Research Requirements For Medical School
When it comes to applying to medical school, one question that many people have is “do you need research experience to be accepted?” Generally, candidates applying to a Doctorate program are expected to have some research experience. For medical schools where published research is not listed as an application requirement, having this experience can greatly improve an applicant’s chances of admission.
Of course, your experience with medical research isn’t the only determining factor in a medical school application. Grades and test scores in previous courses of study and degree programs also matter.
Why Research Matters in Medical School Admissions
So, why is research experience so important when applying to a medical program? In general, prior experience with research (whether it be in the medical field or any other field) is believed to help students fine-tune their critical thinking skills.
In addition, by participating in research opportunities, students seeking to become physicians acknowledge that they will be continuing to learn and study research and advancements in medicine throughout their entire careers. Without a solid understanding of where this research comes from and how it is performed, future physicians cannot be expected to properly evaluate new findings and put them into practice.
Making the Most of Your Research Experience
Whether or not you’re applying to a medical degree program that requires prior research experience, there are some steps you can take now to gain experience as a researcher.
One of the best ways to gain research experience is to complete a thesis. For some degree programs, a thesis may be required for graduation. Another way to gain research experience while in school is to speak with your professors and inquire about research assistant or lab assistant openings. These positions can provide excellent hands-on experience and many of them have research components that look great on a future medical school application.
Likewise, applying for jobs that offer research experience is another great option. Local hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, and labs may be hiring for research assistant positions or similar jobs that will not only help you pay your bills, but also provide you with valuable research experience in the process.
Last but not least, consider teaming up with other students who have similar interests as you to create your own research opportunities. Taking on an independent research project can help you leave your mark in the field and shows great initiative. You might even be able to get published in an industry journal, which can go a long way in getting into an MD program or residency later on. Trinity student Matt Barvo recently wrote an article that is now featured in the open access medical journal IDCases, a publication dedicated to disseminating case reports in general infectious diseases. The article presents the findings of a unique topic: the correlation between sickness in prison inmates and the presence of pigeons in the prison yard. This is an example showing how creative you can be when creating your own research opportunities.
Trinity School of Medicine Emphasizes Medical Student Research Opportunities
Having research experience is valuable when it comes to getting into medical school and is even more important during your medical school experience. Even if your desired program doesn’t require research experience, it’s important to have this knowledge as you embark on a career in the medical field.
At Trinity, we have our own dedicated research program and committee which oversee student and faculty research initiatives. This makes it easy for students to get involved in research opportunities that are meaningful to them. Find out more by reaching out today!