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Does independent or assisted with teacher research make a difference to med adcoms?

TootonTooton Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
At my school over the summer only "directed research" is offered which means I'm probably going to have to follow what the professor says to do. Do med schools care if you're the one to create a thesis and then act on it? Does the type of biological research matter whether you do it yourself or with someone to help you? No one ever mentions what they do for research in topic threads but just say "research and published/presented at a conference"

Replies to: Does independent or assisted with teacher research make a difference to med adcoms?

  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,549 Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    Of course colleges are going to offer "directed research" to undergrads. Undergrads don't have the skills, knowledge or funding to do independent research. It takes years of study & experience (think PhD candidate) to get to that point.

    It's expected that all undergrads will be working under the direction & supervision of a PI. Even if you do an independent research project (senior research thesis), you'll be working under the direction & supervision of a PI--just with less oversight than you might have otherwise.

    Do med school care?----Are you planning on applying for a MD/PhD? Are you planning on applying to research intensive medical schools? Planning on a career in academic medicine? If you are, those programs expect significant research experience and a independent senior research thesis.

    Type of research does matter if you're applying for a MD/PhD, but not for an MD. Mostly med schools are just looking (at your research experience) to see if you understand the research process with all its promises and pitfalls.

    Caveat: if you do research that is wildly unrelated to medicine/biology, your research may raise eyebrows or get totally ignored during the admissions process. (FWIW, D1 was a physics major and did medium energy particle physics research--with publications!-- in college. Not a single interviewer for med school ever asked her about it--probably, she said, because none of them understood or were interested in her research topic. Did her research help her get accepted? Did it hurt her? No idea.)

    The reason why people don 't mention their research topic? Because it makes them instantly identifiable with a simple google search and they want to preserve their anonymity.
  • syrianxosyrianxo Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    @WayOutWestMom This was a very beneficial answer. I had similar concerns because I'm working on a few research projects and publications at a community college (I'm transferring this fall and will def be doing research at my 4-year though). Would it be acceptable to list the research and publications I did at the CC. One was biology/medicine related dealing with alternative antibiotic options against resistant bacteria, however the other publication I am working closely with my professor on a very complex meta-analysis of antidepressants that we are hoping to publish next year.

    I have another publication where I am listed as a second author that was a field guide for a plant reserve in Brazil. It wasn't really research, so would it still be something worth mentioning in an application?
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,549 Senior Member
    Publications always get listed on your CV.

    You can list your community college research experiences on your AMCAS. Or not. Really up to you. So long as you are able to explain your project and its purpose/methodology/outcomes/etc, it can't hurt to list it on your application or CV, but.....

    ....the thing to remember, though, is that on AMCAS, you only have a very limited number of slots (10, maybe 12) to list everything you've accomplished-- your academic honors, scholarships/fellowships/internships, publications, research experiences, employment, TA positions, leadership positions/offices held, every clinical experiences you've engaged in, community service projects you've worked on, each shadowing experience, participation in hobbies/sports/music, etc. Many pre-meds have to leave stuff off AMCAS because there just aren't enough slots to list everything.
  • syrianxosyrianxo Registered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    @WayOutWestMom That makes sense thank you! Yes, I do have all of them listed on my CV, but thank you for sharing the information about the AMCAS. I'll definitely keep that in mind.
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