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Did the MS2/MS3 gap leave you unprepared for MS3?

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by OncoCaP, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. OncoCaP

    2+ Year Member

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    I'm already a Ph.D. starting my MD this summer/fall. I'm considering taking a research year between MS2/3 just too stay in touch with my field of research (and, of course, to keep those pubs coming). I've heard some comments/accounts that taking a break between MS2 & MS3 to do research (e.g., 2 years) can cause trouble for your MS3 year (clinical rotations) because you forget much of the MS1/2 material, which apparently is necessary for a successful MS3 year. If you took a break between MS2 & 3 to do one or more years of research, I would like to hear how prepared or unprepared you felt in your MS3 year. Was it a problem (even if temporary)?
     
  2. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    I would say the half life of my Step I knowledge was about 3 months. After 4 years, well you do the math... :eek:
     
  3. Circumflex

    Circumflex Junior Member
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    I agree with Vader. As far as practical knowledge goes (in the clerkships), it was pretty easy to get back in the swing of things. But, it would certainly have been an advantage for the shelf exams to have that Step 1 knowledge a little more fresh in my mind.

    To me, it's all about cost/benefit. The cost of losing the Step 1 knowledge was worth the benefit of the PhD, but if I were you, I would not take a year or two off. It is possible that you will change your mind of specialty (if you plan to do a residency) in 3rd year - I did. So, just go ahead and get into residency and figure out how research will play into your career. If you want to do basic research, you will have to spend some more dedicated research time after residency/fellowship.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    OncoCaP

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    Thanks for the responses! It's looking like settling for research during breaks (vacations, etc.) and putting off most of my research until residency is the way to go for me. It's a little hard putting the research on the back burner for so long, but I would really like to treat patients as an MDPhD, so I'll do what I have to do unless I want to make MS3 any more difficult than it already is going to be. I can also appreciate the fact that MS3 is a critical year for figuring out one's preferred specialty as well. A couple of physicians & med school profs have advised against the MS2/MS3 research gap just from a financial & time lost standpoint as well ... they said there is plenty of time for research after you have your MD.
     

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