Although academic preparation is the single most important factor in the pre-medical students' record, the health professional schools are interested in what you have done to demonstrate your desire to enter this field. Consequently, you are encouraged to arrange for a significant amount of clinical exposure and/or experience in your chosen profession. Many students volunteer in hospitals, clinics, private offices, institutions, hospices, blood drives, and some obtain part time employment. Often, summer is the best time to engage in meaningful activtities.
The intent of this exposure is to increase your awareness of the realities you will face in your chosen health profession. The interaction with practitioners and the observation of all aspects of health care is instructive and essential for all students with health care aspirations.
Research involvement is not a requirement. But i can provide you with firsthand experience in the role and methodology of research in medicine, even if your goal is clinical practice. If you are seriously considering a Ph.D. in addition to the medical degree, it is critical that you gain some significant research experience as an undergraduate. SUNY New Paltz students are fortunate to have numerous opportunities for research on our campus: Contact individual professors regarding their research, and ask if you can join them either as a volunteer or for academic credit.