Research Experience

Hi everyone:

I am currently taking my pre-req classes and volunteering for a hospice. I will soon approach several MDs and see if I can shadow them. Can anyone give me some advice on how to approach a doctor and ask for shadowing them. Also, the Medical School admission stats show that 80% has research experience. How can I get this part done in two years? (I plan to apply for 2011). Thanks for all your help.


Helen -

Do you have any interest in research? If not, then don’t try and crank something out just to fill in a check box on the application. The “80%” statistic may be a little misleading as there is a wide variation in what people consider research “experience”. Working in a lab cleaning test tubes isn’t really “experience”, but I have a feeling that a fair amount of pre-meds count that as such.

If you are indeed interested in research, approach some professors and see if they or anyone they know could use a student for (free) help on any projects. But, if you’re not interested in it, just concentrate on the rest of your application. Most schools will ask about research, and say that they like to see research, but it’s by no mean a huge deal if you don’t have any.

Emergency, thanks for the advice. I am actually very interested in research. I love chem and bio and would love to do something related. Here is another question, I did have some clinical experience/research experience (if the cleaning counts) at a overseas hospital (China). I volunteer there during the summer when I was in college. Will that count? And how can I prove I had the experience if the med school requested.