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Should I do research this summer?

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by ICmyFuture, Jan 13, 2010.

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  1. ICmyFuture

    ICmyFuture

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    Hey everyone,

    I'm a first year thats really interested in EM. I have 8 weeks this summer to either do a preceptorship, research or hang out at the beach. I wanted to get some residents and attendings opinions on this matter. I'm leaning towards research. I have 2 years of research experience in my undergrad and one year after undergrad. However, this consisted of field work relating to animal behavior and ecology. Does it matter that much? I want to stay competitive enough to get into a EM residency. My grades are pretty much average, some Ps and some HPs. What would you do?

    Thanks
  2. Zanegray

    Zanegray

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    I vote for hanging on a beach, and near the beach, and by the beach. I vote for good times and relaxation, and work on your research while you are in school. And have interesting things happen to you while you are on the beach. And Rum drinks. :cool:

    You can't go wrong either way, but it sounds like you have some research experience already, plus you can do this during medical school. Med school and residency are hard, and this is your last chance to chill out for a while. Of course, I am an intern so my judgement may be a bit biased right now.

    I was all teed up to do research that summer, then decided to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu instead. Never regretted it. Did my research during school. I think in EM in particular - they are looking for well balanced people - so do both if you can.
  3. RxnMan

    RxnMan Who, me? A doctor? Moderator Emeritus

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    Take a look at the research FAQ (link in my sig) for MS1 summer research programs.
  4. ICmyFuture

    ICmyFuture

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    Thanks for your responses.

    Zanegray, you might be a little biased:p But rum + beach is what I do after every test:D

    Rxnman, Your FAQ had a lot of good information. My school will basically set up a research project for me, so I probably won't apply to any national ones. I guess I really wanted to know if research would help me get into a EM residency spot. Or for EM does research even matter?
  5. Zanegray

    Zanegray

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    Here's the thing. Every residency program (almost) likes research, and it can help you to get a residency spot. You are a first year - and may change your mind about your field, so those are good reasons to do research, perhaps this summer.

    (Also check out this report for individual specialties and how many applicants do research, http://www.nrmp.org/data/chartingoutcomes2009v3.pdf)

    What I found interviewing is that many EM applicants (and I assume other types of applicants) look the same on paper. We all like EM (or IM, surg etc.) for the same reasons, we have backgrounds that are similar (we all went to med-school right?). So what is it that sets you apart? What is interesting about you and what excites you? Those things are important later on no matter what you do. Cultivate them now...

    I guess my point is its not the endo-the-world if you don't do research this summer if you don't want to. You MUST be interested (for real interested not just fake interested) in your project. Because if you're not, that will come across now and later.

    So, I recommend doing research sometime during medschool, but want you to note that it may just be a check box and programs may be looking for more... so do what makes you happy (which may be research).

    Cheers. K :thumbup:
  6. RxnMan

    RxnMan Who, me? A doctor? Moderator Emeritus

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    As zanegray said, look at charting outcomes. I don't think it helps matching overall - I don't recall there being a significantly greater match rate for those with research experience in the NRMP outcomes, and definitely not in my SDN EM applicant survey (link also in my sig). It may help in applying to certain programs - those that have big research programs and have a history of producing academicians. i.e., may be one of those self-selection characteristics.

    If you've got a project already, that's great. If later on you are interested in a more in-depth experience, look in the FAQ again at the year-out programs. :cool:
  7. jbar

    jbar Senior Member

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    It depends on your school too. Here we have a thesis requirement, so you'd pretty much have to be crazy to not take the funding and get started on your thesis while you have all that time. I know that doesn't apply to a lot of schools but if you have to do some sort of project you might as well do it while you don't also have clinical responsibilities.

    It also depends on what you see as your future. If you think you want to be in academics and do research during you career, you might as well start while in med school. Also keep in mind there are a lot of different kinds of research, it doesn't have to be 50 hours a week in the lab. You could do field research with EMS. You could do clinical research in the department. You can also do something where you have to do a lot of reading papers, something you could do say...on the beach. It depends on what you have to do to get funding, but if you only work 10-20 hours a week on research during the summer you can get some good stuff done and still have plenty of time to kick back and hang out.
  8. ICmyFuture

    ICmyFuture

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    Hey thanks everyone for the responses. Man, it is so awesome to get replies from a medical student, resident and attending all in the same day. Love this site. Well, I have a lot to think about now. Thanks again!
  9. Jarabacoa

    Jarabacoa non carborundum ilegitemi

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    I would vote for research. As stated above, I think it might not improve your chances drastically, but it would improve your application.

    Research is a real pain that is a requirement for all residencies. Most attendings loath it, but are forced to participate to be faculty. When you interview, you tend to interview with those attendings most involved in research, so it would be something to talk about. You learn how to do research by doing it, and attendings would rather work with someone who knows about research.

    Research is looked upon by most attendings and residencies as a necessary evil, so having a med student who comes into residency with ideas about areas of research that they have been thinking about is going to be impressive.
  10. ICmyFuture

    ICmyFuture

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    This is kind of what I wanted to hear. I felt like my research is what got me into medical school. However, it wasn't very satisfying. I just want to do something I'm interested in. I was thinking repurfusion injuries or something that an ER doc would come across, but I don't know that much about anything yet to think of something concrete.
  11. jbar

    jbar Senior Member

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    The easiest way to find a project is go the the EM office and ask for a list of who is working on what (something they should have available if they are serious about having medial students do research.) It's much easier to page through what people are working on and find something you find interesting and come up with a spin off project than trying to make something up off the top of your head. So you'll find person X is working on EMS research, specifically spinal immobilization, and you go from there.
  12. natrod13

    natrod13

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    I have a similar question and didn't want to start a new thread so I figured I would post here. I am a first year med student interested in Emergency Medicine and trying to decide what to do this summer. A lot of my classmates are planning on doing research or preceptorships this summer. However, I am pregnant right now, due a few weeks before school lets out, and would love to just spend my summer with my new baby and take a few trips to visit family. I don't want to ruin my chances at Emergency Medicine though, so if necessary I will set something up. Will it affect my residency applications negatively if I don't do anything "productive" this summer? How important is research to residency programs? Thanks for any input!
  13. RxnMan

    RxnMan Who, me? A doctor? Moderator Emeritus

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    Stay with your kid. Any program that would expect you do something that summer - research, medical mission, holding puppies - over spending time with your newborn, is not a program you want to be in.
  14. jbar

    jbar Senior Member

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    That being said, if you can do both without cutting too much into your time with your child, why not do both? A lot of EM research can be done from home, like doing the lit review, analyzing the data etc. You might also be able to find a small project for ten hours a week or something. Most EM faculty I know who do research with students don't expect the students to be sitting in their office 40 hours a week doing the research in front of them. Now what the school expects you to do to get funding might be a different matter. But I think that most faculty would be excited to have a student who can give them 10 hours a week on their research for the summer.
  15. natrod13

    natrod13

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    I'll have to look into that, I never thought about that being an option. Thank you both for your input!
  16. almwilso

    almwilso

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    Nothing better than hanging out a beach.
  17. docvino

    docvino

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    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  18. John146

    John146 Floating for value IMO

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    Early on the interview season I still hadn't made up my mind 100% between EM and Radiology. Out of 6 Radiology interviews, 3 asked me about my research.

    I went on 12 EM interviews and didn't get asked about my research experience a single time.

    My impression is that unless it's a super academic EM program (e.g. UCSF), EM programs don't really care about research.
  19. jbar

    jbar Senior Member

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    I think this depends on how your write your application. If you do 4 weeks of work on a project and don't talk about it much on your app, you won't get asked about it much. If you do something big, present at a conference etc you will get asked about it more. I did simulation research and was assigned to interview with a simulation person almost everywhere that I went, and most of them brought up my research.
  20. dotcb

    dotcb ---------

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    Research is just one of 15+ factors that will go into making you a competitive EM applicant. If you're excited about doing a project this summer, go for it. But if you've got an appealing fun alternative for the summer - don't feel guilty doing that either.
  21. my doc in a box

    my doc in a box Zef style

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    I say do whatever the heck you want, as long as it's awesome. Residencies will be looking for awesome people.

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