1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.
    Dismiss Notice

How Important is Research Experience for Competitive Anesthesiology Residencies

Discussion in 'Anesthesiology' started by marimiyaz, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. marimiyaz

    marimiyaz Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys,

    I'm just a measley MSI, so I don't mean to intrude, but I was wondering if any of you could offer some input on this dilemma I'm having regarding what to do next summer (I sort of have to decide as deadlines for things are approaching/have passed already).

    For those of you that are in anesthesiology or applying to anesthesiology residencies, what did you do your MSI-MSII summer? For those of you that did research, do you feel it has boosted your application alot? For those of you that didn't do research or something like that, do you regret it at all? Did you guys have a lot of extracurriculars (ie: leadership positions in various student organizations, etc), and how important do you think these things are?

    I've done a ton of research in the past, have 5 publications under my belt (in a non-related field, however, and none are first author) and while I like it fine, I sort of feel like I want to get clinical exposure to the field more than doing research next summer to help me determine if this is the field i really want to go into (i want to know before 3rd year!). So i was thinking of maybe just shadowing an anesthesiologist informally or something, and maybe spending the rest of the summer travelling. The only disadvantage to this is that it wouldn't look as good as getting one of the prestigous research fellowships they offer to select students at my school for research during the summer. I really want to do training in a NYC program eventually, and I know they are super competitive. Should i just suck it up and apply for the 8 week research fellowship, even though it's not my top choice, since this would look the best on my application? I know doing research during med school is very important in fields like surgery or dermatology, but how important is it in the field of anesthesiology? I apologize if i may be coming across as irrationally paranoid, but I'm just worried that i'm shying away from a great opportunity, albeit not my first choice opportunity for the summer. I really don't have that many extracurricular activities associated with the school, so i'm worried that i won't have anything to distinguish me.

    I appreciate any input you guys may have.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. DrDre'

    DrDre' Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Messages:
    883
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I think research is a very good thing to do. Is it crucial? Maybe.
    It is something controllable. You can do well at research simply by showing up. It may save your butt if your mle is borderline. Getting into a highly respected prog is doable without research but you will need good mles and grades. Remember that nearly every prog is academic and thus will value your time in research. You do not need clinical exposure, you will get plenty of it. Anyway, do research with an anesthesiologist and shadow him several times duing the summer.

    I didn't think i would like research and i actually enjoyed it.

    it will make you more competitive.
     
  4. ear-ache

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I personally can only give you advice from an M4 perspective; I think ultimately you will need to speak with an academic anesthesia advisor at your program. If you think that is a cop-out, then here is my personal impression of what is needed to get into a competitive anesthesia residency (In no particular order);

    - Good grade(s) in anesthesia clerkships and away rotation(s)
    - Good 3rd year clerkship grades (esp. IM and surgery)
    - Your class rank (or if your school does not 'rank' you, what descriptive word they use in the summary of your dean's letter: "exemplary”, “outstanding”, “very strong”, “smegma”, etc)
    - Your USMLE Step 1 & 2 scores (I personally think programs regard Step 2 scores more highly than Step 1). These scores are often used as cut-offs for competive residencies, much like MCAT and medical schools.
    - AOA membership
    - M4 elective grades
    - Preclinical grades
    - Research experience/publications/presentations
    - Extracurriculars & other academic awards
    - Excellent Letters of Recommendation
    - A well written Personal statement
    - Good interview/interpersonal skills
    - A good academic advisor (someone who can help you navigate the residency application process and knows the scuttlebutt on programs)

    Ideally you want to be strong in all of these areas. Your goal is to be a well rounded candidate. Unfortunately, this is just not feasible or realistic for most of us.

    I think most programs look upon research experience very favorably, especially if it is anesthesia/critical care/pain related. Doing research in anesthesia also gives you something to talk about during those long awkward residency interviews.

    If you choose to travel, you may want to consider doing medical mission work, Indian health services, or other impoverished medical volunteering. It is obviously a selfless act that is humanistic, noble, and a catalyst for introspection. It also has the added benefit of looking good on your CV and gives you something else to talk about during interviews.

    My advice - talk with an academic anesthesia advisor at your program. It can't hurt to introduce yourself now and express your interest in the field, and he/she should also be able to advise you on what would best help you during you M1 summer break. Who knows? He/she may tell you to go work on your tan.
     
  5. KetamineDrip

    KetamineDrip Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student

    Nice post Ear, however, my general feeling is that programs weigh step 1 more than step 2, especially in years like this when Anesthesia is popular and they need a means of shinking down there applicant pool quickly. I also base this on the fact that I had a mediocre Step 1 score and scored quite well on step 2 and find myself not getting some of the interviews that others at my institution with better Step 1/lower step 2 scores did. Just my 2 cents. Could also be some other negative in my application that has held me back some.
     
  6. DrDre'

    DrDre' Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Messages:
    883
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Ear posts great info.
    I do also humbly disagree with the steps as well.

    I have no step 2 and I think I got all my interviews based on my step 1.

    Although I have reasonable honors, probably good letters and have done research, the simple matter of it is to screen on step 1s for the first cut....

    Unfortunate, but i really think it is true.

    Exceptional programs and others later in the season will look beyond the easy objective data points.

    Ear's eloquent response though remains very reasonable and helpful as a guide! :)
     
  7. adleyinga

    adleyinga Einstein
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0

    Step 1 more important since most applicants haven't taken part II before Eras application
     
  8. IlianaSedai

    IlianaSedai Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'm an M4 who has done no research and an average transcript with very few honors grades (but good USMLE, good letters and good personal statement). Right now, I'm sitting on a bunch of interviews at well respected programs and have had just two rejections from anesthesia programs (out of an excessive 29 that I applied to).
     
  9. ear-ache

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I hear you Ketamine, Dre, and adleyinga. :thumbup:
    I am in no means advocating that you must take Step 2 early if you want to land completive residencies. As you three have pointed out, most applicants do not have Step 2 score submitted, so they are no good for screening. I think that if you have taken Step 2 early, and scored well, it makes your application that much stronger - You’re not a one hit wonder and you’ve done well on a more clinically based test.

    Again, these are my personal, subjective M4'ish impressions that were influenced by comments from my anesthesia advisor and comments from an interviewer on the interview trail.

    This discussion is a prime example of what may be important to one admission's committee may not be so to another. Which brings me to reiterate the importance of trying to achieve the ever elusive 'well rounded application' (i.e. no deficiencies).

    To marimiyaz: Talk is cheap on SDN, especially from an ignorant med student like myself. Go find yourself a good anesthesia advisor at your institution and get started on your career path.
     
  10. marimiyaz

    marimiyaz Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0

    Thanks Ear ache and everyone else for your input. Your suggestions were very helpful. I think i'm going to go ahead and try to meet with someone to discuss my options.

    Thanks again.
     
  11. Stillinscrubs

    Stillinscrubs Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Jumping in late here, but just had a couple of thoughts. Why do you want to know before 3rd year? And also how do you know you won't change your mind during 3rd or even 4th year?

    I suggest doing the research because it won't hurt. While following around anesthesiologists is fun, at least for me, it won't look as good on a CV. I am a 4th year stud also, so after match day I can speak with a little more authority about whether it helps. What I do know is people change their minds often between first year and match day. While I love Anesthesia, I would cry literally if I couldn't do it, it is not for everybody.

    I thought I was going to be a surgeon, and I did research. I found out I don't like surgery, but I don't think the research is a hindrance to me getting a residency. If you end up wanting to do surg, rads, or derm having followed an anesthesiologist around for a summer probably won't amount to a hill of beans to them.

    Good Luck and chill out.
     

Share This Page