What is the average number of years for research for premeds?

premedicine555

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2008
211
1
Status
I'm a sophomore and was wondering 1) how many years I should do research 2)how many years of clinical experience/ECs? My volunteer/clinical experience has already started since freshman year, and will probably go until senior year.
 

alexfoleyc

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2007
290
2
Status
Unless you are applying to top tier schools, research is not THAT important.
 

Naijaba

10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2007
1,057
107
Status
Pre-Medical
I didn't start doing research until the end of my sophomore year, but I wish I had started earlier; then again I didn't decide to apply to medical school until the end of my sophomore year.
 

apumic

Oracle of the Sheet
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2007
3,924
7
Denver, CO
Status
Medical Student
depends... Everybodys different. I will have had 4 years of research & 1000s of hours of clinical; others get in w/ as little as 1 semester of research & 100-200 hrs clinical but 12 months each is probably a good rule for min exp in clinical & research.
 

Mattabet

Doctor Thunder
10+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2008
1,170
5
Somewhere in SE Wisconsin
Status
Medical Student
I didn't do any research* - I think (clinical exposure > volunteering > research) with volunteering and research on about the same tier.

I agree with above though, top tier (and select other schools) schools do tend to emphasize research more heavily, so some of this comes down to the 'mission' of the school. If you're looking to be in research or academic medicine, I'd make sure to get research under my belt in a big way. If you're looking to be a clinician, you can probably get by with less (try anything once though).

*at the time I applied. I ended up doing a little independent study my senior year, hence the "try anything once" bit.
 

Nomdeplume

(nom nom nom)
10+ Year Member
May 17, 2008
268
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Is strengthening your application your primary reason for wanting to pursue research?

Either way, I wouldn't recommend going into research with a set (or minimum) amount of time in mind. Instead, I'd recommend committing yourself to do it for at least 2 to 3 months, so you have a chance to really get into it. At that point, evaluate how you like it and whether or not you'd like to continue.

Research can be an incredible experience, but it's not for everyone, and it can be quite time consuming. If you get into it, but don't really enjoy it, then I think you should reinvest the time somewhere else, like into shadowing, volunteering, or following some other hobby.

My logic here is that the schools who value research most heavily are research-oriented schools. If you find you don't enjoy research, then you might not enjoy going to a research-oriented school, thus lowering the value of research in your record.
 

KeyzerSoze

Scrambled Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2005
1,620
9
Status
Medical Student
depends... Everybodys different. I will have had 4 years of research & 1000s of hours of clinical; others get in w/ as little as no research & 100-200 hrs clinical but 12 months each is probably a good rule for min exp in clinical & research.
ftfy.
 

redlight

Senior Member :D
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2008
1,780
1
USA
Status
Pre-Medical
quality over quantity.

i think most premeds with research have at least a year of it.

but most are just assistants and are not involved with thesis-generation so their work isnt really conducting research but rather just helping out.
 

Narmerguy

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2007
6,878
1,298
Many premeds don't have research and like red said, most of the ones that do have about a year.
 

red10

7+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2009
1,429
23
Status
Medical Student
if you like it, do it as long as you want/can
if you don't like it, find some other hobby.

Don't make yourself miserable trying to fit the pre-med mold. Schools want diversity
 
OP
P

premedicine555

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2008
211
1
Status
thanks for the responses, everyone..

yeah i'm trying to find research this year! wish me luck.
 
Jul 22, 2009
330
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Does it make a difference if you have 3 years of research split between two P.I.'s? This is assuming you wouldn't have gotten published either way (3 years split vs. no split).
 

mmmcdowe

Duke of minimal vowels
Staff member
Administrator
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2008
9,780
1,576
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Does it make a difference if you have 3 years of research split between two P.I.'s? This is assuming you wouldn't have gotten published either way (3 years split vs. no split).
Not much, but they might ask why you switched. If you had a good letter from both, that would help because they won't assume you had a falling out with the first.
 
Jun 9, 2009
107
0
Status
i know this is a bit off-topic, but you can definitely get published after a couple of years of research.

find a successful p.i. and then work your way into a publication.

emerging fields are probably a better bet than stagnant fields (if there is such a thing).