Ah, I see what you mean about med school applications and the experience aspect.
It's just that I've been heavily immersed in scientific research for most of my high school life and I genuinely love it. The using of prior knowledge to develop experiments to test different variables, using different model systems.. It's just so much fun!
I don't want to just go to a lab and work on a project that I have no interest in just for the heck of it. I like research because it's interesting and has potential to change lives- it's more than just a helpful EC for me, I think.
And for future goals: I'm really interested in MD PhD programs and definitely want to go into academic medicine and work on translational research. I think being all out clinical would be kind of dull for me (no disrespect to those who love it, I just think I'd get bored).
@bimhop, I will definitely check out Michigan. My only concern again is the size, so I was wondering if you knew any schools similar to it but smaller?
That's actually why someone recommended Caltech to me, because they 'treat undergrads like grad students' and 'grad students like junior faculty', haha.
But I've heard really good things about LACs in terms of educational quality, so I will definitely look at them. Someone recommended me Carleton along with Grinnell, so I will research them a bit.