deeaan

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Hi all!

Can someone plz advice me to how to look for research opportunities?I live in New York city & want to do some research somewhere around...even if it is unpaid.I am an IMG,ECFMG certified(usmle scores 90 & 83),starting studying for step 3.I am on H 4 visa,waiting for employment authorisation document (EAD)which I expect to get soon.
I am very much interested in getting research experience & would love to go for it if I get an opprtunity.Please anybody who has done this give some advice on how to go about this.
Do I have to email the department chairman at every university around here which has research going on & ask them for it or is there any other route.Any advice appreciated.

Thanks a ton.
 

linuxizer

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Originally posted by deeaan
Hi all!

Can someone plz advice me to how to look for research opportunities?I live in New York city & want to do some research somewhere around...even if it is unpaid.I am an IMG,ECFMG certified(usmle scores 90 & 83),starting studying for step 3.I am on H 4 visa,waiting for employment authorisation document (EAD)which I expect to get soon.
I am very much interested in getting research experience & would love to go for it if I get an opprtunity.Please anybody who has done this give some advice on how to go about this.
Do I have to email the department chairman at every university around here which has research going on & ask them for it or is there any other route.Any advice appreciated.

Thanks a ton.

If you're talking bench-based research, pick a school and see if they have an undergraduate directory of researchers looking for work. If not, then simply find someone whose work looks interesting and e-mail them. As an MD with time on your hands, you are a good bit more qualified than the average applicant, and there are few labs in the world that could not use an extra hand and brain around to expand their projects. The main issue will be how long you can commit for, because the learning curve is steep for benchwork when measured in dollars (you'd be amazed at how much one botched prep or dropped vial can cost your PI).
If you're looking for clinical research, I imagine the situation is similar. Just find someone doing interesting work and e-mail.
G'luck,
Ari
 

deeaan

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Hi Ari,
Thanks for your advice..I am actually looking for clinical research..putting my mind to use & not just bench work..Guess I should just look up Journals ,find out the subject I find interesting and then try to contact the people involved in it.
Deeaan
 
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jalabert

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Originally posted by linuxizer
If you're talking bench-based research, pick a school and see if they have an undergraduate directory of researchers looking for work. If not, then simply find someone whose work looks interesting and e-mail them. As an MD with time on your hands, you are a good bit more qualified than the average applicant, and there are few labs in the world that could not use an extra hand and brain around to expand their projects.

Actually, an MD who has just finished school is not a bit more qualified than the average applicant. Depends on how you classify the average applicant, but depending on the MD's background (e.g. if they did research during school), it may have been 4-6 since they held a pipette. Sure, you know major aspects of metabolism and physiology, but this doesn't help one iota at the bench. Linuxer is correct, in that the learning curve is steep and it takes time to train someone who hasn't worked at the bench. Add to that the impression or realization from the PI, that you will likely be gone as soon as you find a residency, you are not a very attractive candidate at all for bench research. There are exceptions, that have been discussed previously (search my name), but in general, MDs are not good candidates for bench research.

OTOH...

Originally posted by linuxizer

If you're looking for clinical research, I imagine the situation is similar. Just find someone doing interesting work and e-mail.

The situation is not similar for clinical research. An MD will be eminently more qualified than an average applicant to work on clinical studies. MDs who are interested in research are few and far between, and always sought after to be involved in clinical research.

That being said, if you are honestly interested in basic research (not just a resume pad) then convey that to PIs and you will find someone that will take you on. Although MDs may not be more qualified to do bench research, an interested MD has more potential to be a good researcher (work ethic, intelligence etc). So, go to the websites for local academic institutions, go to the pages for academic programs that may have a research interest for you. Start e-mailing PIs. There will be a position somewhere for you. Since you are willing to work for free to start, that will be a good way for you to get a feel for the PI without much obligation.
 

linuxizer

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Hi Ari,
Thanks for your advice..I am actually looking for clinical research..putting my mind to use & not just bench work..Guess I should just look up Journals ,find out the subject I find interesting and then try to contact the people involved in it.
Deeaan
Actually, benchwork can require a great deal of "putting your mind to use." Certainly more than many of the less brilliant clinical studies out there. But, of course, there is good and bad work in both types. Now, if you drop the "in" and say "putting your MD to use," I would certainly agree 100%....

Originally posted by jalabert
Actually, an MD who has just finished school is not a bit more qualified than the average applicant. Depends on how you classify the average applicant, but depending on the MD's background (e.g. if they did research during school), it may have been 4-6 since they held a pipette. Sure, you know major aspects of metabolism and physiology, but this doesn't help one iota at the bench. Linuxer is correct, in that the learning curve is steep and it takes time to train someone who hasn't worked at the bench. Add to that the impression or realization from the PI, that you will likely be gone as soon as you find a residency, you are not a very attractive candidate at all for bench research. There are exceptions, that have been discussed previously (search my name), but in general, MDs are not good candidates for bench research.


Techniques can be learnt with time. It is the capacity to think critically and constantly that differentiates the productive research assistant from the unproductive one. Also, I have heard from two separate PIs that research assistants rarely stay research assistants for more than a few years. Thus the MD is at no particular disadvantage here if he/she is willing to commit to a year at least. I certainly agree, though, that an MD who has not done research will take some training to get up to speed on benchwork, and thus will be less than ideal.
But all of this is moot, because the OP wants to do clinical research, for which the MD is perhaps the most useful credential of all, save experience.
--Ari
 
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