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How much research is enough?

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spinetime

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Hey everyone,

I'm a 4th year med student studying overseas (indian subcontinent; 5-year mbbs program). My dream since I was a kid was to be a cardiologist, but I kind of let that go when I realized how competitive it is. I figured that IMGs have a low shot at most specialties, especially stuff as highly sought after as cards. I shifted towards Anesth, and if i take that route I plan on going on to Pain Mgmt. This is because I still enjoy patient contact and want to be a clinician, not a gas passer in the OR.

Recently,I've started reading threads in the cards forum that say it's not that big of a deal if youre an IMG when it comes to IM subspecialties (I'm a US citizen btw). However, I've also read that research is a must. I'm curious as to how much research is considered enough to have a cards fellowship be a safe bet. I've done a one month Anesth research elective at a top tier University Med Center involving blood disorders, and I plan on continuing this research this summer for another month, hopefully getting published. I also plan on doing 2 separate away rotations at good schools in the US.

Please let me know what the usual scheduling system is for people doing research to get into cards (ie do they do most of it in med school, or more during residency..) also, if you do research during residency, do you typically take time off to do it?

I hate to be undecided so late in the game, but I am really still considering cards as a possible career path, so any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance guys.
 

phillydoc

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the more you do, the better it is.
there is no way to quantify how much work/publications you need.
when one starts working for a serious research project under a renowned mentor, you develop contacts and network, who will recommend you at the time of application and push your application.you might work for years without publishing anything significant, however the work you did translates into very strong letters from important/strong people in the research world, which carries more weight that publications itself.
This has been my experience so far
Good luck
 

ry812

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the quanitity of research is def a plus, but the number of publications is what really makes your application stand out amongst the rest (not the amount of research).
 

washedupceleb

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It also depends where you go...if you go to an IM program at a hospital where they take their own residents for fellowship, then it's not all about research, but about your reputation
 

snips44

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do most people applying to cards do cards-specific research in med school, or is it mostly in residency? i know the original poster already asked this, but no one's addressed it yet.
 

phillydoc

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do most people applying to cards do cards-specific research in med school, or is it mostly in residency? i know the original poster already asked this, but no one's addressed it yet.
As far as I known most people do reseach during residency.
 

snips44

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Thnx for the info, philly. How do interns/residents find the time for research? Aren't they working 80hr work weeks? Or perhaps they take time off...
 

phillydoc

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Thnx for the info, philly. How do interns/residents find the time for research? Aren't they working 80hr work weeks? Or perhaps they take time off...

Most programs has dedicated blocks for research in 2nd or 3rd year, and then you can take some additional elective rotations in that speciality
 

ProgCoordinator

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If you're certain that your strongest interest is in Cardio, start participating in Cardio-related research ASAP and keep with it through residency. Your track record of interest will count. By the way, regarding research vs. publications, one does not inherently outweigh the other. Not at all. The quality of each is what matters.

I think I've posted this little morsel before, but I'll say it again: When applying for a Cardiology fellowship every single facet of the application is taken into consideration. There is no black and white (in our process, anyway). You may have a ton of publications...but, if they look like fluff and filler it ain't gonna get you anywhere. Same with research.

It's a very intricate (time consuming!) process. Nothing is considered solely based on volume or numbers or institutions or even who you know.

Granted, we have minimums, of course. However, if your USMLE is one point below the minimum, but your research and/or publications are stellar...your application will be given serious review.

That's my two cents. Good luck.
 

joejabjab

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ProgCoordinator,

What kind of USMLE minimums are there? Is that for Step 1? Do fellowship programs look at those scores even if they're from so far back? Or do Step 2 and Step 3 scores have more weight?

-Joe jab
 

snips44

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I'll be getting my medical degree in Dec 08 (we work on a Jan-Dec school year in this part of the world). After graduating, I was planning on spending a few months to study/take USMLE Step 1 and Step 2, and then apply for the IM match of March 2010.

Would it be better, in the context of cards competitiveness down the road, for me to just do cards research that first year out of med school, and then take Steps and apply the following year (March 2011 match)?

I've been considering this scenario for some time, but can't really figure it out without someone's professional opinion, so any and all advice is appreciated.
 

joti

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If you're certain that your strongest interest is in Cardio, start participating in Cardio-related research ASAP and keep with it through residency. Your track record of interest will count. By the way, regarding research vs. publications, one does not inherently outweigh the other. Not at all. The quality of each is what matters.

I think I've posted this little morsel before, but I'll say it again: When applying for a Cardiology fellowship every single facet of the application is taken into consideration. There is no black and white (in our process, anyway). You may have a ton of publications...but, if they look like fluff and filler it ain't gonna get you anywhere. Same with research.

It's a very intricate (time consuming!) process. Nothing is considered solely based on volume or numbers or institutions or even who you know.

Granted, we have minimums, of course. However, if your USMLE is one point below the minimum, but your research and/or publications are stellar...your application will be given serious review.

That's my two cents. Good luck.

Thanks for posting this. Can you tell us what are the minimum USMLE score requirements especially for an FMG?
 

ProgCoordinator

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Since the candidate pool is so competitive for Cards, USMLE scores do count to a certain degree. I think a general minimum for competitive Cardiology programs is about 200/80. If you're a point or two low, but your research and publications are very strong...your application will probably still be in the running for consideration for an invitation. If you've failed any attempts...the chances of an invitation to interview with a competitive program are almost zero. This holds true for US and FMG/IMG.
 

Chalazion12

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How much of an advantage to US grads have over IMG when it comes to fellowships like cards. I know US grads, especially MDs, have a huge advantage when it comes to residency, but does this still hold true for fellowship?
 

viostorm

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To answer the original question, I'm shooting for 3-4 publications.

I'm only MS2 and really have no idea, but that is my best guess on what can reasonably be expected between medical school and residency.

I'm shooting for:

1 pub second year
1 pub 4th year
2 pubs during residency.
 

MissTreesh

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my question along the line with research is that, is it better to do clinical research or basic science research? I've read several threads and so far, no one seems to be able to give a definite answer. Any inputs will be greatly appreciated.
 

salmonella

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Is hem/onc fellowship a lot easier to get in compared to cards? Can you use it as a backup in case you don't get into cards?
 

viostorm

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my question along the line with research is that, is it better to do clinical research or basic science research? I've read several threads and so far, no one seems to be able to give a definite answer. Any inputs will be greatly appreciated.

It seems clinical research is much easier to get published then basic science research. It seems much "higher yield" as far as work hours to publication ratio.

You can spend a couple years at a lab and only get 1 paper.

As far as which is more valuable, I hope clinical because I want to be a clinician.
 

vök

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Do pubs during med school mean anything for fellowship?
 

vök

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I've heard differently from attendings/fellows.
 
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