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Here’s the big one. If there’s any extracurricular that is on the back of every premed’s mind, it’s research. Off the bat, you don’t need research. However, it is a pretty big positive to have if you can obtain it (and don’t mind doing it).
We dislike to refer to these activities as “checkboxes”, even if that’s what they may appear to be. So let’s look into what benefits you can get with research and other reasons why someone would want to do it.
- Summer Programs: Most schools offer programs dedicated to assigning students a project for the summer with a PI. Be sure to look these up early and apply before the deadline. Since it’s convenient, it can be competitive.
- Reaching out to your professors: Some professors in academia also participate in a research lab. Take a look at the topics they research and see if it grabs your interest.
- Connections through friends and other premeds: Your friends and peers may already be in labs. See if they know of any openings and can vouch for you to join them.
- Cold emails to labs that interest you: Last resort, just look up professors and labs at your university, read about their projects, and if you’re interested, send them an email. Don’t be afraid to follow-up one or two times if you don’t hear anything back in 1-2 weeks.
The Path to Medical School Can Feel Long And Unclear
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