Clinical research opportunities are easier to come by as an undergrad student. But what about for nontrads? Check out the advice in today’s podcast.
[00:56] OldPreMeds Question of the Week:
“I have come across great programs for college students to find research internships during the summer. However, I’me having a hard time finding volunteer clinical research opportunities for those out of college and currently working full-time. Living in a city where healthcare is the backbone of the economy, there must be opportunities out there. Does anyone know where to look?”
Here are my thoughts:
[01:27] Google It!
Upon seeing this question, I was thinking about where to start. Having gone through the process, I know a little bit more, but not a lot more than anybody else trying to find clinical research opportunities; because I personally didn’t participate in a lot of clinical research opportunities outside of some of the things I did while in medical school.
There are definitely programs out there for premed students where they’re paired off with research opportunities to help them get that experience. That said, it doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of opportunities for a student to get involved in research.
Let’s assume you’re in Boston, since it has a huge number of academic hospitals in the area such as BU, MIT, and Tufts, where they have big academic centers and big hospitals, large of research going on, and huge pharmaceutical industry. The first step is to look up on Google and search MGH (Massachusetts General Hospital) research and whatever specialty. Then you will get a list of physicians who are doing research in the neurology department. There you will find their email address and then email them. Introduce yourself to them and what you want to do and ask for help. And do the same thing to the next person. Send maybe about five emails and then after a couple of days, send five more, and send a hundred.
[04:05] The Pharmaceutical Industry
Again, assuming this is in Boston where the pharmaceutical industry is huge, reach out to them and find out about research opportunities they offer. Typically, these people are working closely with physicians in the hospitals and clinics doing clinical research. So there may be opportunities at the pharmaceutical company or they can put you in contact with the physicians actually doing the research in the hospitals and clinics.
[04:42] Final Thoughts
The programs are going to be frustrating because they’re going to be limited to actual premed students and not to nontraditional students. But then again, keep searching, Use Google and search for “name of hospital” research + type of specialty. Look at the physicians and reach out to the through emails or phone calls. Let them know who you are and see what they have to offer you.
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