Does research matter at all for academic primary care residencies?

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MateoGM416

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I'm an OMS-II taking step and COMLEX in the Summer, and am also currently working on two projects, one which is under review for publication and another that I am trying to decide how much time I should dedicate towards it. I want to keep more competitive specialties on the table like radiology or anesthesiology on the table, but I could also see myself doing FM or peds. I ask this question because if there ever came a point where I realize a competitive specialty is off the table for me application-wise or that I really want to do primary care, would having multiple research projects under my belt make any sort of difference towards my residency app if I wanted to do a primary care residency at a large academic hospital? Or just in general for primary care? For what it's worth, I do enjoy doing research.

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Yes certainly.

Thanks, could you elaborate? Does research 'help' one's peds or FM application like how its absence precludes one from a specialty like ortho or derm? As in is that how a program like U Colorado or Boston Children's sifts through all of the applicants they get?
 
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Thanks, could you elaborate? Does research 'help' one's peds or FM application like how its absence precludes one from a specialty like ortho or derm?
Yes. Lack of research does not preclude you from academic primary care specialty programs, but its presence, if meaningful, can help you stand out.
As in is that how a program like U Colorado or Boston Children's sifts through all of the applicants they get?
It is probably one of several factors that they may use.

Keep in mind that as a DO, none of this is likely to change a program's underlying bias (or lack thereof) against DOs. So regardless of whatever research you may have, your first step in evaluating a program for a potential away or an application is to look at their resident roster and see if they have a history of taking DOs.
 
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Yes. Lack of research does not preclude you from academic primary care specialty programs, but its presence, if meaningful, can help you stand out.

It is probably one of several factors that they may use.

Keep in mind that as a DO, none of this is likely to change a program's underlying bias (or lack thereof) against DOs. So regardless of whatever research you may have, your first step in evaluating a program for a potential away or an application is to look at their resident roster and see if they have a history of taking DOs.

Would you recommend against even applying for an away at a program that doesn't have a history of taking DO's or not DO's on the current roster?

Also, what would you say are the most important factors for primary care residency applications?
 
Would you recommend against even applying for an away at a program that doesn't have a history of taking DO's or not DO's on the current roster?
Probably
Also, what would you say are the most important factors for primary care residency applications?
Totally program dependent, I couldn't even try to generalize this.
 
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Would you recommend against even applying for an away at a program that doesn't have a history of taking DO's or not DO's on the current roster?

Also, what would you say are the most important factors for primary care residency applications?
Can only speak for peds. Research is unneeded to just match any academic peds. It will help your overall strength of app though. Of the top 5ish peds hospitals, I know cincy and Texas Children’s both take DOs readily enough. The research would strengthen your app to be competitive for these spots. Idk about Boston or chop but doubt based on DO status but imho I’m a little out of the residency game so they may be more open than last time I looked.
 
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Case reports and poster presentations are low hanging fruit.

The problem is that if you're in a small community hospital, not around residents, etc then you're probably not going to have a lot of support for these or what not.
 
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I am n=1 but as a DO student applying primary care. I had one PD look at my app before submitting and point blank tell me I should delete my research from my experiences and use that space to list something more meaningful. Besides that only 1 program asked me about my research otherwise no one else did and I interviewed at a lot of larger academic centers.
 
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I am n=1 but as a DO student applying primary care. I had one PD look at my app before submitting and point blank tell me I should delete my research from my experiences and use that space to list something more meaningful. Besides that only 1 program asked me about my research otherwise no one else did and I interviewed at a lot of larger academic centers.
lol at what’s more meaningful? Even for places that don’t value research, clubs and volunteering doesn’t matter.
 
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I am n=1 but as a DO student applying primary care. I had one PD look at my app before submitting and point blank tell me I should delete my research from my experiences and use that space to list something more meaningful. Besides that only 1 program asked me about my research otherwise no one else did and I interviewed at a lot of larger academic centers.
That's unfortunate that you received this advice. Research is an important part of medicine, both how to perform research as well as the interpretation of another individual's final product. Not every physician needs to become a physician-scientist, MD/DO PhD; however, new advances in medicine do happen through research. That's in every field. Never delete your research, your presentations, or your publications, from your ERAS applications, your fellowship applications, your CV's, etc. It is a part of what can make you well-rounded as a physician.
 
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That's unfortunate that you received this advice. Research is an important part of medicine, both how to perform research as well as the interpretation of another individual's final product. Not every physician needs to become a physician-scientist, MD/DO PhD; however, new advances in medicine do happen through research. That's in every field. Never delete your research, your presentations, or your publications, from your ERAS applications, your fellowship applications, your CV's, etc. It is a part of what can make you well-rounded as a physician.
This point cannot be overstated. The skill to read research is important. You’d be surprised how many physicians can’t. They open conclusion, read that and that’s about it. Knowing the pitfalls of research methodology is important.
 
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Case reports and poster presentations are low hanging fruit.

The problem is that if you're in a small community hospital, not around residents, etc then you're probably not going to have a lot of support for these or what not.

FTR, the project being published is wet-lab research that is being presented orally at an international conference and several national conferences. The other one is a lit review which is definitely lower hanging
 
lol at what’s more meaningful? Even for places that don’t value research, clubs and volunteering doesn’t matter.
I do get asked way more in interviews about my volunteering and leadership....
 
That's unfortunate that you received this advice. Research is an important part of medicine, both how to perform research as well as the interpretation of another individual's final product. Not every physician needs to become a physician-scientist, MD/DO PhD; however, new advances in medicine do happen through research. That's in every field. Never delete your research, your presentations, or your publications, from your ERAS applications, your fellowship applications, your CV's, etc. It is a part of what can make you well-rounded as a physician.
I still left it on my app because I am proud of it and felt that it was meaningful research and something I was proud of but no one has really asked me about it or even mentioned it in 95% of my interviews. I do think research is good and teaches you valuable skills. However, I just a) don't think its essential for everyone especially for primary care match as I have plenty of friends going through the match who have little to no research and b) not all and I'd argue that most of medical student research isn't pushing the needle for new advancements in medicine.

I don't want to argue on the importance of research because I agree that good quality research is essential but wanted to share how interviewers and PD's had viewed (or ignored) my research experiences on the interview trail this year.
 
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I do get asked way more in interviews about my volunteering and leadership....

I still left it on my app because I am proud of it and felt that it was meaningful research and something I was proud of but no one has really asked me about it or even mentioned it in 95% of my interviews. I do think research is good and teaches you valuable skills. However, I just a) don't think its essential for everyone especially for primary care match as I have plenty of friends going through the match who have little to no research and b) not all and I'd argue that most of medical student research isn't pushing the needle for new advancements in medicine.

I don't want to argue on the importance of research because I agree that good quality research is essential but wanted to share how interviewers and PD's had viewed (or ignored) my research experiences on the interview trail this year.
That is to get to know you. It’s easy fodder to make the interview go smoothly. They would have still interviewed you if you didn’t have those things. They were not make or break. No one is saying research is make or break either for primary care specialties. You still would’ve been interviewed without it (your friend’s experience). It’s specialty by specialty and program by program dependent. Your friends just won’t get the interviews to places that care about research if they have none. You are right in primary care specialties, you don’t need it just to match. What we are speaking to is someone telling you to take it off of your cv. That is stupid.

To the point about breaking research. No one is expecting you to have that degree of research but going through the process tells me you have picked up certain skills. Even just preparing a poster for presentation tells me you have written an abstract, you’ve attempted to crunch data/analyze it, you’ve submitted this work which likely has word count limits/other rules, and then you’ve presented it. As a resident you will likely have to have some sort of small research project to graduate (perhaps not fm, I don’t know every specialty but pediatrics did). Having someone know those skills are a benefit compared to having a blank canvas I need to teach from the beginning. Just because you volunteered as an elementary school science fair judge while in medschool (I did, it was on my cv and interviewers asked what the coolest project was over-and-over lol) won’t make you a better resident. That’s coming from a pediatrician and having sat on both side of the interviewing process at this time.
 
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Do residency programs with research requirements let you continue your previous project if its in the same field as your residency?
 
Do residency programs with research requirements let you continue your previous project if its in the same field as your residency?
That’s probably an individual program basis and then also the size of your project. At least in pediatrics, the project isn’t to be something innovative or groundbreaking but more teaching the process. How to identify mentors, how to build a timeline, develop a question, how to do a lit review, etc. each of those had a check box that was followed when I met with the research mentor every so often. So probably not but I never asked.
 
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