One of the highlights of my undergrad career was the summer research program I participated in after my sophomore year; this experience gave me a background in pediatric oncology drug development, established friendships, and ultimately was a great stepping stone for my previous career in biomedical research. In other words, it was invaluable.
Finding programs to apply to was a challenge. A database was not available then. It look a lot of online researching and tracking down specific universities that I was interested in. In the end, I applied to 6 programs and got my top choice. It was a paid experience, and it was also the first time I had to find housing on my own and live in a new city without knowing anyone. It was such a great experience on so many levels, and of course it looks good on your CV when you go to apply for medical school. Also, my first scientific publication came out of my work in my summer program.
The newest blog post by Accepted.com has a convenient listing of program opportunities for premeds. If you’re interested in research but don’t know how to get involved or where to start, this could be a great source of information for you!