Some schools do require research. They think that it is a very important part of the medical profession and is the foundation for medical knowledge. Over the course of your career, you will need to utilize various forms of medical literature to treat your future patients and remain current in the field.
It is important for you to apply to schools that are consistent with your own interest, or lack of interest, in research. Do not do research just because you think you have to; do it because you really want to do it.
If you have done research, be prepared to talk about it. You will need to be able to describe your project in detail and discuss exactly what role you played in the research. If you are unable to describe or explain your research, your duties, or your findings, then the admissions committee will be left wondering if this is a case of embellishment. If you have simply done research for the sake of having it look good on a medical school application, this will be easily detected.
You also may want to explore non-scientific research as well. This could be a great opportunity to show independent thinking, an appreciation for the process of research, and a slant toward lifelong learning without being limited to working with pipettes!
This post is excerpted from 101 Tips on Getting Into Medical School by Jennifer C. Welch, who has served as the Director of Admissions at SUNY Upstate Medical School since 2001.