Research is required by some medical schools and an advantage in the application process at most schools. The independence and depth of learning beyond textbooks is excellent training for medical school. Lab skills, literature review, problem solving, and creativity cross easily into medicine. Research can be in the basic sciences, clinical application, social science, and many other fields. It can occur during the school year or summer.
It is key that you are an active member of the team and have grown through the experience. Research without transformation and enthusiasm for your project is less helpful.
Again, this advice is a bit different for those students who wish to become physician researchers. These students should be highly involved with research early in their college careers and should have multiple semesters in the same lab to grow in both skills and research independence.
The College of Science provides many resources to help students find research opportunities on and off campus. Research questions can also be directed to Dr. Sheryl Lu., Undergraduate Research Coordinator for the College of Science.