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How to Gain Research Experience as a Premed Student as Coronavirus Restrictions Continue | Medical School Admissions Doctor

For premed students hoping to gain some research experience before applying to medical school, the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic poses a challenge to that goal. At a time when so much medical research has taken off, it is hard for students to find places on research teams. Hospitals and other clinical facilities are limiting entry into buildings, as are research labs at universities.

Since research experience can be an important part of a medical school application, figuring out where your application stands in terms of research and whether it makes sense to pursue opportunities at this time is imperative.

As a 2020-2021 applicant to med school, you will likely find yourself in one of three applicant categories.

First are students who already have robust research experience. These students may wish to strengthen their skills further or may have had research projects interrupted by COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Second are students who have some research experience, but this research may not be related to science or health care and it may have involved few participation hours.

Finally, some students may have no research experience at all, and they face the prospect of applying to medical school without having had these opportunities.

Students With Robust Research Experience

If you are part of the first category of students, take a deep breath. You have had quality research experiences and have had the chance to hone the research skills that med schools value.

While you can still ask around about furthering your experience, do not worry if you cannot find another research opportunity. Instead, think about other activities that will meaningfully add to your application – like an online class or volunteering to deliver groceries to those at risk for complications from the coronavirus – and pursue those.

Students With Less or No Research Experience

If you are in the second or third groups of students, do not panic. While research is a good thing to have on your med school application, it is not the sole determinant of your admissions worthiness.

For example, I had no research on my med school application and I was admitted to med school. If you find yourself barred from in-person research environments due to the pandemic, reach out to a mentor or faculty member involved in an interesting project and offer to help with literature reviews or data analysis. Both of these types of work are critical to the research process, and they can be done remotely.

If you are unable to secure a research position, think about other means of strengthening your application. And if you are absolutely sure you want to do research prior to enrolling in med school, you always have the option to delay your application to a later cycle. The option to apply to med school will exist whenever you are ready to take it.

Remember that medical schools are sensitive to the disruptions resulting from the coronavirus. While it is important to present the most complete application

U.S. hospitalizations continue climb as 11 states set records for new COVID-19 cases

Coronavirus hospitalizations were continuing a dangerous trend in the United States while Brazil and India each reached ominous milestones as the global pandemic showed little sign of retreating Sunday.

Hospitalizations, which peaked at nearly 60,000 across the nation in July, had fallen by more than half last month. But since dipping below 29,000 on Sept. 20, the number of people being treated in hospitals each day has crept higher, to almost 35,000.

And a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Saturday shows 11 states set records for new cases for a seven-day period – Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah. The U.S. has recorded its fourth consecutive day of more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases, a streak not seen in two months.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: President Donald Trump speaks from the South Portico of the White House in Washington, DC during a rally on October 10, 2020.

© MANDEL NGAN, AFP via Getty Images
President Donald Trump speaks from the South Portico of the White House in Washington, DC during a rally on October 10, 2020.

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The U.S. has now reported more than 7.7 million cases and almost 215,000 deaths since the first U.S. case was confirmed Jan. 21. Record numbers of deaths over a seven-day period were reported in Kansas and North Dakota.

US reports more than 50K cases for third straight day: 9 states set record

The world is not faring much better. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to unveil tougher restrictions Monday, including a three-tier system based on severity of cases in each region of England. Graham Medley, professor of infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the director of the Center for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases, warned that “thousands will die” unless Britain can alter the trajectory of the disease.

“We are clearly in a difficult position,” Medley tweeted. “The level and rise of infections, admissions and deaths puts us in a similar position to early March. (But) we know the harms that ‘lockdown’ will bring. Very, very hard choices.”

Trump’s doctor: President no longer a risk for transmitting COVID-19

Dr. David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s special envoy on COVID-19, urged world leaders this week to stop “using lockdowns as your primary

COVID rates in Manchester and Liverpool continue to surge

Shoppers wearing face coverings pass beneath an electronic sign reminding pedestrians to 'act now to avoid a local lockdown' outside the Arndale Centre in Manchester. (Getty)
Shoppers wearing face coverings pass beneath an electronic sign reminding pedestrians to ‘act now to avoid a local lockdown’ outside the Arndale Centre in Manchester. (Getty)

COVID rates in some northern cities have almost doubled in a week, despite local lockdowns coming into force last Wednesday.

The Manchester COVID rate grew to 3,105 new cases recorded in the seven days to 3 October 3 – the equivalent of 561.6 cases per 100,000 people.

The Liverpool COVID rate also increased sharply, from 325.1 to 516.0 with 2,570 new cases, just a week after the north-west local lockdown restricted social mixing for almost two million people.

But leaders in Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds have warned health secretary Matt Hancock that they would not support further “economic lockdowns” and called for new powers to tackle the resurgence.

People queuing outside a walk-in coronavirus test centre at Allerton Library in Liverpool amid rising cases across parts of England. (PA)
People queuing outside a walk-in coronavirus test centre at Allerton Library in Liverpool amid rising cases across parts of England. (PA)

The leaders of Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle city councils – Judith Blake, Sir Richard Leese and Nick Forbes – joined Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson to write to the health secretary to say they are “extremely concerned” with the rise in cases, but hit out at the “confusing” regulations.

“The existing restrictions are not working, confusing for the public and some, like the 10pm rule, are counter-productive,” the Labour politicians wrote.

They called for additional powers to punish those who break rules, for new restrictions to be developed by police, council and public health experts and for a locally-controlled test and trace system.

Watch: What is a local lockdown?

“We want to be clear however that we do not support further economic lockdowns,” the leaders added.

Health officials are also expecting Nottingham to be placed in lockdown after a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Professor John Edmunds, who is advising the government’s coronavirus response, joined the criticism of local measures on Tuesday, arguing that new national restrictions were needed immediately to bring the pandemic under control.

“These local restrictions that have been put in place in much of the north of England really haven’t been very effective,” he told BBC Newsnight.

“We need to take much more stringent measures, not just in the north of England, we need to do it countrywide, and bring the epidemic back under control.”

He said the government’s current “light touch” measures are just “delaying the inevitable”.

Local leaders wrote to health secretary Matt Hancock about 'confusing' local lockdowns. (Getty)
Local leaders wrote to health secretary Matt Hancock about ‘confusing’ local lockdowns. (Getty)

“We will at some point put very stringent measures in place because we will have to when hospitals start to really fill up,” he said. “Frankly, the better strategy is to put them in place now.”

The calls came as the UK-wide seven-day rate increased to 125.7 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people from 63.8 a week ago, according to analysis by the PA news agency.

Daily figures showed there were 14,542 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, as of 9am on Tuesday.

A woman wearing a face mask walks past a sign asking pedestrians to 'Do Your Bit' in Manchester. (Getty)
A woman wearing a face mask

Morristown High School To Continue All-Remote Learning

MORRISTOWN, NJ—The Morris School District said Thursday that Morristown High School will continue to follow an all-virtual schedule through Wednesday, October 7, after officials were informed that two additional individuals at the school tested positive for coronavirus. The new cases bring the current total number of within the Morristown High School community to three.

“These two latest cases have been traced to the positive case we informed you about on Friday, September 25,” the district announcement said. “We have no evidence to indicate that transmission occurred within the school building; transmission appears to be limited to activity on one of our athletic teams.”

The statement said all in-person extracurricular activities, including athletic practices and scrimmages/competitions, will remain suspended.

The District is working with the health department for guidance and contact tracing, the statement said, and anyone identified as a close contact (within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) has been notified directly and will complete the required 14-day quarantine at home.

“However, consistent with our conservative approach,” the statement said, “we are notifying by phone anyone who was in class with these individuals on September 22 and 23 so that their families can be especially vigilant about monitoring and reporting any symptoms.”

According to the district’s established hybrid schedule, students in the Green Cohort will return for in-person learning on Thursday, October 8, and students in the Red Cohort will access their learning online on Thursday, October 8. On Friday, October 9, students in the Red Cohort are in person and students in the Green Cohort are online.

This article originally appeared on the Morristown Patch

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