Research work does wonders for would-be doctors
Medical school consultants adamantly agree that a strong research background is among the best means of gaining ground for any medical school applicant seeking favorable admissions decisions. Although biomedicine is the most common research subject area for premed scholars, any empirical study of medicine is quite worthwhile due to virtually identical interdisciplinary methodologies. For instance, healthcare economics research can be perceived as having equal value as the study of genetic cancer predisposition. That being said, planning and participation are key for any medical school applicant. Read on for more tips.
Decide what type of research to do
An ideal indicator of good research topics is strongest areas of special interest. If you’re a lab fiend, basic science research themes are a perfect fit. If you’re a people person, survey study participation is perhaps the perfect cup of medical research tea. Whatever medical research experiential backdrop you may decide, lay a firm foundation for advanced education. This means active participation in solving real problems with practical application of new theoretical knowledge – not mere paper shuffling and mundane peripheral tasks – is best a medical school applicant.
Optimal overall research approach
While tackling an entire project might not be realistic without prior research experience, many opportunities do exist to assist with data analysis and prepare written findings and results. This helps develop creative thinking and critical analysis skills that are highly regarded by medical school admissions committees. For that same reason, our official medical school admissions consulting recommendation is earliest, longest and most extensive research experience possible.(READ: U.S. News Best Medical School Rankings for 2015)
However, the last factor does not mean hopping around like a butterfly trying to pollinate as many plants as possible. Rather, it equates to narrow but deep concentration in fewest research directions as you can. Quality goes much further than mere quantity will when it comes to gaining medical school entry. A final research experience tip for any medical school applicant is never let publication be your sole consideration. Instead, focus mainly on quality of practical education and expert recommendation potential as the criteria of most worthwhile research activities.
Community service history comes in handy
Public and community service activities play a crucial part in medical school admission success. The chief cause is that it reflects desire to improve the quality of life on a large scale by helping the less fortunate members of your community. Prime specimens of laudable public service are volunteer tutor for at-risk secondary pupils, coaching physically challenged youth, and helping out at homeless shelters.
Following is a list of pointers to keep firmly in mind when trying to find the perfect public service fit for you:
- Show strong interest in long-term service
Don’t become complacent after working at a soup kitchen or battered women’s shelter on three isolated occasions that coincided with spring break or holidays. By contrast, be available for volunteer community service at least once a week for a full year or longer.
- International public service is a plus
Spending a summer vacation to volunteer for global organizations that help improve the quality of life in third world nations is worthy of serious consideration. Besides demonstrating real dedication to serve underprivileged populations, you could gain practical training next year at the same clinic you helped build last summer!
- Combine community service with leadership
Ability to assume responsibility by taking an active role in directing positive change is a valuable attribute for physicians. Thus, your odds of medical school admission increase exponentially by exhibiting a fearless pioneering spirit. This is best done by establishing your own public service program. Rather it eventually succeeds or fails is largely irrelevant, as making the effort is what really counts.
Do double clinical and community service duty
An especially valuable benefit of volunteer clinical work with underserved client populations is heightened awareness of inherent challenges in healthcare delivery. For instance, you may discover that many elderly or low-income patients who lack transportation to local clinics and medical facilities fail to adhere to dietary and medication regimens. That might help you develop a community-based service that decentralizes prescription drug distribution and exercise facilities.
Stay tuned for part four! Also, don’t forget to read our previous medical school applicant post.
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