Danny L

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Jun 7, 2016
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I can see two places where it would help...

Getting a (competitive) residency

Working in private practice (vs academic or private hospital)

Is networking necessary to be successful? Or do you still have a high chance of success (provided your scores are good enough) if you have zero network?

I know it can't hurt but for some careers (like IB) you're not going anywhere if you have no network
 
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Networking helps even in noncompetitive specialties. My research advisor is really helping me stay at my home program for psychiatry which is where I really want to be. A lot of other mentors in my field are helping me out as well. But this didn't just happen because I wanted it to. I have gone to EVERY SINGLE event given by the psych department for over 2 years. The residents and attendings mostly all know me by first name.

Think of it this way. Every residency, every decent job is going to have a TON of applicants who are all qualified and impressive on paper. But having someone with clout back you up makes you look a lot better. A lot of good jobs are never even posted because they are offered to someone in the department who has made himself visible and invaluable.
 

Foot Fetish

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Networking is overrated. Unless you want to match into derm, a strong work ethic is all you really need. Talk is cheap. Work hard and let your achievements speak for themselves.
 
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racerwad

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I can see two places where it would help...

Getting a (competitive) residency

Working in private practice (vs academic or private hospital)

Is networking necessary to be successful? Or do you still have a high chance of success (provided your scores are good enough) if you have zero network?

I know it can't hurt but for some careers (like IB) you're not going anywhere if you have no network
So you are admitting that networking is beneficial to: 1) obtain training in the field you have devoted the better part of your adult life pursuing and 2) putting that training to use. I guess you'll have to decide if that is beneficial.

As @psychhopefull2016 illustrated, networking can help you get where you want to be, regardless of the perceived competitiveness of the specialty. I mean, isn't that ultimately what matters - doing what you want to do, where you want to do it?

Networking isn't a synonym for cronyism or nepotism. It is a component to being great at what you do. No one works in isolation and your reputation, for better or for worse, will proceed you. Might as well use it to your benefit to maximize your opportunities. If you don't you are just going to leave those opportunities out there for others whose hustle game is stronger.

It is naive to think that you won't need to get to know others who might be able to help you in either academics or inpatient work.

Networking is overrated. Unless you want to match into derm, a strong work ethic is all you really need. Talk is cheap. Work hard and let your achievements speak for themselves.
Talk is indeed cheap, but no one is more qualified than you are to talk about your achievements. Why would you let someone else control that aspect of your professional career?
 

Amygdarya

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Networking is overrated. Unless you want to match into derm, a strong work ethic is all you really need. Talk is cheap. Work hard and let your achievements speak for themselves.
I don't think anyone here is saying that networking trumps hard work and achievement. But, as was pointed out above, it helps getting where you want to be simply because when choosing between two comparable applicants people are likely to pick the one they know (unless they have a really bad opinion of that person) or the one someone they trust vouched for.
 

I'm No Superman

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Networking is overrated. Unless you want to match into derm, a strong work ethic is all you really need. Talk is cheap. Work hard and let your achievements speak for themselves.
Who hurt you so? :(
 
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ProfMD

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Networking is important for residency and fellowship positions. Ultimately, faculty may not know you very well but if someone they know and trust speaks well on you behalf, that may be just the boost you need to get the spot you want.

Networking is also important for academic jobs, both getting them and for academic promotion.
 
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Jan 14, 2015
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As someone who is a traditional applicant and having very little real world experience, what exactly is "networking"? I see it as a word people throw around but I'm not really sure of the detail "networking" entails. Is it working with said person you want to expand your "network" with? Is it meeting someone at a conference and having a conversation? Is it saying "good morning" to someone in the elevator?

How does one actively build their "network"? (and yes i put quotation marks over all networks for a reason)
And how do you know whether a person is in your network?

I have similar problems with the word "mentor"
 

ProfMD

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As someone who is a traditional applicant and having very little real world experience, what exactly is "networking"? I see it as a word people throw around but I'm not really sure of the detail "networking" entails. Is it working with said person you want to expand your "network" with? Is it meeting someone at a conference and having a conversation? Is it saying "good morning" to someone in the elevator?

How does one actively build their "network"? (and yes i put quotation marks over all networks lol)
As a med student, get to know the faculty in your chosen speciality.

As a resident, get to know faculty, attend national meetings, present at meetings, etc. these things are most important at this stage if you want to do a fellowship or find an academic job.
 
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As a med student, get to know the faculty in your chosen speciality.

As a resident, get to know faculty, attend national meetings, present at meetings, etc. these things are most important at this stage if you want to do a fellowship or find an academic job.
What do you mean by "get to know your faculty"? Is a simple meeting enough? Asking a question after lecture? Shadowing with that faculty? Lunch with that faculty?

Sorry I dont mean to have it spelled out for me but a general idea would be nice
 
Jun 13, 2016
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What do you mean by "get to know your faculty"? Is a simple meeting enough? Asking a question after lecture? Shadowing with that faculty? Lunch with that faculty?

Sorry I dont mean to have it spelled out for me but a general idea would be nice
Here is what I am doing to build my "network" and it's been working out for me.

1st year: I found a research project in the department I'm interested in and have been working with a PI from that department

2nd year: continue research, attend psych department dinners/ lunch talks

3rd year: Went to every psych event possible for name recognition, continue research, presented at a local conference and chatted up people, did well on psych rotation and get in good with the residents, attended psych grand rounds when I was able

4th year: Set up meetings with program director and other people in the department for both face recognition purposes and to ask what they are looking for in an applicant.
 
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And I did the alongside also doing well in my classes and clerkships. Once I met with the program director he even told me he had seen me at events and it really showed that I was interested in the specialty/ program because he had seen me around. But it's a top tier program so I can't blow off clerkship grades and board scores also. BOTH networking and resume building are important skills.
 
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ProfMD

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What do you mean by "get to know your faculty"? Is a simple meeting enough? Asking a question after lecture? Shadowing with that faculty? Lunch with that faculty?

Sorry I dont mean to have it spelled out for me but a general idea would be nice
You can start by attending conferences. Also try and get involved in some research projects.

Summer after first year is a good time to try and get a project done.

You can also see if your school has an interest group in your speciality.
 

racerwad

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Sep 8, 2009
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As someone who is a traditional applicant and having very little real world experience, what exactly is "networking"? I see it as a word people throw around but I'm not really sure of the detail "networking" entails. Is it working with said person you want to expand your "network" with? Is it meeting someone at a conference and having a conversation? Is it saying "good morning" to someone in the elevator?

How does one actively build their "network"? (and yes i put quotation marks over all networks for a reason)
And how do you know whether a person is in your network?

I have similar problems with the word "mentor"
@psychhopefull2016 did an excellent job describing what "networking" looks like. To add to that, I just think of it as meeting and getting to know people who are where I hope to be. As psychhopeful stated, I think the first thing is knowing what you want for yourself. In their post, they figured out what they wanted to pursue, then found a way to be involved in that in a way that was meaningful to them. In the following years, they continued doing what they enjoyed and it appears to have paid off. I did basically the same thing with EM. It is basically the adult version of making friends. The only weird spot is that unlike normal friends, networking often involves a power differential between yourself and the target.
 
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Stagg737

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I can see two places where it would help...

Getting a (competitive) residency

Working in private practice (vs academic or private hospital)

Is networking necessary to be successful? Or do you still have a high chance of success (provided your scores are good enough) if you have zero network?

I know it can't hurt but for some careers (like IB) you're not going anywhere if you have no network
People seem to be forgetting that a lot of specialties make good money off of referrals. Sure, it's certainly possible to be very successful and not network or just suck in general. However, it's a lot easier to fill up a schedule or do the procedures/see patients with the conditions you want to treat when you've got a network of friends and peers who refer specific patients to you. Whether you like it or not, networking will play a factor in almost any field of medicine you enter, so you should try and get used to the idea of at least being socially polite and having some decent acquaintances.
 
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Jun 13, 2016
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My school was actually good at facilitating this, or at least my psych department. There is an interest group, a few dinners a year, the PD is very willing to meet with people, and research mentors are very willing to let people in on their projects.
 

Crayola227

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Networking is overrated. Unless you want to match into derm, a strong work ethic is all you really need. Talk is cheap. Work hard and let your achievements speak for themselves.
and you know this is how it works in medicine with all your vaunted experience?

some fields are smaller than others

in general medicine is a small world
 
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managedcarefin

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Oct 18, 2015
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Networking is overrated. Unless you want to match into derm, a strong work ethic is all you really need. Talk is cheap. Work hard and let your achievements speak for themselves.
You're a medical student, you have a lot to learn if you have this sentiment.

Not shocked at this post. I can promise you that it will be very rare that you'd be the only applicant qualified for the position you are applying to.
 
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