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Research Question


Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2001
The bitter cold midwest
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Okay, so I am an undergrad and looking to do research over the summer. Well, I contacted some on campus professors and asked them if I could. Most didn't even get back to me and one said he was going on sabbatical. There are a few more options I could try, but then my friend's uncle, who works at a Reputable Medical School, said I could volunteer to do research for him. I was really excited at first, but then got to thinking. This guy probably does not get too many UNDERGRADUATE students working for him. So, I am not sure if I am gonna really be able to help with the research and get my hands dirty. What do yall think? Am I over analyzing or do you think that I am probably better off looking for a research oppurtunity on campus where I can really get into it.


*hiding from patients*
15+ Year Member
Apr 10, 2003
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Are you crazy? hehe... yes, you are over analyzing it. You want to be a doctor, right? Some people may disagree with me, but if you do not plan on going into research then one of the most important things that you get out of research is networking. It's not what you know, but who you know! I would go and do research at the medical school and get to know the school, especially if it is one you plan to apply to. A strong LOR from a prof at the school you apply to can only help you. I'm not saying this is the only reason to do research, there are many other things you get out of it- learn how all that stuff you read in books came from, scientific method, how to solve problems, etc, etc. Your friend's dad knows you are an undergraduate and he probably wouldn't have offered if he didn't think you would be able to help out or get anything out of it. I would definately go for it!
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My Rx: Guiness
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 4, 2003
You never know... I, through a chain of about four contacts, found myself sitting outside the neurosurgery department at UChicago for like 4 hours waiting for some guy, who, when I met him seemed like the least enthusiatic person on the planet.

But, oh yeah, he's a genuis and hooked me up with an awesome project I was able to complete in two summers.

You never know what you're getting into w/ research jobs, I think, but that can be at least as good as bad.

[edit: I almost forgot... I was a sophomore at the time :) ]
Be straight-forward with your friend's dad. Tell him that you're not there to wash glassware and order chemicals but that you are qualified to conduct independent/group experiments. You might hit the gold-mine and publish a few papers from your work--a bonus for your app and future residency match. If he's shady about the situation then ask your advisors or peers if they know good researchers that are willing to train and support undergrads.
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