About the ads

How do some students have so many publications?

Discussion in 'Allopathic' started by Lunasly, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. SDN is a nonprofit organization. Services are made possible through the generous support of SDN members and sponsors. Thank you.
  1. Lunasly

    Lunasly

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Messages:
    756
    Location:
    Canada
    SDN 2+ Year Member

    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    Hey guys,

    I know that the way the school years are structured vary from school to school, especially since I am from Canada while you are in the U.S. The question I want to ask is: How do some medical students have so many publications?

    As far as I know, this is how it works – and please correct me if I am wrong: The first opportunity that most medical students take to engage in research is during the summer between MS1 and MS2. Now that is great, but how many publications do most people get out of during research during this time. I mean, if you are treating it like a full time job (40 - 50 hours a week), what is the net result? 1 publication? 2 publications?

    I have heard that people do research during the summer between MS2 and MS3. However, isn't it during the summer that you will be taking time off to study hard for Step I?

    MS3 is hectic.

    Not sure about MS4.

    How the hell do some people have like 7 or 8 publications? It's crazy!

    Thanks for the help,
    Lunasly.
  2. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    27,345
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Physician SDN 7+ Year Member
    First, some people are able to devote a few hours toward research all 4 years. Second, some people take a year off to do research if they need it for a particular residency. Third, many people come into med school with a lot of research under their belts, some of which gets concluded and written up during early med school, finally, most people dont finish med school with more than a couple of new publications that originated during those years. 8 would be a lot.
  3. Lunasly

    Lunasly

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Messages:
    756
    Location:
    Canada
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Ah ok so what I saw then was just out of the norm. Here in Canada, we are not allowed to take a research year, so that is out of the question. I doubt I will have any publications (maybe a research poster – which isn;t even my own research, LOL) as I go to a very small school with not a lot of opportunity when it comes to that. I wonder if a few hours a week to devote to research is worth the small loss of study time – time which could mean getting an honours in the class or as pass.

    What do you recommend?
  4. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    27,345
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Physician SDN 7+ Year Member
    If you are shooting for one of the uber competitive fields in the US where everyone has research, you need research. If not, spend the time getting honors.
  5. bucks2010

    bucks2010

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    1,170
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    you think 7-8 is a lot.. I remember TexasPhysician saying (s)he racked up 20+ pubs in med school.

    The key in their words was to do clinical research, not basic science.

    also, something to remember is that while 7-8 actual papers would probably be quite a bit, 7-8 "publications" in ERAS might include posters, abstracts, etc. So maybe some people start a project, submit an abstract (1), poster (2), and then submit a paper for publication (3). Then they count all of those as "publications" on ERAS. Not sure if that's how a lot of people do it, but that is how I've seen it explained on here before.
  6. Lunasly

    Lunasly

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Messages:
    756
    Location:
    Canada
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Thanks. I messaged him back for some tips on how to make it happen. I think my school is switching over to P/F. We don't have AOA in Canada. We just have class rank where I think the top 10% receives an academic award or they win scholarships, lol.

    Hopefully I can still get some scholarships.
  7. CatFactorial

    CatFactorial

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    499
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Would even having 7-8 basic sci publications as a middle author help? Wouldn't residency programs be able to tell that you were probably just a tech in a productive lab?
  8. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    14,696
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    That's not precisely how ERAS counts publications. There's different categories for each, programs evaluate them how they see fit. As far as how charting outcomes lists research experiences, an abstract that is presented as a poster or oral presentation counts as one research experience, not two. If you submit a manuscript on the same topic, it counts as a separate research experience. Abstracts do count, but those are ones that you are on but don't present, you don't double count them. I had > 30 pubs on eras, its not that uncommon.

  9. Hemichordate

    Hemichordate Pre-ophtho resident

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,069
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    How many pubs did you usually work on at any one time?
  10. Lunasly

    Lunasly

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Messages:
    756
    Location:
    Canada
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    If you don't mind, would you please expand on how you were able to accomplish that?
  11. indonacious

    indonacious

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    168
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Do publications accomplished in medically relevant fields and in respected journals during undergrad and in the summer before medical school count in your residency application or do they become like high school accomplishments were when we were applying to med school (basically not helpful).
  12. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    14,696
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    3-5

    Mostly hard work.

    Generally not useful, but may not be scrutinized that carefully.
  13. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    27,345
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Physician SDN 7+ Year Member
    They "count", but are weighted significantly less.
  14. Lunasly

    Lunasly

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Messages:
    756
    Location:
    Canada
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Fair enough. At periods during medical school did you find time to do 3 - 5 projects? I understand that the summers are great for this and even during the end of 4th year. Did you do research during the academic year?
  15. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    14,696
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    I was in lab about 20 hours a wk throughout med school.
  16. bassvp

    bassvp MS3

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    530
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Pharmacist SDN 2+ Year Member
    I understand I'm very far ahead of myself at this point, but is there a resource on ERAS that will show you what kinds of activities fit in each category or how they count your research experiences? Also, is there a good place to look at good residency CV's? I just want to know what directions I should be looking to create a good residency app and not be scratching my head senior year on how to get things together.
  17. Hemichordate

    Hemichordate Pre-ophtho resident

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,069
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    So you did basic science research and not clinical?
  18. Lunasly

    Lunasly

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Messages:
    756
    Location:
    Canada
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Wow, very nice. I assume this was clinical volunteering? How did you find time to manage getting good grades and going to the lab? Did you grades suffer? Was your school just P/F? Did your preclinical grades not depend on whether you would receive junior AOA or not?

    If I go to a school that does not have AOA and is P/F, but they do rank you (those in the top 10% of the class receive an award), do you think that my time would be better spent in the lab as opposed to trying to be in the top 10% of my class?

    One other thing, did you start doing research prior to medical school? Did you do research within your first year?
  19. dragon529

    dragon529 MS-III

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    706
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    How many MS1s are already doing research during the year or are planning to? I'm trying to look for a lab where I can do clinical work but I'm afraid my grades (H/HP/P/F here..) will suffer.
  20. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    14,696
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    My research is in medical physics / radiology, so I would characterize it as translational.

  21. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    14,696
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    The eras website is a good place to start.
  22. Phyozo

    Phyozo

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    314
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    This is one of the biggest myths in preclinical years: Pre-clinical grades matter VERY LITTLE. The only caveat is that those who study and get honors tend to be better students/retain more information and tend to do better on the step 1 (which really is the ONLY thing that ends up mattering for M1/M2). I would gladly sacrifice all pre-clinical honors for the sake of pushing some publications out.
  23. Butler

    Butler

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    197
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Did you have any fun in med school?
  24. equinsu ocha

    equinsu ocha

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Messages:
    252
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I would call honoring every pre-clinical, doing great on steps, and pushing out 30 pubs incredibly fun, but maybe I'm weird.
  25. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    14,696
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    I got to travel to 3 continents on the school's/NIHs dime and went out at least once a week even during m3, I'd say, yes.
  26. Hemichordate

    Hemichordate Pre-ophtho resident

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,069
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    .
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  27. pkwraith

    pkwraith Avatar of Boris

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Messages:
    681
    Location:
    OH
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I started doing research my MS1 year, after anatomy. Without anatomy labs, I find that there is a lot of free time. Instead of going to lecture, I just go into lab.

    I'm doing basic science experiments, so there is a lot of downtime where you're just waiting for things to happen. Just kick off the experiment, watch my lecture podcasts while I'm waiting on different steps. I don't see MS2 year to be much different.

    I'll probably be too tired during MS3 years to do experiments.
  28. Lunasly

    Lunasly

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Messages:
    756
    Location:
    Canada
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I heard that too. In Canada, we don't even have to write Step I (even though I will) and we don't have AOA. I think I will study to understand as opposed to trying to retain every minuscule detail and follow along with the Step I materials and use my time to get some publications out.

    I know the previous poster said to try and do both (and I certainly will), I just don't think that is a realistic goal that I can meet and I am more than likely going to have to choose one or the other.
  29. Lunasly

    Lunasly

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Messages:
    756
    Location:
    Canada
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Thanks for the tip.
  30. Sheldor

    Sheldor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
    Messages:
    992
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I believe one of the biggest myths is that they DONT matter. While it may be true that individual grades may not matter, taken as a whole they will matter a lot. They will inform your class rank and your chance to get AOA. So don't freak out if you get one HP/B, but as a whole try to do well.

    Also, remember that no matter how much research you get while letting your grades suffer, someone will have the same amount with all honors.
  31. FIREitUP

    FIREitUP

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    2,390
    Location:
    TBL
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    True, but at least at my school, 3rd year grades are counted two times more than the first two years combined. I would say that they matter to an extent. The way I look at it is to use grades as a motivator to have a better retention of the material for the boards. The rest will fall into place.
  32. ijn

    ijn

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,348
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Why are third year grades worth so much more if they are so arbitrary? I mean, at least in the 1st 2 years your grading system is consistent throughout. In 3rd year you might have rotations where 5% of the people honor and another where 50% honor (well maybe not everywhere, but I know this is true at my school.)
  33. MeatTornado

    MeatTornado

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,468
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Physician SDN 5+ Year Member
    because residencies aren't looking for someone who's intimately familiar with the krebs cycle and care way more about ur command of clinical medicine and whether attendings and residents enjoy working with you
  34. ijn

    ijn

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,348
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    I can understand that, but say you're looking at students from two schools: one with 5% honors and 25% high pass on surgery vs another school that has 30% honors on surgery. Are PDs going to weigh the guy who from the first school who got a high pass equally with the guy who got honors at the 30% school? I doubt it, but I've never been on that end of the decision. Does the high pass guy have less command of clinical medicine?
  35. CatFactorial

    CatFactorial

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    499
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    That's why steps are so important.
  36. MeatTornado

    MeatTornado

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,468
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Physician SDN 5+ Year Member
    how would PDs know the % who honor at each school? i guess they can deduce from how many applicants they see from that school who've honored the rotation or a school might include that in their MSPE.

    Either way though the MSPE should put your grade into context and use shelf scores and comments from attendings/residents where appropriate to put the grade into context.
  37. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    14,696
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Only a small segment of programs wait for the mspe, although that may change.
  38. FSU2013

    FSU2013

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,217
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member


    I know my med school includes a legend in the MSPE describing our performance with the rough percentage of people getting honors (appx 15%). I think this is relatively standard, but I may be wrong. We no longer include shelf exam scores b/c our dean said that their inclusion is getting fairly uncommon - Note: if you score extremely high (>90% or so), they will include it in the comments section.
  39. Butler

    Butler

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    197
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Notifying the PDs with what percentage of people get honors is fairly common from what I have heard.
  40. Untraditional

    Untraditional A bit late to the party.

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Favorable research relationships, judicious use of Ctrl-V with smart journal selection, probably a little bit of fraud to boost the numbers of everyone in the group, luck enough to have a decent project that yields publishable results and plenty of hard work to obtain / describe them.
  41. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth One-winged Angel

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    970
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    What are you going into? IR? DR? radonc?
    Are you counting pubs you did in undergrad? And if so, how many of those are there? And what steps did you take to get involved in research so quickly?

    Thanks.
  42. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    14,696
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    Radiology, probably eventually body IR. I am not counting ug pubs (didn't have any). Contacted my mentor via email before med school started.
  43. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth One-winged Angel

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    970
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Did your school have any type of program or assistance, or did you just send an email completely on your own? I'd like to get started on research right from the get-go too, so I'm trying to figure out how I should go about this. So you got all of those without taking an extra research year? For your experience, do the people looking to go into research-dependent specialties get a lot of pubs without an extra year, or is the extra year more common?
  44. ArcGurren

    ArcGurren only one will survive

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,928
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Probably worth mentioning as a caveat that you (like many SDN members) do not represent the average medical student - not even the average med student who applies for radiology. You don't need to be AOA/step 1 > 260/10+ pubs in order to match a good program in radiology, let alone even just match.

    So for those freaking out... don't worry.
  45. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    14,696
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    I did research into people who were doing projects in areas I was interested in and srnt out an email. Our school only has a formal summer program after m1.
  46. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth One-winged Angel

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    970
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Yeah, but having been doing a lot of research lately I'm thinking I want to go into rad onc, and I'm not getting a PhD, so I feel I may need to go into gunner mode.

    Ok, that sounds good. thanks.
  47. Ebola4Breakfast

    Ebola4Breakfast Boop!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    248
    Status:
    Medical Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    This is what I don't understand. How can you be so certain about what you want to do so early? Everyone keeps telling me I'll change my mind at least once. I'll start school in the fall. I'm really interested in pediatric oncology. I have a lot of research in general oncology, most of which is basic science research. I'd love to get involved in some clinical pediatric oncology research. But what happens if I get into third year and I get my first screaming kid or angry parent and decide I hate pediatrics and want no part of it as a residency, much less for a subsequent fellowship in ped hem/onc. This is probably a stupid question, but would having that research hurt me if I was to apply for residency in a completely unrelated field?
  48. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 chick magnet

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    14,696
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    SDN 7+ Year Member
    meh, lots of people knew what they wanted to do before they went into med school, don't drink the sdn kool-aid about that. It makes sense, if you think about it; why wouldn't you have a good idea of what you want to do? Most peoples have some role models in medicine.

    The research won't hurt you but it won't help as much as if you were going into that field.
  49. Lunasly

    Lunasly

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Messages:
    756
    Location:
    Canada
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    So let me just get this straight.

    Do you recommend that those who want to get started on research should be e-mailing PD's prior to the start of classes? In fact, as soon as we get accepted?

    I always hear the advice that we should take some time to see what medical school is like before we jump into any commitments. Do you say man up and you'll learn how to handle it?

    What about some of the ultra-competitive specialties. I understand they want free labor, but how do you e-mail a rad. onc. dept asking for research before the first day of classes (or even within he first week) without looking like a gunner? Am I wrong here – do you look like a gunner?
  50. MeatTornado

    MeatTornado

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,468
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Physician SDN 5+ Year Member

    IMO there's no reason to jump the gun like that. i know that anyone who would even consider doing something like this thinks they're going to own med school but you might be unpleasantly surprised. i would suggest you wait until at least the first midterm to assess how much time you can commit to research....if at all.

Share This Page


About the ads