If you read my last post you know that doing research is important for your BS/MD application. So how do you find research opportunities?
The first place most people look are the programs that are sponsored by colleges around the country. There are many but a few of the better known ones include programs offered by University of Chicago, Brown University, Smith College and the University of Michigan.
A second, and often better option, is to find a research position with a professor at a local college or university. These positions generally offer more hands on experience in a research lab than the summer college programs. However, they are somewhat more difficult to find.
You should start the search by looking to see if you know anyone that works at a local university. This might be your friends parents or people that your parents know. If you don’t know anyone, then you need to start contacting researchers directly. But before you do so, do your research.
Look at university websites in the department where you may wish to do the research. Find a professor that is doing research that is of interest to you. Contact that researcher and explain your interest in volunteering in their lab during the summer. This is best done in person if you can get an appointment to see the researcher at his office.
You will also need to explain your strength in the sciences and your interest in attending medical school to show that your desire to work in their lab is sincere.
A third option to find a research experience is to look at local businesses that may be doing some type of science research. One student of mine did research at a company that built water purification plants around the world. Not the first thing many people think of for scientific research but access to pure water is a major health issue in many parts of the world.
You need to start looking early for these positions because you may be turned down by many of the people you talk with. However, with perseverance most students are able to find some type of research experience.
Want more information about BS/MD programs? Check out the Guide to BS/MD Programs.