Must Research Have a Clear Application?

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

ADG 215: Must Research Have a Clear Application?

Session 215

This student wants to know if research experience has to have a clear application in order to be useful when he applies to an amnesty program.

Ask Dr. Gray: Premed Q&A is brought to you by Blueprint MCAT. Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

The episodes in this podcast are recordings of our Facebook Live that we do at 3 pm Eastern on most weekdays. Check out our Facebook page and like the page to be notified. Also, listen to our other podcasts on MedEd Media. If you have any questions, call me at 617-410-6747.

[00:26] Question of the Day

“I am looking into applying to MSC programs. Does my research have to have a clear application, especially if it isn’t clinical or traditional translational medical research?

I’m doing Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics, and Material Science and Engineering Research. I used to do Bioinformatics, as well as Pharmacogenomic Research for about four years and then two years of social and public health research. 

However, since the middle of the pandemic, my interest really shifted heavily into the physical chemistry side of things as well as engineering.

While there are definitely ways to bridge my current research into biomedical engineering, medical physics, and clinical engineering side of things, I feel like my current focus is really more on the characterization of electrochemical systems and how to improve them in more efficient and sustainable ways. 

How do you think programs would receive that or do programs don’t really care? Because for some programs, the MD and Ph.D. applications are kind of treated separately?”

A: When seeking admission to an MD/Ph.D. or DO/Ph.D. program, you’re essentially applying to two programs simultaneously. 

The key question is how effectively you can articulate in your application and interview the type of research you wish to pursue at each institution. It’s important to research the faculty members who have active grants, the research they are conducting, and the sources of funding that support their work.

By doing so, you can identify areas where you can make a meaningful contribution to the faculty and their ongoing research efforts.

[03:17] The Challenge of Looking for Engineering-Based Programs

Q: “When I was looking at the MST programs, it seems like there are only really two much further research that I want to do. One of them is I would say, a very rich School Form. It’s not something that can easily get into, especially applying to that specific department. 

The other one, even though there is no very direct PI that I can work with, I was able to identify someone who might be willing to work with me. However, the far majority of the schools and programs are not really doing the research that I’m into. Apparently, from what they said, they are looking just for people or applicants who are primarily in biomedical research.

A: It’s a medical school and they’re looking for biomedical stuff to improve patients’ lives and maybe there’s some translation there between what you’re doing and the future. But that may be an issue and you may want to switch gears as soon as possible if that’s the route you want to go.

Alternatively, look at programs that are more engineering-based such as Carle Illinois and Texas A&M.


MedEd Media

Medical School HQ Facebook page

Medical School HQ YouTube channel

Instagram @MedicalSchoolHQ

Join the Application Academy!

The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Personal Statement

The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Application Process

The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Interview

Blueprint MCAT