Do I Need Research Experience for Medical School Admissions?

Dr. Freedman answers this common question.


Dr. Freedman answers: Do I need research to get into medical school?

Often I am asked: Do I need research for medical school admissions?

Here’s the thing:

Research is something that I consider to be a prerequisite for medical school.

Does it have to be medical or scientific research?

No! It doesn’t necessarily have to be scientific research.

For example:

If you’re an art history major, you can do art history research. It’s important to understand how research is done, and understanding how to analyze data.

What else:

You should also know how to critically evaluate data, how to draw conclusions, and how to do a literature search.


All of these things can be applied to medicine.

It get’s better:

More traditionally students will do either basic science research in a lab or they will do clinical research.

Why, you ask?

This tends to be something that most students can find more easily. Students might be more interested in this type of research and sometimes it is more directly applicable to medicine.

The bottom line:

Some type of research, to me, is a prerequisite for for medical school.

It is not an option.

I consider those two types of research to be requirements.


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