Which opportunity is better (in terms of Medical School preference)?

  • Researching Human Diseases via mostly computer.

    Votes: 2 66.7%
  • Researching with animals via labs & computers.

    Votes: 1 33.3%

  • Total voters
Oct 29, 2013
  1. Pre-Medical
I have an opportunity for researching human diseases right now provided that I learn several programs. However this opportunity is mostly computer used and supposedly takes up a lot of time during the week and requires about two years of dedication.

There are other research opportunities that work with animals using labs & computers.

My question is, what looks better in terms of applying for Medical School? I am interested in both types of research. The one concerned with human diseases will probably be better for a more Medical knowledge.

Thank you very much!


Duke of minimal vowels
Staff member
Sep 13, 2008
  1. Resident [Any Field]
I'd recommend sticking with computer work. It's more flexible than animal research and has less hassle in terms of animal research regulations, animal care, etc.
Medical schools will like both.
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Reactions: vc7777


Nontrad MD/MS Resident
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2009
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Good research is good research. All other things being equal, the project wherein you are more involved will be more interesting to medical school admissions committees. "Medical knowledge" is NOT the point - medical school does, in fact, teach you everything you need to know about medicine to be a good doctor. There are no bonus points for having more "medical knowledge" beyond the required basic sciences when applying.

In terms of "looking better" when applying - do yourself a favor and forget this notion and just be passionate about what you do. And that doesn't mean "do research" Research isn't mandatory. You passion might not be medicine - and that's OK. If you are passionate about polar bear conservation, do that instead of medical research, because it will "look better" on your application.

On the other hand, I am glad to hear you are in particular curious/interested in both basic and clinical research. In your case, do something that is more interesting to you. Remember to choose a good mentor (not necessarily the "big name" researcher - often they are too busy to closely mentor a pre-med student). Also choose a good project. Why? because cleaning test tubes isn't research and won't help you get in. Good research requires your participation in all major aspects (design, data collected, analysis, writeup).

Overall, if your experience is meaningful to you personally (teaches you about research, specific techniques, etc.), is productive (results in useful data for your research mentor, adds to the field, results in a publication), AND you enjoy the experience - THIS is the best outcome and THIS is good research and THIS will look good.


Elemental Alchemist
7+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2012
  1. Medical Student
Animal research is a huge hassle, so if you really don't mind either, I'd stick with the computers.

Both research opportunities will look "equally good", given you put in a good amount of time into it.
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