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Do you need research for a surgical residency?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by lady in red, Mar 5, 2002.

  1. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 12, 2001
    San Francisco, CA
    I don't like lab (basic) research, and don't want to make the PI or myself miserable with it just to 'do it' to put on the resume during med school, but all I keep hearing that there is no way around it if you want to get into surgery (I am thinking general surgery, maybe not that competitive). Can you do, say, clinical research? What (experience) would substitute for bench research?
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  3. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen 10+ Year Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    based on talking w/ med students, it sounds like applying to residency has similar aspects to med school

    they look for: volunteer work, research, grades, standardized test scores, extra curriculars... sigh in 4 years the same hell all over again.
  4. lilycat

    lilycat Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2000
    In general, the most important things to be considered for a competitive residency (location or specialty) are grades/ranking/AOA status and board scores. Assuming you have that part complete, research experience will definitely help you stand out, and may be considered more important for some specialties than extracurriculars. Generally, basic science (lab) research seems to be considered "more impressive" if only because that is more relevant to fellowship (post-residency) training. However, clinical research does seem to be looked at favorably, and is probably better than doing no research.

    In general though, most med students will tell you not to do research just to pad the resume -- only do it if you are really interested in it.

    I'll move this over to Rotations and Residencies where you will probably get better advice.
  5. surg

    surg 10+ Year Member

    Dec 16, 2001
    Given the current environment surgery is definitely not necessary to get into _a_ general surgical residency (in fact it probably never was). However, academically oriented programs (which includes some of the community based programs) will almost always think that research is a plus and quite frankly at the top programs just about everyone has done some research time.

    As far as basic v. clinical. First and foremost, like your research. If you like it and can take an active role in determining the research question, etc. that is most impressive. After that, basic science is a more known quantity. Good clinical research is generally a close second. Straightforward Chart reviews for case series, a distant third (though still better than nothing)

    My advice? If you don't bench science, don't do it. You probably won't do a great job and probably will not improve your chances at residency. You'd be much better off doing clinical research that interests you and that you will talk passionately about at your interviews and parlay that into a lifelong interest.

    The advice is free and is only worth what you paid for it.

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