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Research & Scholarship

Students often hear that is important to "do research" on the road to medical school. It is more accurate to say that engaging in scholarly inquiry is key to a successful application to medical, veterinary, dental, or other health professions school.

What does it mean to engage in scholarly inquiry?

Many candidates for medical school and other graduate programs will satisfy this requirement by working in a lab, but in truth there are many ways to get there. Exposure to a science-based project is appealing to many students and at Dartmouth opportunities abound. Medical schools highly value a student's exposure to science in action. Experience in a biology lab, an engineering lab, a clinical medicine project, or public health project. 

Some students explore scholarship in non-science settings, including within their chosen major, or other arenas such as anthropology research, or even an art project are all legitimate ways of demonstrating in-depth engagement with scholarship. The common denominator is that in any, you are learning to develop and explore hypotheses with autonomy to a depth that would be unusual in course work. The ability to do independent scholarly work is an especially valued attribute.

Why does this have value for a career in medicine?

Medicine is a constantly evolving field where new learning is itself a constant. Knowledge and information are being developed all the timeā€”ever more rapidly in fact. Whether you are a medical practitioner, future scientist, professor of medicine, a social justice activist or involved in any other facet of medicine, you will be actively involved in interpreting, synthesizing and using this knowledge. Perhaps you will even be one of those who are creating it.

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Last Updated: 2/15/17