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I am starting med school this coming August ( yayy), and as it turns out, my plans for the summer got drastically changed last week, so I have basiclaly nothing to do from mid May to August.
At the moment, I am interested in IM Residency (leaning towards Cardiology subspecialty, even though that could change). Do you think I can put a case study together in this much time? How do you even go about looking for a case study to be written out? I dont know if I should contact physicains affiliated with my school or other close by institutions. Also, do you need to be physically present at the hospital or clinic site to work on case reports?
Or is it too late to even consider this possibility? I mean it doesnt have to be all done by Aug I guess, even if I can get a head start I would be happy.
PS - I realize that case study is not the most high yield research, but I want to just once go through the process of publishing for its own sake....
Any comments/help would be much appreciated:luck:
 

tremulousNeedle

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Check out this link for writing case reports / clinical vignettes,
http://www.acponline.org/residents_fellows/competitions/abstract/prepare/clinvin_abs.htm

As far as doing this as a rising-MS1, I am not sure. Typically, students / residents / fellows write case reports about patients that they have cared for who had some interesting point regarding their case. I have never heard of someone writing up a case that they were never a part of, but I am sure it happens in some context.

Trust me when I say that there should be plenty of opportunity to do this in medical school, so don't think you need to rush to fit it in before.

As something else to consider, you could always check with the med school that you will be going to and see if they have any research / internship opportunities available. Funding may be difficult this late in the game, but people are always interested in free help if you're willing.
 

jbz24

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I don't think it's feasible to do a case report. Generally they are written about a patient you had under your care, and since you aren't even a medical student, you aren't directly involved in care of patients yet. Even if you were to shadow a doctor, you may not find an interesting enough case that is publishable and you don't have the knowledge to write about it yet.

If you want to get a publication, your best bet is to become involved in an actual research project. Later on, when you're more involved in patient care, you can maybe write a case report.
 
Aug 17, 2009
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Check out this link for writing case reports / clinical vignettes,
http://www.acponline.org/residents_fellows/competitions/abstract/prepare/clinvin_abs.htm

As far as doing this as a rising-MS1, I am not sure. Typically, students / residents / fellows write case reports about patients that they have cared for who had some interesting point regarding their case. I have never heard of someone writing up a case that they were never a part of, but I am sure it happens in some context.

Trust me when I say that there should be plenty of opportunity to do this in medical school, so don't think you need to rush to fit it in before.

As something else to consider, you could always check with the med school that you will be going to and see if they have any research / internship opportunities available. Funding may be difficult this late in the game, but people are always interested in free help if you're willing.
Thanks for the post...yes, I figure volunteering would be a good idea. Too bad I live in canada, I am not so sure I want to spend these last 2 months before med school away from my family:oops:
 

tremulousNeedle

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On another note, vacations are hard to come by once you start down this path. Maybe this is a sign to enjoy your time off. Good luck.
 

jbz24

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Thanks for the post...yes, I figure volunteering would be a good idea. Too bad I live in canada, I am not so sure I want to spend these last 2 months before med school away from my family:oops:
There's absolutely no reason to feel rushed to start research and get publications. If you're that driven, you can contact some people now (look at your school's website for some attendings/fellows or maybe contact some internal medicine residents who are interested in cardiology), and then begin on a project once classes start. You should have time during the year to work on the project. Sometimes the easiest projects are clinical research projects that you can work around your own schedule.

Enjoy your time off now, trust me.
 

phoenixsuns

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go to europe, or south america, or southeast asia, or some other such location. find somebody to go with or go by yourself (it's seriously not that bad, it's kinda fun and you meet a lot of people staying in hostels and make friends with them). you won't have much time to travel after this, so you should do it now.
 

drizzt3117

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Honestly, you want to build a relationship with a lab. You don't just go into this being "I want to publish something." It doesn't work that way. I'd meet some people in fields you're interested in and say that you are interested in doing research and usually they'll be more than helpful. If you work hard you'll get publications but don't go into it with that attitude, research is supposed to be learn something and educate people about it, not just for the sake of publishing.
 

jbz24

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Honestly, you want to build a relationship with a lab. You don't just go into this being "I want to publish something." It doesn't work that way. I'd meet some people in fields you're interested in and say that you are interested in doing research and usually they'll be more than helpful. If you work hard you'll get publications but don't go into it with that attitude, research is supposed to be learn something and educate people about it, not just for the sake of publishing.
Agree and disagree. It's definitely about learning how to conduct research, read literature, conduct analyses, etc. However, one should begin research with the goal of publishing at the end. Being involved in a research project, and in the end not publishing anything, may be good for learning the above skills, but it does not look that good when applying for residencies/fellowships. They want to see that you are not only involved in a project, but able to complete it.

Although re-reading your post, you probably mean it's important to learn the skills AND publish, not just publish without learning the research skills. Agreed. :thumbup:
 

jslo85

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I don't think it's feasible to do a case report. Generally they are written about a patient you had under your care, and since you aren't even a medical student, you aren't directly involved in care of patients yet. Even if you were to shadow a doctor, you may not find an interesting enough case that is publishable and you don't have the knowledge to write about it yet.

If you want to get a publication, your best bet is to become involved in an actual research project. Later on, when you're more involved in patient care, you can maybe write a case report.
This is not true in a strict sense. I am not a med student but I have a derm case study that is in the process of being published at Cutis in 8-10 months after being accepted (2nd author). I co-authored the publication with my mentor/employer who was an associate professor for derm at the local medical school despite this happening at her practice and a derm resident. I worked as the medical records manager and clinical assistant/scribe at her practice and happened to be present at the time of the first OV. I took the pictures, conducted the patient interview, took down the notes for the next few visits and then drafted the H&P based off past experience. I've co-authored 4 manuscripts prior but they were probably poorly written in the beginning (by me :() because only one has been published (1st author) in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Basic point is it can be done, you just need to have a doctor's confidence and willingness to help. He/she can just as easily find a resident to do most of the ground work but if they are willing to bend over backwards to guide you along, then reach out and grab it. Would it help to be a medical student or resident? Absolutely. I struggled through my first few and that is probably why none of those initial few were published.
 

drizzt3117

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I mean I think the end metric should be publication. The OP just makes it sound like he/she wants to go up to a doctor and be like yo, i want to publish a care report. It doesn't work like that. Ultimately I agree that the way you'll be evaluated is by being productive and publishing, I'm just saying that you want to go in with the mindset of doing research for the purpose of actually learning something new that's useful for the overall body of literature. That new information is what's publishable.

Agree and disagree. It's definitely about learning how to conduct research, read literature, conduct analyses, etc. However, one should begin research with the goal of publishing at the end. Being involved in a research project, and in the end not publishing anything, may be good for learning the above skills, but it does not look that good when applying for residencies/fellowships. They want to see that you are not only involved in a project, but able to complete it.

Although re-reading your post, you probably mean it's important to learn the skills AND publish, not just publish without learning the research skills. Agreed. :thumbup:
 

jbz24

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This is not true in a strict sense. I am not a med student but I have a derm case study that is in the process of being published at Cutis in 8-10 months after being accepted (2nd author). I co-authored the publication with my mentor/employer who was an associate professor for derm at the local medical school despite this happening at her practice and a derm resident. I worked as the medical records manager and clinical assistant/scribe at her practice and happened to be present at the time of the first OV. I took the pictures, conducted the patient interview, took down the notes for the next few visits and then drafted the H&P based off past experience. I've co-authored 4 manuscripts prior but they were probably poorly written in the beginning (by me :() because only one has been published (1st author) in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Basic point is it can be done, you just need to have a doctor's confidence and willingness to help. He/she can just as easily find a resident to do most of the ground work but if they are willing to bend over backwards to guide you along, then reach out and grab it. Would it help to be a medical student or resident? Absolutely. I struggled through my first few and that is probably why none of those initial few were published.

You're definitely right, I didn't mean to say it's impossible, just unlikely and probably not fruitful if the goal is to get published. Also, even though you weren't a student, you were directly involved in the patient care (did the patient interview, took pictures, etc.). You also got lucky that there was an interesting case to write about, which isn't always the case. Plus, I will also assume that you did not write about the pathophysiology or treatment options (which can be looked up, but difficult if you didn't already learn this in medical school). Also, if you were the medical student or resident, there would be a good chance you would be first author and not second author :)
 

jbz24

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I mean I think the end metric should be publication. The OP just makes it sound like he/she wants to go up to a doctor and be like yo, i want to publish a care report. It doesn't work like that. Ultimately I agree that the way you'll be evaluated is by being productive and publishing, I'm just saying that you want to go in with the mindset of doing research for the purpose of actually learning something new that's useful for the overall body of literature. That new information is what's publishable.
I agree. However, if the PI sits you down and asks what your goals are for a research project, I think it's perfectly reasonable to say straight up that one of your goals is to complete a project and get published.
 

StayingFocused

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I am an undergraduate and I have two case reports published. I only did the background research on it and the residents put together the actual patient information. Publications take a while to go through but they are fairly easy compared to actual research projects and you get a publication fast! I say go for it.
 

drizzt3117

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I agree. However, if the PI sits you down and asks what your goals are for a research project, I think it's perfectly reasonable to say straight up that one of your goals is to complete a project and get published.
I agree, and I think for the most part as a med student if you do the work you'll get your name on things, probably as 1st author. Obviously discuss this in advance but that's been my experience.
 

jslo85

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You're definitely right, I didn't mean to say it's impossible, just unlikely and probably not fruitful if the goal is to get published. Also, even though you weren't a student, you were directly involved in the patient care (did the patient interview, took pictures, etc.). You also got lucky that there was an interesting case to write about, which isn't always the case. Plus, I will also assume that you did not write about the pathophysiology or treatment options (which can be looked up, but difficult if you didn't already learn this in medical school). Also, if you were the medical student or resident, there would be a good chance you would be first author and not second author :)
Yeah you're right about this. I assume it might be the same for medical students too (possibly) in recognizing what is an "interesting/rare" case as well as if it is "interesting/rare" enough to be published AND what journals would probably accept it. My mentors take full credit for this and they deserve it.

You assume correctly as well, I did some research on my own but the derm resident did most of the discussion. The hardest part for me in the beginning was using medical terminology and I had to cross reference and read many other case study publications in order to get a feel on how to write my own (even then it took me at least two tries as well as many back and forth e-mails with corrections between the resident, doctor and I). But it's a learning experience and hopefully will serve me well in the future.