endless training

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by BiopsyThis, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. BiopsyThis

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    I am applying to path residencies now and it really seems I've been drinking way too much of the koolaid. I'm an MD/PhD (8yrs), applying to the major academic programs, and the plan all along was to do AP-fellowship-post doc-faculty. I'm starting to have second thoughts though, as that would be another 3+1+3+? years (being optimistic with the postdoc time). At some point I would like to make a salary and not a stipend.

    Now, I think I'm already committed to having to do a residency, and intellectually I think I need to stay in an academic setting. Can I get away with just the residency + fellowship and skip doing the postdoc and be able to find a decent academic position with some translational research component? I was wondering if any of the senior residents or fellows could weigh in...

    Thanks
     
  2. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    Yes. This is very common. Many programs would also allow to either bunch your electives together to do research or would fund another year for you to do research (mini post doc, perhaps). Most academic places are looking to hire young attendings, often those with a subspecialty fellowship. Now, this all depends mostly on you having a large service component to your practice - if your goal is primarily research it would be more difficult, although still possible if you find the right situation or manage to get funding.
     
  3. gbwillner

    gbwillner Pastafarian
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    Look into research-heavy fellowships. Depending on how you work it, you can have a lot of research time well within your time frame. For example, if you chose to do CP-only and then a molecular path fellowship, you would essentially be doing 2 years of clinical work, and 2 years of research. You would then be able to get a faculty position after 4 years, probably with grants in hand. It would be silly to do a post-doc. I am on a similar track and do not plan on doing additional fellowships and certainly not a post-doc. There are other permutations that would work... ask around.
     
  4. listeriaismfb

    listeriaismfb sleep deprived
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    Stop & put the kool-aid down.

    Yes, I believe you can skip the post doc.

    Look for a residency program that is an academic powerhouse, because they will have the facilities, money & faculty to support your interests.

    It is possible (tho not easy) to do some types of research concurrently with residency, e.g read a million slides from sacrificial rats... But, research techniques that are time sensitive are going to be impossible -unless you're on a research elective.

    I know of one program where the chair will fully support one year of research over and above the residency training. PM if interested.
     
  5. malchik

    malchik New Member
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    Just do AP and fellowship and get a clinical job with 50% service time. Use the other 50% (probably end up more like 30%) doing research until you can get a K08, then you can decrease your service time and head towards R01.
     
  6. docbiohazard

    docbiohazard Highly ranked amateur
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    I'm an MD/PhD and I know where you're coming from... my solution to this problem was to find a program with a very nice research track. They are out there and vary in quality and length of support, but in general I'd recommend finding the one thats the most supportive of your goals. My track is also very flexible. The idea is to lump most of my elective time towards the end of my residency for research, work in a fellowship with a lot of research time if I so choose, and then I have a guaranteed period of 2-3 years of full support (salary, supply $, etc) to work on getting my K08/transitional grant to get started. I highly recommend finding such a track, because yeah, you don't want to do residency / fellowship and then a 5 year postdoc, especially after the 8yr MD/PhD (I've met people who did this...)

    PM me for more detail...
    DBH
     
  7. yaah

    yaah Boring
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    There are many programs who will do this if the resident has promise.
     
  8. BiopsyThis

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    thanks for the supportive comments. i hate to say it, but all of those "physician scientist tracks" are really post-docs in disguise. the whole, 2-3+ years of guaranteed support until K08, is still just tracking PGY scale pay. the big leap is really from K08 to faculty. no one every really explains that transition and it is not trivial.

    all said, i'm still a gunner at heart and i don't plan on flaking out. i do agree that going to a power academic program will position me best for fellowships and then a good academic career with probably more of clinical/translational focus (70% clinical vs the flip). they'll probably convince me that a year of research will be worth my while...
     

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