Research? Intercalated study options? These may be the last things on your mind (if at all) when thinking about a medical school. However, it may be a good idea to explore what each university offers to its students for engaging with extra studies or research outside the regular medical programme, in order to maximise your career opportunities after medical school. For example, University of Queensland offers extended research opportunities in the form of extracurricular voluntary activities.
Many universities offer summer research studentships, often along with scholarships. These are exceptionally valuable opportunities to gain medical or non-medical research experience without compromising or delaying your medical studies. Such endeavours may be beneficial for you when considering further study after medical school or embarking on an intercalated study route (see below).
If you are prepared to spend another year or more to obtain another degree, you should consider universities which offer intercalated options to combine your medical degree with a Doctoral (PhD), Master’s (e.g. MPhil, MPH, MMedSc) or Honours degree (e.g. BMedSc Hons). Usually, these pathways are highly competitive and demanding, but if you wish to get into a particular research field, speciality or profession (e.g. a medical school professor), this may be an attractive option for you.
Remember that you don’t have to choose between being a medical doctor or a medical researcher. You will be surprised at how many medical doctors engage with research activities. You may find these articles from the British Medical Journal (‘Why all doctors should be involved in research’) and The New York Times (‘We need more doctors who are scientists’) of interest to you.
Are you interested in attending a medical school in the UK instead of Australia or New Zealand? Check out Medify’s UK Medical School Admissions Guide.
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