Before deciding to go to medical school, I’d planned on becoming a researcher. In fact, the majority of the programs I applied to during my final year of undergrad were dual MD/PhD programs. Though I’m studying in an MD-only program, I intend on making research an important part of my practice. I’d love to become an associate professor at an academic institution and perhaps co-run a research lab.
As an undergraduate student, I interned in a biomolecular research laboratory for two years. My fourth year thesis was a combined supervisorial effort between my two supervisors from this lab, a professor from Huntington University’s department of gerontology, and the director of the school of human kinetics. The resulting study and paper, which looked at antioxidant intake and exercise habits in aging individual with and without hypertension, is something that I’m extremely proud of and extremely grateful to all of my supervisors for – one couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with! The summer after I completed my degree, I worked for a professor studying the impact of temperature extremes on muscle performance. In July 2017, I travelled to Brazil to work on a medical research project on gene expression in aging individuals with chronic kidney disease.
These experiences were so formative and essential to my development as a future researcher (and even as a medical student today). I’ve learned how to write literature reviews, how to conduct studies, how to write ethics applications, and have acquired many biochemical experimental techniques (for a time, I was the resident Western Blot expert at NOSM 😉 ). If you’re interested in research, I highly recommend getting involved! Reach out to someone in a field you’re interested in and ask them to mentor you. If you’re an undergraduate student in Ontario (Canada?), you can apply for an NSCERC USRA grant and do research as a summer job. Also, don’t be afraid to work for free – many schools will offer credits (I got a total of 18 – the equivalent of six courses – through my internships, which were necessary for the fourth year of my program) or will find a way to include them on your transcript.
If you have any questions about research in general, about the research I’ve done, how to approach a prof, etc., feel free to reach out!
Posts on Research
Khurana S, Byrne CJ, Mercier S, Lamothe J, Williamson CR, Grandbois J, Tai TC (2015). Role of Adrenal Hormones in the Fetal Programming of Hypertension – Chapter 10 in “Adrenal Glands: From Pathophysiology to Clinical Evidence”. Nova Publishers.
Poster Presentation Contributions
*3rd and 4th authorship, respectively.
School of Human Kinetics Conference 2016 – Speaking Presentation