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First yr. dilemma pls help asap

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by Premedtomed, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. I am first yr. thinking about doing research this summer i have a strong interest in Surgery but don't know which subspecialty. I know this sounds silly, but I just don't want to narrowly focus on one thing and then realize i like something else.

    What should I do? If i do research in say neurology and later on become more interested in cardiothoracic surgery or something non surgical would it be a big problem?

    Please help asap. :(
  2. ExtraCrispy

    ExtraCrispy Funky chicken
    7+ Year Member

    Aug 3, 2005
    Likes Received:
    First of all, take a deep breath and calm down. It's difficult to have any inkling about what specialty is right for you until the third year, and even then you might change your mind at the eleventh hour. It's just a reflection of the curriculum structure - your concept of surgery now may drastically change once you rotate through it.

    That said, involve yourself in research now based on WHAT YOU FIND INTERESTING. Some applicants to general surgery residency don't have any research background at all, and plenty of those with research experience studied in a non-surgical field. The important thing is that you're excited, involved, and that you can talk about your project when residency interviews roll around (whatever that residency may be).

    If you decide down the road that you want to apply to an uber-competitive subspecialty like Ortho or Optho, then you can take a year off between third & fourth years to conduct research in that particular field. Your research now is certainly not going to make or break you, it's far too early in the game.

    Bottom line: the first two years are all about learning the basics, and with the exception of the boards, residency committees place much greater weight on your performance in the clinical years. So just focus on learning the material, hang in there, EXPLORE your interests & passions, & hold off on the worry until third year.

    Good luck. :luck:
  3. OP

    that's quite a relief! thanks a lot.
  4. robotsonic

    robotsonic Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Medical Student
    I just want to second what ExtraCrispy said. You won't be sure about your specialty until third or fourth year (and maybe not even then), so there is no need to be worried about getting ahead in any particular field right now. Do some research in something that seems interesting, in any field. You aren't going to be able to accomplish a graduate thesis (or finish a publication for JAMA) in 2 months, so don't worry about that either. Focus on getting a feel for what medical research is like, and relax. If you want to actually get research experience in your future field, do that during residency or between third and fourth year of med school.

    Oh, and I didn't do any medical research in med school - I did a public health project between first and second year, so it's not an absolute necessity.
  5. OP

    thanks a lot !

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