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Undergrad research..how important is it?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by tijames, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. tijames

    tijames Member

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    How helpful is research experience in gaining acceptance to medical school? is it hugely helpful, or only slightly?
     
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  3. Falco2525

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    it is hugely helpful if it is a significant experience and/or leads to a publicaiton or two...it is almost required at the big reserach schools ie top 20 us news
     
  4. twick121

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    I think it is very important. In my interviews they've basically asked about 2 things and thats it. Those two things are my research (through the university and through an internship at a large biomedical engineering company) and my experience as a D1 athlete.

    There have been other filler questions, but I would say those 2 topics have taken up 80-90% of my interviewing time
     
  5. odrade1

    odrade1 UASOM alum

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    It really depends on where you are applying. Do you say on your app that you want to go into academic medicine or to do research as a career? Then yes it is important. Applying to a heavily research-oriented school or to an MD/PhD program? THen yes it is important.

    If you hate research and you aren't actually interested in your project, then it won't help you. If you like your project and can share that interest with an adcom, then it will be an asset.

    The single most helpful things: get good grades & rock the MCAT.

    If your app is really weak in grades and MCAT, even a really cool research project won't pull your fat out of the fire.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  6. GoBlueMD83

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    Research has been very important and I would even say critical in my application for this cycle. It never hurts to get involved in research. Talk to some of your science profs to see if they know anyone who willingly takes on undergrads. If you find a lab, they might even end up paying you. I ended up getting 9/hr to go up and help out for a few hours a week. Not only did this give me some spending money, it got me a great rec letter from an eminent researcher, and allowed me to actually find out that I like research. You never know what will happen! I say its worth it to try getting a research job... but:

    If you aren't into research, I would absolutely get a good amount of clinical exposure. Even if you have a great mcat, and a good gpa, if you've never stepped foot inside a clinic, it will come back to bite you in the ass. Volunteer for a few semesters at your University hospital, or find some shadowing time. Adcoms want to see that you've had clinical exposure and have some idea what you are getting into.

    If you buy the MSAR, I think there is a section where it shows what percentage of accepted applicants at a given school have done research, volunteering. I could be wrong, but I thought I remember seeing that. Good luck!
     
  7. Auraraptor

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    Clinical service/field work can make up for it at some schools. Spend a few weeks passing out mos. nets in Africa, they will love you, and you will learn a hell of a lot of what the world is really like. If you can't travel that much, then go to your local inner city clinics and see what course work can take....
     
  8. Critical Mass

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    Can be important, but way down the list from MCAT and GPA.
     
  9. Kfire326

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    I think SOME research experience is a must if you do your undergrad at a HUGE research university, like me. Otherwise, summer programs def. help. I dunno if its a MUST coming from smaller schools...

    Looking back, I think the most important thing about extracurriculars is to LIKE THEM! Then, you'll have something to talk about at interviews.
     
  10. premeddick

    premeddick Junior Member

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    mcat>gpa>clinical>research>volunteer>intangibles
    at schools for clinicians
    mcat>gpa>research (with posters, pubs, abstracts)>clinic>volunteer>intangibles
    at schools for research
    What do you all think?
     
  11. etf

    etf
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    i'd put gpa before mcat.
     
  12. premeddick

    premeddick Junior Member

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    Well thats the age old argument. But to interject my two cents, I believe that a low mcat hurts a lot worse than a low gpa (read: 3.0 vs 27)
     
  13. etf

    etf
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    it takes a mere 8 hours for a 27 to transform to a 30 or even 37, but it would take many more saturdays (not to mention thursdays, tuesdays, fridays, mondays, wednesdays, and, gasp, even sundays) to bring a 3.0 up to a 3.5.
     

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