Volunteer opportunities: lab research or clinical experience?

I have the opportunity to pursue on or the other. What should be my considerations in deciding?

How much you will be allowed to do or observe. Will your boss/mentor take you under their wing or are you just going to be making copies or picking up labs.

Depends on a lot of factors:

-What is your application missing? Do you have ample clinical already or does that need shoring up?

-Will you be able to get a LOR out the experience?

-If research, is getting on a publication a possibility? Is the research active or just dragging along ?

-As mentioned above, what there be mentorship?

-How long do you intend to stay?

The last research experience I had was over 20 years ago and I have zero clinical experience.

The PI I talked to said that the research experience, for his past students, included learning advanced wet lab techniques and getting LOR and co-authorship for a year commitment. First authorship was possible for someone who stayed on longer, like two years. A postdoc would be a direct supervisor.

Personally I’d go for the clinical experience. Except in rare cases, adcoms want to see you’ve tested out your desire to be a doctor through direct patient contact in a clinical setting. Research, at least in my book, is extra credit.

(PS Don’t forget community-based, non-clinical volunteering too.)

If you have zero clinical experience then I’d pursue that for the reasons the above poster listed. I actually think it is even more important for non-trads who are changing careers to show that they know what they are getting into and why. Of course, if you could do both that would be ideal but that can be hard to manage.

  • dnelsen Said:
Of course, if you could do both that would be ideal but that can be hard to manage.

I agree that both is best.

At least, this is what I keep trying to convince myself given that this will be my life starting in January.