TexasMeds

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So i finally found a mentor who will help me in publishing a research paper.

Its a cohort study of people who got an anesthetic procedure in contrast to another procedure, to try to measure the outcome in both groups.

The study is still in the design phase. I'm working on literature search still and lets say that I can come up with the study design and everything today, it would probably take 2 years to collect patient data (outcome in 2 years). Its going to be a prospective cohort study, and the first patient hasnt gotten his anesthetic procedure for this very common procedure yet.

So by the time I'm interviewing for ortho residency, although i would have done all this work, i have no evidence of a published paper to show for it. I love learning research stuff dont get me wrong, I would also like to get interview merit points off it too.

Does unpublished research experience pale in comparison with published research?
 

WedgeDawg

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Showing productivity is better than not showing productivity, but there's no reason you can't present preliminary data at a conference or something, and saying that you've been involved in an ongoing project from the very beginning is still nothing to sneeze at.
 

Foot Fetish

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Unless you have multiple publications in journals like Cell and Science, you can basically expect to go unmatched. Sorry to burst your bubble, kid.
 
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From the sound of it odds are you won't be around to see the study through to the end. Also the fact that a med student is "designing" the study does not bode well for its success (sorry). Your mentor sounds like they're doing research as a hobby. You're going to sink a lot of time and effort into this without much to show for it. Your best bet is to analyze data that already exists. Leave the data collection to residents with protected research time, fellows and faculty members.


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itsogre

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So i finally found a mentor who will help me in publishing a research paper.

Its a cohort study of people who got an anesthetic procedure in contrast to another procedure, to try to measure the outcome in both groups.

The study is still in the design phase. I'm working on literature search still and lets say that I can come up with the study design and everything today, it would probably take 2 years to collect patient data (outcome in 2 years). Its going to be a prospective cohort study, and the first patient hasnt gotten his anesthetic procedure for this very common procedure yet.

So by the time I'm interviewing for ortho residency, although i would have done all this work, i have no evidence of a published paper to show for it. I love learning research stuff dont get me wrong, I would also like to get interview merit points off it too.

Does unpublished research experience pale in comparison with published research?

Yes unfortunately - if it is unpublished/unpresented, it doesn't mean anything, especially if the person looking at your application is a more jaded guy. Peer-reviewed publication should always be goal before being involved and committing time to research, be it clinical or basic science or translational. Keep looking for other mentors. I contacted 20+ faculty and looked at 2-3 possible projects before being involved in one that would give me a good balance between autonomy and mentorship from the PI, and that would be short-term (2-3 months), and that could result in a publication.
 
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Foot Fetish

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I contacted 20+ faculty and looked at 2-3 possible projects before being involved in one that would give me a good balance between autonomy and mentorship from the PI, and that would be short-term (2-3 months), and that could result in a publication.
Any tips about how to go about doing this? Did you just look up faculty and e-mail them out of the blue? Did you tell them "I'll think about it" while you waited for the others to reply? I just can't imagine a tactful way of reaching out to that many people without it blatantly coming off as opportunistic "shopping." Don't get me wrong; I applaud what you did, and I want to emulate it...I just don't know how one would go about doing it. Any words of wisdom?
 

failedatlife

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Does unpublished research experience pale in comparison with published research?
Yes, but consider at what cost. Your time is better spent spending every single minute of your day knowing everything there is about medicine right now. Programs don't screen applicants but number of publications, they screen by Step scores.
 
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itsogre

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Any tips about how to go about doing this? Did you just look up faculty and e-mail them out of the blue? Did you tell them "I'll think about it" while you waited for the others to reply? I just can't imagine a tactful way of reaching out to that many people without it blatantly coming off as opportunistic "shopping." Don't get me wrong; I applaud what you did, and I want to emulate it...I just don't know how one would go about doing it. Any words of wisdom?
Yes, I looked at e-mail lists for various departments and also asked faculty I knew personally about good mentors in my field of interest. Residents, especially chief residents, are a really good source to ask! Faculty, especially clinical MD, are really busy and do not care at all if you're shopping around for research projects - they were medical students once too. If I would ask a faculty about their project and I'd hear something I don't like (will take years to complete, too time-intensive, have 3+ other medical students working for me that I would have to compete against, or if their research just didn't make sense and had too many confounders), I'd just send a polite e-mail after stating it is not aligned with my specialty/career interests. I had some awkward conversations sure but faculty don't care at all - just be clear to potential mentors about what you're looking for. It's OK to say - 'I need certainty of publication/presentation, can you give that to me if I work hard? Do you think there are any confounders/criticisms anyone could aim at this research? Where are you planning to present or publish this? - they better have a journal/meeting in mind. Has anyone published on topic this before?'
 
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Mr Roboto

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Yes unfortunately - if it is unpublished/unpresented, it doesn't mean anything, especially if the person looking at your application is a more jaded guy. Peer-reviewed publication should always be goal before being involved and committing time to research, be it clinical or basic science or translational. Keep looking for other mentors. I contacted 20+ faculty and looked at 2-3 possible projects before being involved in one that would give me a good balance between autonomy and mentorship from the PI, and that would be short-term (2-3 months), and that could result in a publication.
How do you predict whether a research project is likely to result in a publication?
 

Goro

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Sarcasm doesn't travel well over the electrons.

That was unprovoked, and sorry to say not that funny? You must be that annoying kid that makes cold jokes all day that no one laughs at..
 
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It's OK to say - 'I need certainty of publication/presentation, can you give that to me if I work hard? Do you think there are any confounders/criticisms anyone could aim at this research? Where are you planning to present or publish this? - they better have a journal/meeting in mind. Has anyone published on topic this before?'
I think this kind of concrete thinking is counterproductive. Every project can have criticisms leveled against it. Also it's on you to do a lit search and figure out what has been published on the topic before. That said the answer will almost always be 'yes' ....the real question is what novel thing or unanswered question is your study/analysis adding to the field/topic.
 

itsogre

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I think this kind of concrete thinking is counterproductive. Every project can have criticisms leveled against it. Also it's on you to do a lit search and figure out what has been published on the topic before. That said the answer will almost always be 'yes' ....the real question is what novel thing or unanswered question is your study/analysis adding to the field/topic.
I ask these questions because I want to know what the PI thinks about his/her own research project. Do they know their own field well enough? Do they know the strengths/weaknesses of their own experimental design? Do they get defensive/offended if I ask these questions?
 

SurfingDoctor

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How do you predict whether a research project is likely to result in a publication?
Hard work, asking the PI questions and meeting with them regularly over a period of time and asking them expectations of the project and of you. That being said, no project where you expect "autonomy and mentorship from the PI, and that would be short-term (2-3 months)" will get you much. Students, by the nature of being a student, don't get autonomy on a project... they have to earn it. Likewise 2 months of 'research' nets you zero actual knowledge of research so don't expect to get much in the recognition for it. When someone comes to me for research, I expect them to be first author and put in the effort. The lower the effort and time invested, the lower on the list of authorship...

To the original question, if a PI publishes regularly (check PubMed) and is funded (check NIH Reporter), then the project will likely net a publication... though there are never guarantees
 
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itsogre

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Hard work, asking the PI questions and meeting with them regularly over a period of time and asking them expectations of the project and of you. That being said, no project where you expect "autonomy and mentorship from the PI, and that would be short-term (2-3 months)" will get you much. Students, by the nature of being a student, don't get autonomy on a project... they have to earn it. Likewise 2 months of 'research' nets you zero actual knowledge of research so what was the point. When someone comes to me for research, I expect them to be first author and put in the effort. The lower the effort, the lower on the list of authorship...

To the original question, if a PI publishes regularly (check PubMed) then, the project will likely net a publication... though there are never guarantees
most medical students have 2 months (at most) of summer recess to do research, and the research experience should and can impart actual knowledge in field of study to the student. I understand why from your perspective as faculty you dislike my utilitarian approach, but there are short-term studies students can do and get results from like small sample retrospective studies, patient reported outcome measures/survey, focus groups, whatever. I can't contribute meaningfully to something like a longitudinal study that will take 3-5 years from IRB approval to completion, but I can contribute meaningfully to designing and executing something simple like a survey study that will take 2-3 months for data collection and analysis. This type of work might not be Lancet quality but it still is a teaching experience for me.
 
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I ask these questions because I want to know what the PI thinks about his/her own research project. Do they know their own field well enough? Do they know the strengths/weaknesses of their own experimental design? Do they get defensive/offended if I ask these questions?
as a med student you shouldn't be quizzing a potential mentor about their own research .....or for that matter quizzing any resident, fellow or attending on anything.
 
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itsogre

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as a med student you shouldn't be quizzing a potential mentor about their own research .....or for that matter quizzing any resident, fellow or attending on anything.
mentorship is give and take. if I can't 'quiz'/inquire of my research mentor on various aspects of their work and also exercise my critical thinking, what's the point of them being my mentor?
 
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mentorship is give and take. if I can't 'quiz'/inquire of my research mentor on various aspects of their work and also exercise my critical thinking, what's the point of them being my mentor?
It's one thing to ask questions with the hopes of furthering your own understanding and another to challenge someone who is more senior and way more knowledgeable than you to gauge their mastery of their research topic and the limitations of their study. Bottom line is don't be arrogant.


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