I’m not above asking for help when I can’t do something or need clarification. Indeed, this is something which I do nearly every day at work or at school. But, for some reason, I’m having a really hard time getting used to the fact that, in order to get into medical school, I’m largely dependent upon others. Letters of recommendation, research and clinical opportunities, etc. are all things that I have to actively go out and ask people for. I absolutely hate it. And yes, I’m aware that it’s standard fare and that I’ll be doing it for years. That doesn’t make it any easier.
The reason I bring this up now is because I’m trying to figure out how to get involved in some sort of clinical research at the medical school down the street. I have a background in radiation effects and physics, and I’m interested in seeing how those sorts of things are applied to cancer treatment, so I’d like to get involved with someone in the radiation oncology department. In theory, I suppose that I should contact one of the physicians in that department, but I have no idea how to broach the subject. I’ve spent a good portion of my afternoon working on an email to a doctor in the rad-onc department, but have no idea what to say or even what to ask.
It feels really awkward and random – is this a normal thing that medical school applicants do? Anyone have some advice on asking to get involved in the work that someone is doing? I’d appreciate the help.