This is one of the most frequently-asked questions we hear from prospective applicants.
Much emphasis is placed on this component of the med school application, so we think it is worthwhile to dispel some of the myths around obtaining ‘mandatory’ research experience before applying.
So, does research experience really matter to Admissions Officers reading your application?
While this is not a yes-or-no answer for us, the most important consideration is whether or not a student has effectively conveyed why they plan to incorporate research into their career as a healthcare provider or not.
Before seeking out your first research opportunity, we advise pre-meds to sit with that statement. Healthcare providers take many forms, and it may paint a clearer picture of you as a potential future M.D. to double-down on a highly-personal extracurricular or raising your MCAT score, rather than squeezing in some research before your application cycle.
Much like all components of the application, our advice as to which component to invest in—whether that be research or not—is highly-dependent on the individual.
A pre-med who has done his or her self-reflection as to why they are getting into medicine and who can clearly explain why they have elected to pursue X, Y, or Z other activity over research will read much more passion-driven on an application than the student that took the first job in a lab that they could find.