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Prochirality

Research as a First Year

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Don’t rush it, Too early. Build up your profile by focusing on your grades at his stage. Then, you will build upon this.  If you have your academics under control, find ECs & volunteering of interest where you can demonstrate CanMEDS competencies, altruism and empathy and branch out.

Remember, Rome was not built in a day. Welcome to the Forum. :P

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If you are looking for a summer position in a lab, now would be the time to reach out to potential supervisors. 

This is fairly easy to do. Go onto your school website and find a directory of professors that research a topic you are interested in. Read the short bio's that are on the website and create a list of the ones you find interesting. Then, all you really have to do is send a personalized email to each one. Be sure to proof read your emails (mistake number 1), and avoid copy/paste "Dear Dr. X, I find your research in Y to be interesting" statements. Show each professor you have taken the time to try and understand what they do (i.e. read some abstracts from their recent publications and reference some of the key findings you found interesting, or techniques they employ that you think are really cool). If a professor sees that you took the initiative and tried to understand, they might invite you for an interview or lab tour.

The key to remember here is that it is a fairly hard thing to get a position like this (especially one that is paid by your prof or securing funding this early on in your studies). This will be a lot of trial and error. Expect to repeat this emailing process >10 times before you find a prof who is a good match or is willing  and able to take on a student.

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Im a first year as well, currently approaching my third year of research. 

My recommendation is to try applying for summer programs. Most downtown hospitals have applications open. You'll be fighting against 3rd and 4th years but its worth a shot. 

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On 8/2/2018 at 1:50 AM, RandomBeaver said:

Oh God. The advice on this forum. Sucks. Start grinding the crap out of research. It increases your chance for UoFT and US med schools by a lot. I helped 20 first years at my uni get positions, with no previous experience, in a time span of two months. It's easy if you know what you are doing. PM me if you need guidance. 

Don't listen to everything people tell you. 

Your self-promotion sucks.

OP, the only part of the above advice I would listen to is the last part, "Don't listen to everything people tell you", starting with RandomBeaver.

I wouldn't be so quick to bash the advice given on this forum, especially when you only have 4 posts. The advice given here is based on members' own experiences (which has proven to be successful), and since there isn't a single way to get into medical school in Canada, there are many different types of advice someone will receive when they ask a question here.

Yes research can be important, but it is such a small part of the application. As others have stated, GPA is the most important factor and after that, extra-curriculars that demonstrate all CANMEDS roles (which can include, but is not limited to research).

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Agreed, I got into U of T with VERY minimal research experience (was in a lab, no pubs, no posters). GPA is king, then there's 10 miles of nothing, then there's everything else.

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