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ABIM Research Track in GI

Discussion in 'Gastroenterology' started by Fosamax, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Fosamax

    Fosamax

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    Mar 1, 2007
    I was reading on the stastics page that there are about < 50 research track spots in the country! I am planning on short-tracking w/o a PhD, and I wondering if others have gone through such a similar process. Is a candidate at a severe disadvantage w/o a PhD even if they have a few pubs? Also for short-trackers, is more emphasis put on med school work since I guess we only have a few months of residency to account for?

    Relatively clueless on the process, and the application process seems to be starting soon.

    Fos
     
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  3. kobester

    kobester Junior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Jun 1, 2005
    GI will want a real researcher as much as any field of medicine, but since it is so competitive now, you better be able to sell yourself as one. Not having a PhD will make it tougher, but if you have a strong research background, you might have a chance. The more basic, the better. The fact is, any applicant to any competitive field these days has to have some research to be competitive- whether it be cardiology, GI, derm or rad onc. The challenge to programs is differentiating the ones who have research to pad their resumes and the ones who are really interested in making their careers as academics. Just about any GI applicant these days has some clinical research, so I'd if that's what you have, it better be really hard core stuff, if not NEJM then close.

    And forget about research during residency, there is simply no time to do substantive research in your intern year. And clinically, they want to know you are competent, but that really isn't what its all about either. I get the impression that programs don't really that much care how you did in med school either. As long as you are coming from a reputable medicine program, research is the single most important thing that will make or break you. I'm short tracking into GI, and didn't have a big problem with it. Then again, I have a PhD. I really think it would;ve been way tougher as a straight MD.
     
  4. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite! Moderator SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    I just want to point out that calling the ABIM research track a "short track" is potentially confusing. The research pathway is longer than the traditional pathway, but has more time devoted to research.

    Traditional pathway: 3 years of residency + 3 years of fellowship (including 12 months of research) = 6 years.

    Research pathway: 2 years of residency + 3 years of research + 2 years of clinical fellowship = 7 years.

    The research pathway is 1 year longer, but you get to trade one clinical year for one research year. You do spend one less year in your residency, although your outpatient continuity clinic must continue during your research years and you become board eligible one year later than in the traditional pathway.

    Many research pathways are looking for people with a PhD or "equivalent" -- a few publications will usually not pass muster, as three years of research is not that long -- you need to be able to hit the ground running to get things done in that timeframe.
     
  5. Fosamax

    Fosamax

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    Mar 1, 2007
    thanks much for the advice. i guess the real question I have is what is a PhD equivalent? is it time, # of pubs, the expereince/lab group, committment to academic medicine, etc? I'm surprised a few publications wouldnt really pass muster, considering that most phds are now awarded with far fewer nowadays!

    thanks,

    fos
     
  6. BlueJayBill

    BlueJayBill Member 7+ Year Member

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    I couldnt disagree with the previous comments on this thread. If you have a good pedigree, and extensive research experience (pubs help but not necessary) you should stand a fair chance. There is a real shortage of people who (truthfully) want to do academic GI (particularly basic), and if your background is convincing you will be alright. The issue is that most people do token research during residency and medical school (ie review articles, small amount of chart collecting, etc) and very little substantiative original work. If you have good clinical letters and sound research experiences you can be more competitive than PhD applicants.

    As for timing, its not a short track, the fellowship length can be 4.5 years. However that can be shortened if you get a faculty job early thats an 80/20 spilt.

    Bill
     
  7. www

    www New Member 5+ Year Member

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    May 26, 2005
    Hi there,
    Interesting and enlightening piece of information there.

    Congratulations to those who matched.

    Unfortunately, I did not match and don't know what to do:How can I make myself more competitive? I just completed a Hepatology fellowship from a reputable program after completion of a residency from an mid upper residency program.Got in a few oral presentations and an ASGE award at DDW, but the end result was not any better...
    Will be joining as a Transplant hospitalist at a reputable program but looking for suggestions to improve my credentials. Should I enroll in some kind of research part-time or a PH. D? The latter will take 4 years. Or should I ask for devoted research time at the new place I will be joining?

    Are there any short cuts at all ?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  8. dongarrow

    dongarrow

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    South Carolina
    Did you publish any of your DDW abstacts as papers? That is a necessity nowadays. Publications in the GI literature are probably more important than DDW presentations. If you are serious about advancing your education, there are Internal Medicine fellowships for 2 years which offer master's degrees, you can check the SGIM website. I completed a master's in clinical research, then got GI. Did you get any interviews at all?
     
  9. www

    www New Member 5+ Year Member

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    May 26, 2005
    Thanks dongarrow, I had 4 interviews but did not match. Now thinking about doing some serious research, preferably part time. Will check the ASIM website too. Are these Internal Medicine fellowships full time? What about statistics and research courses offered by leading programs?Are they any good ?

    www
     
  10. dongarrow

    dongarrow

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    Jun 13, 2007
    South Carolina
    4 interviews is certainly a good start. If you can improve your resume in the next year or two, you should do alright. The Internal Medicine fellowships are sometimes part-time and also can be full-time. Mine was full-time with a faculty appointment at a leading University program in the SouthEast. It also had the masters degree, which is very helpful as it is a tangible sign that I can do research. You should look for a program where you can do research where they have a GI program and they take at least 3 fellows a year. This way they may take a chance on someone who is not matriculating right out of residency. Alternatively, some programs have on-line MPH courses or similar that would look great on a resume. The only problem with that is you don't get to meet anyone directly at the program. Often, it really does boil down to who you know.
     
  11. www

    www New Member 5+ Year Member

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    May 26, 2005
    Dongarrow,

    I have been researching all these options.The deadline for a Masters in Clinical research this year is over-for 2008, the deadline will be in March. The other options are online or on-campus PhDs.The online PhDs are easy to get into, but not very reputable.Campus Phds need GRE scores for admission.For all of these, it costs anwhere between $35K to 45K.Which option would you pursue out of these?Do you think it is worth it to spend so much money without any guarantees on the fellowship?

    Thanks in advance,
    www
     
  12. Gastrapathy

    Gastrapathy no longer apathetic Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Actually, you get paid to do a PhD in the US (usually on the order of $25k/year) but you can't count on it only taking 4 years. The program picks up the cost of your tuition as well. I think you should do your year of hepatology and give it another go before you embark on a 4-8 year process with no guarantees of improving your chances.
     
  13. www

    www New Member 5+ Year Member

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    May 26, 2005
    Thanks Gastropathy. I just completed my Hepatology fellowship. Now I have joined as a Transplant Hospitalist at a decent program. Would be better to just focus on getting publications instead of all these options?
     
  14. Gastrapathy

    Gastrapathy no longer apathetic Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I think so. Does your hospital have a GI fellowship? Have you talked to the PD about the possibility of a spot outside the match?
     
  15. www

    www New Member 5+ Year Member

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    May 26, 2005
    Gastropathy..

    Thanks for your advice.Yes, my hospital has a GI fellowship but they have only 2 spots, and from what I hear, extremely competitive.Usually they give these out to their internal residents.I have not had the chance to meet the PD yet, and have only occasionally talked to other GI attendings on the phone.

    www
     
  16. Gastrapathy

    Gastrapathy no longer apathetic Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    Cool. The fact that they usually give these spots to current residents is a plus for you. That means they put a premium on people they know. So...make sure they know you. You're a hepatologist, right? GI training needs hepatology didactics. Talk to the PD, tell him your interest, offer to give a talk or two and ask to come to their didactics (since you're interested in GI). Make it hard for them not to take you or at least advocate for you elsewhere. You aren't going to hear that any GI slot isn't "extremely competitive" so don't let that discourage you.
     

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