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Hello all, I am planning to attend medical school at LECOM-Seton Hill starting next year, but I am concerned about the lack of any information on research opportunities at the school. I am really interested in a surgical subspecialty, so am concerned that the lack of research on my residency application will be a red flag. I'm doing research in my gap year full time right now, but will likely only walk away with one publication and a poster presentation. I know this is a common problem for osteopathic students, but how did you all handle this? Should I start sending emails to independent research labs in the area next semester? Or maybe pursue their DO/MS in medical education program? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hello all, I am planning to attend medical school at LECOM-Seton Hill starting next year, but I am concerned about the lack of any information on research opportunities at the school. I am really interested in a surgical subspecialty, so am concerned that the lack of research on my residency application will be a red flag. I'm doing research in my gap year full time right now, but will likely only walk away with one publication and a poster presentation. I know this is a common problem for osteopathic students, but how did you all handle this? Should I start sending emails to independent research labs in the area next semester? Or maybe pursue their DO/MS in medical education program? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

You should be emailing nearby research institutions and teaching hospitals doing research in your interested field. I would do that first before looking into a DO/MS.

I emailed places for research opps, did another year of research in medical school because it was offered and paid for.

In the way of a surgical subspecialty, your main focus should be to do as well as possible in courses and boards. If research is getting in the way of your studies then stop the research. You can always do another year of research, you cannot redo a low board score (which based on NRMP PDs survey is much more important in the way of II and rank lists than research).
 
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DrJackRyan

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You should be emailing nearby research institutions and teaching hospitals doing research in your interested field. I would do that first before looking into a DO/MS.

I emailed places for research opps, did another year of research in medical school because it was offered and paid for.

In the way of a surgical subspecialty, your main focus should be to do as well as possible in courses and boards. If research is getting in the way of your studies then stop the research. You can always do another year of research, you cannot redo a low board score (which based on NRMP PDs survey is much more important in the way of II and rank lists than research).
I would echo the above comment. I would also consider starting your own projects. This way you can do exactly what you are interested in and not have to jump onto somebody else's project that you may not care about. It'll also guarantee you a first author pub.

My focus is on using databases to conduct research that are already de-identified which cuts out the IRB and the worst part of the research process (data extraction). Several databases are free and are nationally representative of the U.S. population. BRFSS, NHIS, and NHANES are all examples. Another example of a database that is not free (maybe a few hundred dollars if you're a med student) but has very good data from Medicare is the national readmission database. You basically just need to look through the questionnaires from one of these databases, make a hypothesis, and see if it's been published before on Pubmed. For example, using BRFSS you could look at if smoking and physical activity levels differ among U.S. veterans compared to civilians in persons who are diagnosed with COPD. This is just one example of something I just searches on Pubmed. In order to get a project like this done, you'll need to reach out to a few statisticians at your institution (they're there, you just need to ask around) and ask if they'd be willing to perform the statistical analysis for you and in return they get to be a coauthor (you shouldn't be paying for statisticians fyi...).

On a side note, the DO/MS in med education will be a waste of your time unless you're actually interested in med ed. You won't get any significant publications out of it and would be better off spending the time it takes to do the extra classes writing up manuscripts and getting more pubs.
 
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I would echo the above comment. I would also consider starting your own projects. This way you can do exactly what you are interested in and not have to jump onto somebody else's project that you may not care about. It'll also guarantee you a first author pub.

My focus is on using databases to conduct research that are already de-identified which cuts out the IRB and the worst part of the research process (data extraction). Several databases are free and are nationally representative of the U.S. population. BRFSS, NHIS, and NHANES are all examples. Another example of a database that is not free (maybe a few hundred dollars if you're a med student) but has very good data from Medicare is the national readmission database. You basically just need to look through the questionnaires from one of these databases, make a hypothesis, and see if it's been published before on Pubmed. For example, using BRFSS you could look at if smoking and physical activity levels differ among U.S. veterans compared to civilians in persons who are diagnosed with COPD. This is just one example of something I just searches on Pubmed. In order to get a project like this done, you'll need to reach out to a few statisticians at your institution (they're there, you just need to ask around) and ask if they'd be willing to perform the statistical analysis for you and in return they get to be a coauthor (you shouldn't be paying for statisticians fyi...).

On a side note, the DO/MS in med education will be a waste of your time unless you're actually interested in med ed. You won't get any significant publications out of it and would be better off spending the time it takes to do the extra classes writing up manuscripts and getting more pubs.
Hi would you provide some articles performed by the method you talked about above?
 
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You'll be fine as long as you seek them out. My S.O. and I were in the same boat. DO school with minimal research so we found some summer programs between M1 and M2. Applied for programs at schools like Wash U, U Chicago, Vanderbilt, UPitt, etc. Just google 'medical student summer research program' and spend time looking. We both applied to separate programs and were accepted. My SO even had to turn one down because they had already been accepted. The opportunities are there, don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.
 
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MedDoc305

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You'll be fine as long as you seek them out. My S.O. and I were in the same boat. DO school with minimal research so we found some summer programs between M1 and M2. Applied for programs at schools like Wash U, U Chicago, Vanderbilt, UPitt, etc. Just google 'medical student summer research program' and spend time looking. We both applied to separate programs and were accepted. My SO even had to turn one down because they had already been accepted. The opportunities are there, don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.
I was wondering if you had any research experience when you applied? I feel ill be a poor candidate because I've never done research but I'm still going to try
 
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I was wondering if you had any research experience when you applied? I feel ill be a poor candidate because I've never done research but I'm still going to try
Absolutely no prior research experience. I walked into my research program interview feeling that same way and left feeling encouraged. Just be honest about your knowledge base, strengths and weaknesses. Most med students are clueless when they are first getting into research. You'll find as you move on thru your training that most people are really just looking for eager med students who are hard workers and interested in learning. To be honest, I've had some insecurities in the past about being a DO student around all MD's at "prestigious" institutions. I've let it become a healthy chip on my shoulder, forcing me to prove myself even more. In all reality, most people don't care at all. It may lead to a slightly higher barrier to entry, but from my experience nothing that you can't overcome with hard work and persistence. Most people are just too afraid to even seek out the opportunities.

Also, don't pigeonhole yourself to one specialty. Even if you are interested in one specific specialty, be sure to venture into other areas to get your foot in the door and network. Go with whoever will take you and run with it.
 
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I was in the same boat as you OP and honestly the best avenue I found for pursuing research opportunities outside of cold emails was using social media. There is a very large medical professional presence on Twitter and I have been able to collaborate remotely with peers, residents and attendings on projects in my field of interest (also surgical subspecialty) from DM'ing them on Twitter asking about any projects. I had some prior research experience but it was all basic science - I had never done any clinical research. Don't worry about not having any experience when you start. Like the post above said, the people who you work with are more interested in you being hardworking, reliable, easy to get along with and passionate about your research, not just someone who wants to throw something on their CV to check off a box.

Since you are starting next year, my best advice would be to first make sure you can successfully tackle the academic rigors of the med school curriculum. Once you crush a fair amount of block exams and you find time in your schedule, reach out (either cold email or social media, whichever you prefer) and see if you can join in on a case report/lit review to start. At this time, keep on the lookout for any specialty-specific summer research internships to apply for. Good luck and if you have any questions, you're always free to PM me!
 
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Calizboosted76

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I would echo the above comments. I reached out to multiple hospitals and I actually was able to speak with the PD for neurosurgery who was more than happy to hook me up with his residents and after multiple emails to the residents one of them is allowing me to help with his research.

Keep reaching out.
 
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Deecee2DO

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All about emailing like above posters. I emailed probably 50 different research coordinators at academic institutions, residents at the programs i wanted to go to and eventually landed on a resident at an IM residency I will be applying to that happened to be interested in the same subspecialty as me and she hooked me up with her research mentor who pumps out lots of pubs every year. It really is a combination of luck and persistence-you have to keep reaching out to people to land something
 
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All about emailing like above posters. I emailed probably 50 different research coordinators at academic institutions, residents at the programs i wanted to go to and eventually landed on a resident at an IM residency I will be applying to that happened to be interested in the same subspecialty as me and she hooked me up with her research mentor who pumps out lots of pubs every year. It really is a combination of luck and persistence-you have to keep reaching out to people to land something

What do you suggest we include in the email aside from our interest in their research? Should I mention my prior research experience in undergrad with 3 poster presentations and 3 conferences? Should I include in an attachment the research I did to show experience? Did you give them your resume? Not sure exactly how to ask.
 
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How long do clinical research projects typically last for in medical school?
 
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How long do clinical research projects typically last for in medical school?
I am doing a case control data were from 2015-2019 but we have access to these cases roughly 300 patients, so just needed to write down numbers, it took several days to organize
 

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What do you suggest we include in the email aside from our interest in their research? Should I mention my prior research experience in undergrad with 3 poster presentations and 3 conferences? Should I include in an attachment the research I did to show experience? Did you give them your resume? Not sure exactly how to ask.
Yes include all of that to show it isnt ur first rodeo. I couldnt because I had no prior experience. Contact the research coordinator at each institution before anyone else. They will direct you to the right PI/physician and also tell u if there are any projects going on. Word of advice make it clear you are looking for shorter term projects like retrospective studies and lit reviews etc bc some prospective studies can take years to publish and Id imagine you want something on your ERAS application to show for your hard work
 
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