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going academic

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by nashtrash, Jul 11, 2001.

  1. nashtrash

    nashtrash Member

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    does anybody know what kind of steps people take to get into academic medicine? Do you usually go through residency and practice as a physician first and then seek a faculty position? Is it necessary to have ongoing research to obtain a faculty position or is it something you can start up after you get the job? thanks!
     
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  3. bluegill

    bluegill Member

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    I was under the impression that academic docs start doing fellowships and conducting serious research immediately following residency. The academic docs that I know have CV's that have lots of research activity from day one after residency, and some during residency.

    But I am a mere M1-to-be, so hopefully someone more knowledgable will post! I'm probably going into academics - even this one year away from the school setting was too hard for me.
     
  4. LibraTN

    LibraTN Junior Member

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    Try to do residency at a good hospital with a very strong research program. Then take some time off during residency and go into the lab. Most academic research centers will work hard to try and get residents who want to be in the lab into it. Doing research in your field of interest during medical school will also be very helpful, not to mention giving you a better idea of what you are getting into. what kind of academic medicine are you interested in?
     
  5. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

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    The two previous posters gave you good advice. Essentially, try to do your residency at an academic medical center so that you will have exposure to research and lab work. Then, to sub-specialize, you will apply for a fellowship following residency. I'm most familiar with peds fellowships right now, but for instance, if you are in a 3-year fellowship program, 1 year of it will be mostly clinical, with a little time for research, and then the remaining 2 years will be mostly research-related, with some clinical duty (ie, 1 or 2 days in clinic, weekend call every few weeks, etc). After finishing your fellowship, you then apply for Asst. Professor positions at academic medical centers, or you can go the clinical assistant professor route, which is easier initially, but you will still eventually want to become Asst. Professor. There's lots of BS with regard to academic appointments and the bureaucracy that surrounds them.
     
  6. Zhenka

    Zhenka Junior Member

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    I'm also interested in academic medicine in conjunction with clinical practice. What factors/hurdles go into this process of applying for Assistant Professor / Clinical Assistant Prof. position ?? :confused: I'm just starting med school and this whole thing is somewhat new to me. How is the application for an academic position different from an application for a hospital position, burearocratically speaking? :confused: Thanks a lot to all of you for your insights!
     
  7. LabRat27

    LabRat27 Junior Member

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    Many of the M.D.'s I know who wanted to get a foot in the door of academia did an M.Sc. in Epidemiology after their M.D. Many of them completed it during a fellowship. This gives you a solid knowledge base for performing clinical research, especially for designing clinical trials and obtaining a deeper understanding of biostats.

    It really didn't seem to matter where they did their residency, as long as they had shown an active interest in clinical research and had worked on a few trials resulting in publication. But they all got really sweet faculty appointments when they were done their coursework, and completed their theses while on salary. :cool:
     
  8. nashtrash

    nashtrash Member

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    hi--thanks for all the replies! I didn't know how research-oriented you had to be to get a faculty position (i'm just now applying so I'm a little ignorant on this whole thing). So here's the question: do you know if it's possible to have a teaching position without doing research? or do you think it's possible to take a hiatus from research and then get back into it?

    Ideally, I would like to have some kind of clinical practice for a while and then seek a faculty position. I'm guessing for that to work I would need to have ongoing research while I had my practice, am I right? The thing is, I'm more interested in teaching than research. I have a lot of research experience from undergrad and enjoy working in the lab so I foresee myself doing more in med school/residency. However, I'm not really passionate about it (and not the best at it either) and would rather teach and have a clinical practice on the side than have a research project on the side. any thoughts on doing this?

    thanks everybody!
     
  9. bluegill

    bluegill Member

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    I know a good number of doctors who have the title of Assistant Professor for med schools and do not do research. They teach medical students and/or residents. They love it, and I definitely want to teach people medicine someday too.

    The question remains - did these docs have to do research (clinical or otherwise) in order to attain their professorships? Somebody out there can answer this, I'm sure.
     
  10. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

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    I'll try to think of someone I can contact in Faculty Affairs to find out if research is required to get any sort of academic appointment. Based on my experience, my guess is yes, but if I find someone to ask, I will let you all know. At the very least, a research background will make you a much stronger candidate. At many universities in ALL departments (not just the medical school and associated science departments), there is incredible pressure on the faculty to publish, publish, publish. Many faculty members are primarily in their positions because of the research, and consider teaching to be very secondary to their responsibilities.

    In general, when you are talking about academic medicine, you are not saying "Doctors who teach med students and residents;" you are actually saying "Doctors who do research" (clinical, basic science, or a combination of the two). If you are doing clinical work at any "major" medical center or hospital, you will be teaching residents because you will most likely be their attending at one point or another.

    Now, at least at Stanford, there were several different tracks in which you could seek appointment -- medical center line, university teaching line, etc. I'm assuming the set-up is similar at other universities, but I do not know for sure. Depending on where your interests lay (clinical practice, clinical research, basic science research, teaching, etc.) that would influence what type of appointment you were going for (ie, which track). Also, it would depend on what "billets" (essentially "openings") the given department had available, and had budgeted for, and where the salary support was coming from. Medical center line appointments were easier than university teaching/tenure line appointments because of the cost to the university (ie, tenure), and I believe that medical centers having serious financial difficulties tend to have fewer university teaching/tenure line appointments available -- they like to retire those billets to save money.

    For those of you interested in pursuing academic medicine, but unsure about the research aspect, keep in mind that "research" does not necessarily mean having a lab. Many academic physicians are extremely active in research, but haven't set foot in a basic science research lab since undergrad or med school. All of their research comes about through clinical trials or studies. These can be investigator-initiated (you formulate the question, hypothesis, how it will be carried out, etc., and then submit your proposal to a sponsor for the funds), or they can be initiated by industry (pharmaceutical and biotech companies).

    Finally, I took this url off of the Stanford website, Faculty Handbook. This has a lot of explanation about the appointment process and the different lines. I haven't had time to read through all of it, but some of you may find it interesting or helpful.

    By the way, all of the information I'm presenting is primarily based on my work experience in an academic office at Stanford Med Center, and having had to submit a medical center line appointment, in addition to the information I picked up in working with a bunch of different physicians during that time.
     
  11. Pre-Med Psycho

    Pre-Med Psycho Junior Member

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    :p i dont know if this is the proper place to ask this...but i was watching SKULLS the other day... you know the movie about secret societies etc.etc....and i remember the part when the governor (i think thas who he was)...handed the kid his admission letter to law school before he had even applied...do things like that really happen??? are any of you in one of those secret societies? do things like receiving med school admissions before applying ever happen because of connections?? it doesnt really bother me either way...im just curious.... ;)
     
  12. coop

    coop Senior Member

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    just a comment on the last post.... IF such a secret society did exist, why would anyone post it, its supposed to be a SECRET. it is an interesting question, it just doesn't seem like a very answerable one to me.
     
  13. IlliniEMT1

    IlliniEMT1 Member

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    I read a story in the book "Graduate Admissions Essays" by Donald Asher about a guy who got in before he even applied or took the MCAT. He was appointed as a student member of the board of trustees and worked closely with the dean of the Med school. Appparently, this school had a 'dean's admit' whereby in rare cases the dean could admit students directly. They student asked about it, and the dean reviewed his background and admitted him, subject to a good MCAT. The applicant aced the MCAT and went to med school a year early - without ever having applied and with no undergrad degree...

    weird
     
  14. wooo

    wooo Senior Member

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    Nash,

    I have viewed the web page of a program that allows for an acedemic approach to IM w/ a subspecialty. You do one year of IM, then you start your fellowship in year 2 instead of year 4. 80% of the next five years is research with 20% being clinical or regular stuff. So instead of 3 years IM and 3 years of fellowship, it is one year IM and 5 years of a fellowship split 80/20 with research and clinical.
     

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