StudentDoctor.net think?
 

2DEG

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Can't you consider doing both?

I am not sure what your schedule is like. But if I were you, I would try to shadow maybe an hour or two per week and do few hours of clinical research per week. That's my plan. I will maintain a full-time job and I have a family too.
 

kypdurron5

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2DEG said:
Can't you consider doing both?

I am not sure what your schedule is like. But if I were you, I would try to shadow maybe an hour or two per week and do few hours of clinical research per week. That's my plan. I will maintain a full-time job and I have a family too.

Hehe, no, a full-time job and family does indeed trump any of my schedule concerns >) I forgot to mention though- my main concern is duration. I only have the month of May to do SOMETHING, and possibly the month of July IF I apply the beginning of August. I really want to apply early though. I'm going to Paris for the month of June, so that month is gone. Thus, let me also ask everyone, would it be better to apply (later) in August and do something in June as well, or apply (earlier) in June and just run on what I've managed to do in May? Thanks.
 

danceroriginale

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kypdurron5 said:
Hehe, no, a full-time job and family does indeed trump any of my schedule concerns >) I forgot to mention though- my main concern is duration. I only have the month of May to do SOMETHING, and possibly the month of July IF I apply the beginning of August. I really want to apply early though. I'm going to Paris for the month of June, so that month is gone. Thus, let me also ask everyone, would it be better to apply (later) in August and do something in June as well, or apply (earlier) in June and just run on what I've managed to do in May? Thanks.

It doesn't matter if you've only started it a month before the application, just show that you have an intention of continuing it while the application cycle is happening. AND APPLY EARLY! Do the shadowing alone of the month of May, so you can get as much experience as possible. But I would still talk to the professor about starting in July, and then you can at least put it your secondaries, possibly your primary, as a future event (this is what I did for a paper that was only published Dec 2005) so at least its there. And don't knock how much research, even if its non-clinical, can help your application. It brings you to a different view of medicine, and can teach you really valuable things when you want become a tenured professor (coz you gotta do research). Best of luck, and DON'T GET DISCOURAGED! This is cycle 2 for me, and its clicking :)
 

GujuMD

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I am also re-taking the MCAT and after that I am going to start finding someone to shadow. I have one year of research. About finding someone to shadow: what you can do is find a clinic or a hospital near you and go on their website if they have it. then you can try to see the names of the physicians and their specialty. when you find a list of physicans that you would be interested in shadowing. send them an email or call them and tell them that you are a pre-med, re-applying, want to shadow....That is what I am planning to do.
 

kypdurron5

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kpatel said:
I am also re-taking the MCAT and after that I am going to start finding someone to shadow. I have one year of research. About finding someone to shadow: what you can do is find a clinic or a hospital near you and go on their website if they have it. then you can try to see the names of the physicians and their specialty. when you find a list of physicans that you would be interested in shadowing. send them an email or call them and tell them that you are a pre-med, re-applying, want to shadow....That is what I am planning to do.

Great idea! I first went through the volunteer department telling them exactly what I needed and I ended up stocking shelves! Going through a list like that instead of a phonebook should allow me to really narrow down who I approach. That gives me another idea....I could also use a health insurance provider directory! Finally, I really prefer email for an initial, formal communication, so I like that as well. Thanks!
 
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