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Programs to Enhance Chance for Top-Tier Medical Schools

Michael3423Michael3423 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
I was recently looking online for programs to improve my research skills, etc. and was wondering if anyone knew of any stellar, selective programs to put me on top. I have seen some useful programs however I want to know what the CC community would recommend. Thank you ahead of time!
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Replies to: Programs to Enhance Chance for Top-Tier Medical Schools

  • aunt beaaunt bea Registered User Posts: 9,800 Senior Member
    If these existed, they would be overwhelmed with students.

    @WayOutWestMom has the best information on how to get in. You should heed her advice.

    Other things:
    I don't think the med schools would really consider a student who did online programs.
    Going to med school means you see patients. You need to demonstrate a "people" history where you show how you work and deal with people.
    Your history, since high school, needs to show your thousands of hours of extra curricular activities, including volunteering at clinics, assisted living facilities, working part time jobs, being the member of a team, etc. They want to see experiences with your "people" skills. Letters of recommendations from those facilities, your professors, your sports coaches, and sometimes "peers" need to show and confirm those skills.

    Top MCAT scores. Top grades.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 10,183 Senior Member
    NIH Internship program, AMGEN (for those interested in pursuing PhD or MD/PhD--straight MD applicants not considered), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Rockefeller Scholars, some REUs at research intensive biomedical programs.

    However, all of these are enormously competitive programs. (AMGEN's acceptance rate is in the 3-5% range)

    These program also typically expect applicants to already have developed solid lab skills and strong academics. They're not for learning basic research skills. Those are best developed at your home university.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 10,183 Senior Member
    edited May 3
    @auntbea is right, though merely attending one of these programs won't give you a leg up if you plan on applying to top medical schools. All applicants at research-intensive medical schools have very strong research portfolios, that typically includes a senior independent research thesis (or other project for which the student is responsible for the success or failure) and sometimes publications.

    Plus the rest--top grades with challenging UL/graduate academic coursework, exceptional MCAT score, strong recommendations, leadership, clinical exposure and a strong demonstrated commitment to serving the disadvantaged. Most matriculants at top medical school have several hundred or even thousands of volunteer hours.

    You have to have it all. You need to be rockstar.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 10,183 Senior Member
    edited May 3
    Add to #2--Goldwater Scholars.

    But as I mentioned above--these programs are only open to students who have already developed excellent basic lab skills and usually some type of specialized expertise, along with a defined area of research interest. It's not something open to freshmen-sophomores (and especially not open to high school students or anyone under age 18 due to insurance, liability and HIPAA concerns). These programs are primarily open to college juniors & seniors who want to become researcher-physicians.

    D2 was an AMGEN fellow and NIH intern. If you have specific questions about these programs, I'll try to answer.
  • Michael3423Michael3423 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    I am already experienced in basic research skills such as aseptic technique, the Gram Stain being among them. I know many other microbiological tests and have performed them in lab. Here is a brief list of these laboratory tests:
    Gelatinase test
    Blood agar
    MacConkey agar
    EMB agar
    MR test
    VP test
    Oxidase test
    Testing for fecal coliforms through the MPN technique
    Endospore stain
    Flagellar stain
    Capsule stain
    Simple stain
    SIM test
  • nomoodnomood Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    You are in high school. Shouldn't you be working about how to get into college rather than how to get into med school?
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 10,183 Senior Member
    @Michael3423

    Those aren't the kinds of skills those programs are looking for....

    You also need a detailed letter of recommendation from your current research lab supervisor (PI, not lab manager) and a college transcript to apply.

    Also, being under age 18 will put a hard stop on your application.
  • Michael3423Michael3423 Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    I am sure that these are the skills being looked for. If you are familiar with these lab tests, you would surely know of their great importance in the lab setting, especially for research. By the way, these skills are just a brief list. Are you referring to personal instructor by "PI"?

    If you are still skeptical concerning my skills, do not worry. Do not regard your skepticism. Thank you for your response to my question!
  • CottonTalesCottonTales Registered User Posts: 1,083 Senior Member
    Following.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 10,183 Senior Member
    PI = principal investigator (i.e. the person who oversees & directs the entire research program and who wrote the research grant that funds the program the student is working on.)

    I am aware of the tests you mention, but those are technician-type skills--not necessarily what researchers are looking for. You can always hire a tech to run testing equipment. To be successful in a research lab you need the technical skills, (which your supervising grad student, lab manager or PI will teach you because learning those are fairly trivial) but you also need higher level research & thinking skills like data analysis, computer skills w/ specialized software packages (SPSS, MATLab , etc), time management, record management, literature research skills, understanding of the scientific method and how to apply it in specific situations, sufficient experience with the research protocols and and having the experiential judgment to recognize which outcomes are expected and which are fluky, if they're fluky what errors led to the outcome and how to fix them, or if fluky outcomes represent something novel, unexpected & potentially valuable or just a waste of time.
  • CottonTalesCottonTales Registered User Posts: 1,083 Senior Member
    edited May 13
    The OP is in High School, 9th grade I believe. His questions and aspirations are all premature.
  • aunt beaaunt bea Registered User Posts: 9,800 Senior Member
    Are you referring to personal instructor by "PI"?
    You've really done your "research".
    You're going about this all wrong. Get through high school, first. Learn to mature and develop friendships.
    Then consider applying to colleges that may accept you.
    If you come across to the schools, like you are coming to across us now, you will someone to teach you some serious people skills.
  • AndorvwAndorvw Registered User Posts: 291 Junior Member
    Not knowing what PI means in the research world clearly shows how much you know about research...lol
  • nomoodnomood Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    Michael, I intern at a lab in a UC school, I can tell you firsthand that labs hire outside technicians to run analysis on experiments, you don't do it yourself.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,303 Forum Champion
    Those are microbiology tests that are used in some clinical labs still but the vast vast majority of research labs won't use any of those. They are old school and are not experimental. They are used for identifying organisms.
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