January 25, 2020
If you want to increase your chances of getting accepted at one of the top medical schools, you’ll need to have some research experience under your belt. Part of the reason why med schools consider research as an important requirement, even though it’s not explicitly stated, is that it trains physicians to become great researchers as well.
The idea is to bring up future physicians who not only treat conditions but help to identify better solutions and treatments. The field of medicine is constantly changing so physicians need to be great scientists and researchers in order to offer the best diagnosis and treatments to their patients. Let’s look at 5 ways to secure a research position as a pre-med student.
Determine Your Area Of Interest
One thing that many undergraduate students don’t understand is that medical schools are not just looking for research experience in the field of medicine. Any kind of research is ok. Whether you are studying psychology, sociology or anything in between, feel free to find a research position in any area of interest.
Find A Suitable Location To Do Research
Would you prefer going back to your hometown to do research during the next summer? Would you want to take a research position during the semester while you’re still studying? How about taking up an opportunity outside the country at different research centers that have partnered with your school? Choose a location that you are comfortable with so that you get the most of your research experience.
Assist A Professor
There are many professors who conduct research at their institution and would love your help. You can look for a list of professors online and the institutions where they are conducting research. Get in touch with them by sending a formal email indicating why you are interested in their research. Make sure you reach out to as many as you can because several of them will not respond. Just don’t get discouraged if a majority do not show interest.
Before you even contact a professor with an interest to help in research work, make sure you have an understanding of what it is they do. It would be interesting if you could pose some genuine questions regarding their research. This shows your level of interest and increases your chances of being brought on board.
If you sent emails to a number of institutions or professors and you are yet to get any feedback, it would be nice to follow up on those who did not respond. Send a single follow up email after 5 to 7 days. If they still do not respond, move on. It’s always better to work with someone who values the contribution you’ll make.
There are countless opportunities to take part in research not only in an institution but also your own. For instance, you can take part in a symposium and come up with your own project that showcases your ability to engage in productive and worthwhile research.
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