I have a research block coming up where I have a chance to do basic science research or clinical research. I know there are pros and cons in terms of time, effort,ect but I was wondering, from a purely Derm programs view - which is viewed in a more favorable light? Which would look better on my CV when it comes application time?
How long is your research block? If it's only a few weeks or months and you are starting basic science from scratch, then it is not possible to get anything accomplished with basic science.
It also depends on what year you are. Are you early in med school, in the middle, or is this are your 3rd year is ending?
You need a multifaceted approach. The two biggest mistakes that I've seen people do with research time is 1) get involved in too little and 2) get way overinvolved. You have to strike a balance. Putting all your eggs in one basket is neither smart nor efficient. However, if you start working on five projects at the same time, you won't take anything to completion. If you only have a short amount of time, even clinical research depends on what you are going to do. Epidemiological/systematic reviews/meta-analyses are doable. You should also work on a review paper if possible. What kind of clinical research will you be doing? Who is the mentor? All questions to take into account.
Basic science is impressive but someone that really undertakes a clinical project that is not just a industry sponsored "here's how you do it" protocol can also be quite interesting. I'll tell you from personal experience that a lot of PhDs don't even do a good job speaking about their research and I've found that people that are genuinely interested are the best at speaking about their research. If you only did research to get into derm it will show: when you are compared to the next person that can light up because they chose something that was interesting, you will always come across duller in the interviews.
Choose what interests you and, perhaps more important, choose to work with a mentor that will invest.