As a medical student, I always hear that research is important in your medical career, and if I have an opportunity to be a part of something – get involved. Research is how new diseases and concepts are discovered, and how we learn in medicine. Conducting research and having that kind of experience under your belt helps you to stand out, and you also have the opportunity to get published for your work. I found this quote from the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine regarding research in medical school:
Primarily, and perhaps most practically, research experience builds critical thinking skills and fosters the ability to understand, synthesize, and apply academic literature to patient care. Secondarily, your research will help you build connections in areas of interest with the potential to better understand – and add to – the knowledge of the field. Finally, research experience can make the difference between having a ‘strong’ or ‘very strong’ application. When speaking with an OB/GYN program director, he mentioned “research is one characteristic that strong candidates exhibit to garner more interviews. Try to get some experience; the higher your overall rating, the better the chance for an interview. Once you get your foot in the door, it further helps to promote and distinguish your candidacy”.
I had the opportunity with some of my classmates to conduct research on sexually-transmitted infections here on the island. Check out my posting on Merck Manuals for more details on what we did!