SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Research vs. Volunteer

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by qwerty, Jun 26, 2000.

  1. qwerty

    qwerty New Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2000
    How's everyone doing? I just had a quick question. Is it better to have done research (and been published) in your undergraduate years, or to have volunteered at a hospital? I am in the process of doing the former, and was just wondering.

    Also, what type of volunteerism is best. I plan on volunteering at a hospital (essentially, I will be shadowing a Dr..), or should I do something where I am more involved with patient's (i.e., reading to them, etc.) Also, it's my junior year and it kind of feels like (maybe it is) I am prostituting myself at the eleventh hour to get into medical school.

    Basically, I am just trying to get thoughts on this subject, esp. from people who might have first hand knowledge. Thanks.
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. TheAce

    TheAce Attending 10+ Year Member

    May 2, 2000
    Why not do both? It is not as if they must be exlusive of one other. You can volunteer a few hours on the weekend and do your research during the week.

    Depending on where you go to school, your school may have a large teaching hospital with it's own volunteer office. They will have a selection of positions available for you. However, it is probably best to do something in patient care - no, they are not going to let you operate on the patient.
  4. tristate

    tristate Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Lubbock, TX
    I say do both if you have time (and if you want to). But if you don't have time, choose which one you prefer. Not everyone likes to volunteer and not everyone likes research. But attempt to get a nice mixture of both by volunteering in a clinical setting. You get to see people and learn about the wonderful world of medicine.

    And the blessings just keep coming!
  5. GeoLeoX

    GeoLeoX Ancient 10+ Year Member

    Jun 27, 2000
    I'd have to agree with the other replies and suggest that you do both. The most important factor to consider is what you want to do with your medical degree (this will influence the choice of schools as well). Some schools with an emphasis on research will require that you have research experience and conversely, schools that are heavy on the primary care will require volunteer experience. I also side with the past replies that it is better to get clinical exposure. Medical school admissions boards want to see if you realize what you are getting into and whether you feel comfortable and able in a medical situation.

    good luck
  6. Cruella

    Cruella Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2000

    I would say do which ever you enjoy the most and which ever one provides you with the greatest opportunity to grow/learn. Having gone through the process of applying/interviewing/etc, it has become evident that schools are more interested in people who are genuinely motivated to do medicine and who have participated in activities that they genuinely enjoyed- not just did so that they could GET IN.

    Keep in mind- research that you do in a lab may not actually get into a journal for a few years. Sometimes the timing isn't that long, but don't expect to be published within months of finishing your benchwork. What's more important is that you enjoy the project and have a mentor that really encourages you to take on more responsibility.

Share This Page