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Does Clerical Research Assistant Experience Help For Med Applications?


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Hi guys,  


I'm currently in my second year of undergrad, doing a major in business and minor in science. I'm primarily aiming for McGill Med School so I'm posting this same post from General Discussion here...(Sorry about that if you're reading this twice!)

I've been accepted to a paid position of "Clinical Research Assistant" in a hospital. It requires 10-15 hours of commitment per week during the school year. The job duties include recruiting patients and schedule visits, updating patient logs, contacting medical centers for patient information, collection of data from medical charts + data entry, collection + processing of blood & urine samples, and such. 


The only reason I was able to get the position is because nobody is applying during the school year. Usually, labs don't want to hire, or even just supervise, non-science students, especially students in business like me. So it sounds like a great (and maybe my ONLY) opportunity to have some research experience on my med school application. The title of the position and the clinical nature of this project seem helpful to my application. 


My concerns are:


1. This position is more a "clerk" than a "research assistant" (like in a molecular biology lab or something), is it still helpful for med school applications? Will med schools view this experience the same as, say, experience from a lab studying genome stuff? (Especially McGill??)


2. I'm taking 5 courses (all core/hard courses, no bird class), one of them with labs (organic chemistry 1), and I'm volunteering in the hospital (3hrs/week). I see myself very busy with school already, without taking on a job. Plus, the 10-15 hours commitment seems like a lot. So I may sacrifice my GPA a little bit. In this case, is it still worth it? Given that GPA is one of the most important factors for McGill Med?


Thank you for your input!

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I think the experience is valuable even if not research. You do not want your GPA to suffer but in undergrad I found the busier I was, the more efficient I became. My studies were all consuming to become a straight A student, I am far from being a brain, but I also managed ECs of at least 20 hours weekly; mind you, I had no social life in undergrad.

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