1 Name: Shayla JHU Undergrad Year: 2012 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2014 Employment/Research I am a Research Assistant to the executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy. I research and write on a broad range of health care policy topics with a focus on Medicaid policy and state implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The position was advertised on company website. I used connections from Hopkins to get an interview. I pursued other research assistant positions at health policy organizations In Washington, DC, and the health policy world in general. Connections are everything. Leverage the fact that you are from Hopkins, even if it means reaching out to alumni you haven't met yet. Understanding how the policy world works is increasingly essential for physician leaders.
2 Name: Rohit JHU Undergrad Year: 2012 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2013 Employment/Research Starting in August 2012, I am working full time in the Anti-bacterial Discovery Performance Unit at GlaxoSmithKline in Upper Providence, Pennsylvania. My research involves investigating the mechanism of action of antibiotics targeting Acinetobacter Baumannii, a Gramnegative coccobacillus bacterium that is resistant to most antibiotics. The research aims to elucidate the mechanism of action of antibiotics targeting the Acinetobacter Baumannii through monitoring the incorporation of radiolabeled recursors, uridine, isoleucine, thymidine, acetate and N-acetylglucosamine, to assay the inhibition of transcription, translation, replication, lipidsynthesis and cell-wall synthesis, respectively. I applied online through the website at GSK.com to experiences that matched my prior work experience. I also applied to masters programs and post-baccalaureate programs. Working in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry has been extremely rewarding thus far. I was initially very hesitant to leave academics and work for a year, but I'm learning a lot of biology in my research job which has strengthened my basic science knowledge. As an additional plus, I am learning more about the healthcare system as well and the role of the pharmaceutical industry in shaping healthcare reform. It gave me a unique experience to write and talk about in my medical school applications.
3 Name: Matthew JHU Undergrad Year: 2011 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2012 Employment/Research I spent a year working as a research assistant at the World Bank in the health, nutrition, and population group. I was performing Results Based Financing research on health financing in developing countries by analyzing (using STATA) household and community health worker surveys, and also helping to develop a maternal and child health RBF toolkit. It was really an incredible experience to be exposed to the fields of development economics and health economics. I applied to lots of positions, and eventually found this one through a family friend. I pursued other health economics and economics related positions in the DC area If looking to have a paid position, outside the laboratory, start looking early! One year gap opportunities in the paid non science world were difficult to find because of the investment into training, so the more time you can commit to it the better. It helped me learn an entirely unique skillset from other medical school candidates - one that is incredibly relevant in the fields of global health and functioning health care systems. So far in school, I have found few people with economic backgrounds, and virtually no one in health economics fields. I believe this really set me apart from the other candidates.
4 Name: Qi JHU Undergrad Year: 2009 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2010 Employment/Research Paid research at Johns Hopkins Hospital I previously worked with the lab during a summer before graduation. I applied to other research positions without success. Form connections before graduating as finding a position might be difficult otherwise I was able to work independently at my position as well as have many responsibilities. The work showed I could handle the work and allowed me to publish.
5 Name: Saad JHU Undergrad Year: 2012 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2013 Employment/Research Post back research at NIH Online search and word of mouth Volunteering Make the most of it Maturity
6 Name: Debalina JHU Undergrad Year: 2010 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2011 Research Research with Fulbright scholarship in India. JHU Applied for jobs with consulting firms as well as looked for research positions. Applied for and was accepted for the ORISE scholarship through FDA to conduct research. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
7 Name: Igor JHU Undergrad Year: 2008 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2009 Research 2 years independent basic science research at NIH via IRTA program Looked online None Contact PIs directly and express sincere interest in their work. This experience made me much more competitive for MD/PhD programs.
8 Name: Thomas JHU Undergrad Year: 2012 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2013 Research Neuroscience Research Technician Volunteer at a clinic. Shadowing at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Ballroom Dancing. This experience is highly recommended. It really strengthens one's medical application record and is a nice break from academics. This experience allowed me to spend more time on my application without the stress of school. I was also able to gather more research and clinical experience, which I was lacking.
9 Name: JHU Alum JHU Undergrad Year: 2011 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2011 Research Research Lab at Uniformed Services University of Health Science. Office of Pre-Professional Programs and Advising Other research, some volunteering. Start early. Try to network. This experience helped tremendously. Staying busy and doing something productive in your year off looks good on paper and can be an intellectually rewarding experience.
10 Name: Whitney JHU Undergrad Year: 2009 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2010 Research Post-Bacc research in a lab to boost my research experience for MD/PhD applications. Employment with Kaplan Test Prep. It was great for what I was looking for (research experience for MD/PhD applications). However, I wish I had known about the post-bacc research opportunities at the NIH, because they are a great option for someone in that position. https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/postbac_irta For MD/PhD, it was crucial for candidacy in top programs.
11 Name: Jessica JHU Undergrad Year: 2011 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2012 Research I worked in a genetics lab at JHMI. I worked with the PI during undergrad. I was considering a job at a non-profit pharma company in Seattle before I decided to take the lab job. Make sure that your PI is aware that you are applying to medical school and will have a very large interview/travel commitment. I missed a lot of work because I was traveling for interviews. I had time to do my applications instead of rushing into the very overwhelming process. I also think that I matured in my gap year more than I did any year of college, and I notice now that I am much more mature than my fellow classmates who went straight through from college to medical school. I think this has to do with the fact that I spent all of last year living on my own and paying my own bills/food etc.
12 Name: Russell JHU Undergrad Year: 2011 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2013 Graduate Education/Research I worked full time for 2 years as a research technician at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In this capacity, I performed glycobiology research, participated in journal clubs, attended the national Society for Glycobiology meeting in San Diego, I took three graduate courses at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and published two papers. As an undergraduate I began performing research in this laboratory over the summer between my junior and senior year of college. I was able to demonstrate my skills and attention to detail. Soon after I was offered the position to continue the research I was performing as an undergraduate. Part of the opportunity was luck because I was able to step into a newly open position at the right time. The other part was being able to get this experience early on in college and build the rapport with my supervisor. I also worked part time as a personal trainer (~12-20h per week) and an MCAT tutor for a company called Top Test Prep (depending on availability of clients). I volunteered at both Johns Hopkins Hospital as well as GBMC as a customer service representative. I was elected as the alumni treasurer of my undergraduate fraternity. I also took the opportunity to participate in recreational sports such as beach volleyball on the weekends. I believe that it is one of the greatest experiences you can have. I have learned an incredible amount about both science and myself simply by gaining this experience. It truly gives one enough time to decide what career path is best for them! My advice would be to try and build these experiences early so that you have experience when you want to apply as well as to actively seek out employers who might want you upon graduation. I think it had a dramatic impact on my candidacy. With the added year I was able to publish two papers and was invited to attend national conferences in glycobiology. I was able to prove my candidacy by taking courses with the medical students for a grade so that my performance could be directly compared with current students. I was also able to demonstrate that I'm passionate about science and the mechanisms of disease. When interviews came around, I was prepared to talk about my project
13 from all the practice I had due to lab meetings and presentations in the past. I highly recommend it to all applicants.
14 Name: Jackie JHU Undergrad Year: 2008 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2011 Research/Graduate Education Ophthalmology research at Wilmer Eye Institute, MHS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Bloomberg
15 Name: Julia JHU Undergrad Year: 2009 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2010 Employment/Research I worked as a research assistant for Dr. Roma Vasa in the pediatric psychiatry department at Kennedy Krieger Institute. This was a paid position so it could count under both research and employment categories. I primarily worked on a study comparing neural responses in children with anxiety vs. control children using fmri. During my gap year I was responsible mostly for the recruitment and testing phases of the study. I additionally helped Dr. Vasa with any additional needs she had and was closely involved with other projects which I was published on. I'm glad that I took a year off and I enjoyed working with Dr. Vasa. She gave me a great deal of independence and flexibility in the projects I took part of, to the point where I felt I really "owned" those data sets, posters, papers, etc. She treated me as an equal and kept me fully involved, making sure that I was getting what I wanted out of the experience. The one downside was that while I was physically working in an imaging lab with other researchers, I was the only one working directly for Dr. Vasa and therefore did not communicate much with my other colleagues. I applied for a couple of other jobs at Kennedy Krieger because I had done research there during my undergraduate years and found the application process to this institution very user-friendly. I only considered a paid position because I wanted to accrue my own income for the year and have an experience living on a budget without my parents' support. I would definitely recommend applying for jobs at Kennedy Krieger, especially for anyone with research experience or an interest in pediatrics or neuroscience. The application process is incredibly easy and efficient; I always received responses or updates on the positions I was applying for. I think the amount of independence I had in this position improved my integrity as a researcher. I was able to incorporate my research experience into many of my conversations during my medical school interviews. I also was fortunate enough to continue my research experience--since I now attend Hopkins Med, I actually am still working with Dr. Vasa on the same project I was working on during my year off, now in the final data analysis phases.
17 Name: Leanne JHU Undergrad Year: 2008 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2010 Research Two year Predoctoral Fellowship, Center for Bioethics, National Institutes of Health. This position was focused on doing research in medical ethics at the National Institutes of Health/ NIH). It also included work with the Ethics Consult Service, and various IRBs at the NIH's research hospital. Internet search. Other similar 1-2 year positions in ethics/ social science research and/or health/science policy. The most important thing to get this position is to show that you can write well and think analytically. A philosophy major or minor is helpful. Submit writing samples that were written by you individually (NOT papers on which you are one of several authors), which usually means a paper written for a course in ethics, philosophy, political science, or something similar. If you get an interview, be prepared to present a formal argument and make clear distinctions between concepts. Show that you can think on your feet when asked questions. The interview should show that you understand and can apply the method of thinking required in ethics/philosophy." I gained more exposure to the medical profession, including the ethical dilemmas that can arise in the course of medical practice. This helped me to determine that medicine is the right profession for me. I also learned more about how to design and implement a research project, and published my research, which improved my medical school application.
18 Name: Henry JHU Undergrad Year: 2012 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2014 Employment/Graduate Education/Research 1) Full-Time Employment as a Lab Engineer. 2) Part-Time Graduate Education. 3) Independent Research as part of Graduate Education. 1) Applied to a University of Pennsylvania job offer for said Lab Engineer position. 2) Applied to graduate school. 3) Part of Graduate Education Make sure you have made a commitment to research before embarking upon this path. All of the above experiences have greatly strengthened my ability to work independently, and have shored up my research background to a great degree.
19 Name: Camille JHU Undergrad Year: 2011 Medical school application cycle (2011, 2012): 2011 Employment/Research I worked at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine from the fall of 2011 to the early summer of I researched in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, studying the effects of organophosphates on the cognitive behaviors of guinea pigs. I found the initial listing and applied for the job on J-Connect. I applied for many research positions at JHU, JHMI, the University of Maryland Medical School, and other research institutions. Apply to a lot of jobs, because it's hard to find one in this economy. If the lab that you worked at in undergrad has funding, try getting a job there first. It strengthened my research background.
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