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REU Summer Programs - Any Experience?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Jacobian78, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. Jacobian78

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    Hey all, just wondering if anyone out there has had any experience participating in one of the summer REU programs. If so how was it in terms of picking a professor to work with, information and skills learned, free time etc etc. Basically any information you want to share about your experience. I've also heard that these programs look down on candidates who are pursuing med school because they would rather attract Ph.D hopefuls, but not sure if that is true.
     
  2. Bretzel

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    Hey, jacobian.
    I'm in the Vanderbilt Physics REU this summer. I am the only participant interested in medical school. From what my chemistry friend has told me, most chemistry REU's will not accept individuals who wish to attend medical school. All of the physics REU's seem to not care since there aren't too many physics premeds out there.

    Overall, it is a great research experience. It is quite time intensive (45hrs/week), but the perks are amazing. I have my housing and all of my meals paid for along with a very nice stipend. From what I've heard, it sounds like a pretty rare experience for a premed, so I think it might stand out a bit on an application.

    Best of luck to you!
     
  3. BluePhoenix

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    In general, they're pretty dependent on how well the program is run at the school and the professor/grad student that you end up with. Most of the time you don't get to pick who you work with (though you can try contacting the prof in advance). Physics programs won't ask or care that you want to go to med school, but there's also the possibility you end up as a code monkey or doing something completely unrelated to medicine. There's a good number of bio programs out there, like SURF at Mayo that are great for premeds but still focus on research and are probably going to be more helpful. Make sure you apply early and write a good cover letter detailing your interests as best you can, neither you nor the prof benefits from a summer where you're not interested in the topic and thus, not really interested in the research.
     
  4. Jacobian78

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    That's what I was concerned about, I've heard the chemistry ones can be very adament about not allowing pre-meds in. I was hoping to do one with either a biochem or cell biology focus, but I'm not sure if those programs feel the same way also. Any other information would definitely help!
     

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