When you guys say "research" do you mean dental specific research?

Dec 4, 2013
88
9
Rochester, New York
Status
Pre-Dental
Hey so I noticed when people talk about EC's they sometimes mention research and I was wondering if non dental research is helpful for my application? I have been working in a lab for about a year that deals with endothelial heart cells. Can this still be helpful to my overall candidacy?
 

y3nd0

Kitteh likes to stare
5+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2012
644
320
Status
Dental Student
Can this still be helpful to my overall candidacy?
Yes. I, and many others, have been accepted without a shred of research. As long as you are actively involved and know what you are researching about (enough to explain it to interviewers), then that experience will help.
 
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ckgibbs115

5+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2012
58
16
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Yea I would think it helps just to show that you are interested in science in general. I do microbiology research and its taught me more than a class ever did. I've heard some schools tend to be more research oriented, but I think it's just a good extracurricular to have in general.
 
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predentalgirl

5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2012
329
80
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Dental Student
I research in a dermatology lab and work with melanoma and melanocytes.

I think it just shows you are interested and dedicated, it definitely helps I think.
 
Oct 16, 2013
214
124
Status
Pre-Dental
research is a great way to make yourself stand out among all applicants... imo, doing dental specific research will trump anything else. try to get yourself involved in dental research anyway you can! it shows a whole other world of dentistry that many people will never experience... i did and i felt during my interviews that they were very impressed with my projects of amelogenesis and the junctional epithelium.
 

HaverfoodsDDS

5+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2012
262
151
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Pre-Dental
Research is an area where you will hear a bunch of different stories from a bunch of different people. First and foremost, dental research is absolutely not necessary to gain admission (even at many of the elite, research oriented schools, i.e. Harvard, Columbia, Penn, UCLA, UCSF, Michigan, etc.). I did about two years of research (it was actually more in the Health Sciences than anything else - it was related to obesity in response to environmental stresses, etc....) but don't have a lot to show for it in the form or publications or presentations. I don't have anything to show for my experience because I wasn't totally invested in the research and was just doing it because I thought it made me a better applicant.

I'm of the opinion that you should 100% NOT do research unless you are genuinely interested in it for its own sake. If you love the research, then by all means go for it...but don't feel that you need it for your application. Not having dental research experience (or ANY research experience for that matter) will not hurt your application at all, and if you're doing it just to boost your application your time could definitely by spent better elsewhere.
 
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Oct 22, 2013
288
179
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Dental Student
I agree with the above post. I did research on viruses (Dengue) and had a blast doing it. When asked if I did research at interviews, I definitely said yes and answered its published. But they never probed further or had any snide comments on how it wasn't dental related. Like the poster above stated, do it if you enjoy it. Not because its something you think you should do.
 

aqz

5+ Year Member
Jan 27, 2011
741
312
Status
Dental Student
To offer another opinion, I did one year of non-dental research in a molecular biology department with bacteria and yeast. Definitely was not interesting to me, but I learned a lot about research in of itself. Quit after one year to pursue other things, explained in my interviews that I was still open to other types of research in dental school that would be more applicable to what I'm interested in (dentistry).

Basically, I gave it a try and didn't like it, and I think adcoms would appreciate your desire to give new things a try instead of just sticking to what you're comfortable with.
 
Aug 21, 2013
64
18
Status
Research is an area where you will hear a bunch of different stories from a bunch of different people. First and foremost, dental research is absolutely not necessary to gain admission (even at many of the elite, research oriented schools, i.e. Harvard, Columbia, Penn, UCLA, UCSF, Michigan, etc.). I did about two years of research (it was actually more in the Health Sciences than anything else - it was related to obesity in response to environmental stresses, etc....) but don't have a lot to show for it in the form or publications or presentations. I don't have anything to show for my experience because I wasn't totally invested in the research and was just doing it because I thought it made me a better applicant.

I'm of the opinion that you should 100% NOT do research unless you are genuinely interested in it for its own sake. If you love the research, then by all means go for it...but don't feel that you need it for your application. Not having dental research experience (or ANY research experience for that matter) will not hurt your application at all, and if you're doing it just to boost your application your time could definitely by spent better elsewhere.
Agree 100%. Interviewers (even the basic scientists) seemed to look at research as a hobby, not a crucial part of your application. Besides, I would bet the majority of applicants "doing research" are really washing beakers and have only a vague idea of what is actually going on, and the interviewers know that.
 
Dec 21, 2012
66
20
Status
I did breast cancer research, antibiotics, and focal adhesion protein research. None of these are dentistry based, but I had conversations about my antibiotics/breast cancer research at two of the three schools I interviewed at. They seem to like people who have a passion for what they do and are able to explain their research/the importance beyond the protocols they ran. Make sure you know the background of your project, a little of the pertinent literature, and what other people in your lab do. Apparently when I was able to refer to other projects going on, I impressed my interviewer a lot. (Interviewers differ, but this was my experience)
 

Illfavor

5+ Year Member
Jan 3, 2012
1,137
391
Texas
Status
Pre-Dental
Yea my research was in music/medicine/music therapy. Folks liked talking about it, and it sorta perfectly bridged music and the sciences. I actually had very little dental experience when I applied.