Cyal

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I am contemplating IM to sub-specialty vs radiology. Question for the experienced folks: which field is more amenable to carrying out basic/translational research in academia or industry?
 
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Cyal

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Do you have an advanced degree and what is your current research in?
I'm PhD to MD. Now MS4. Prior research in biochemistry/structural biology. I see myself more as a biochemist but interested in applied molecular diagnostics/imaging. So I thought radiology would fit and I like the field, although there are some complaints about the current job market.

Med school research is on gene expression--was able to publish a first author basic science paper this year.

Very sure I want a research career but whether I succeed in that is a different question.
 

Neuronix

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I see myself more as a biochemist but interested in applied molecular diagnostics/imaging. So I thought radiology would fit and I like the field,
There are many MD/PhDs who go into radiology from molecular subspecialties. Residency programs are generally underwhelmed by these applicants because there are already many of them and the links to radiology there are weak. If you have a strong step 1 score and clinical grades, that's fine to get you in, but the PhD in these unrelated areas won't look so special. Physician-scientist jobs in radiology exist, but they're fairly unusual.

Very sure I want a research career but whether I succeed in that is a different question.
Sounds like what you've done already is more medicine related, which will probably help you continue and transition that work.

Whether either specialty is more friendly for a research career is a matter for debate. There's no data, just a lot of speculation. There are A LOT more physician scientists in IM, and so you hear a lot more from them in this forum. Whether that translates to your personal ability to succeed in either specialty is completely unknown. I wouldn't pick based off some speculated job-market of one specialty over another (which is liable to change over the next decade anyway), but instead choose based on your opportunities and interest.
 
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Cyal

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Oct 13, 2012
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There are many MD/PhDs who go into radiology from molecular subspecialties. Residency programs are generally underwhelmed by these applicants because there are already many of them and the links to radiology there are weak. If you have a strong step 1 score and clinical grades, that's fine to get you in, but the PhD in these unrelated areas won't look so special. Physician-scientist jobs in radiology exist, but they're fairly unusual.



Sounds like what you've done already is more medicine related, which will probably help you continue and transition that work.

Whether either specialty is more friendly for a research career is a matter for debate. There's no data, just a lot of speculation. There are A LOT more physician scientists in IM, and so you hear a lot more from them in this forum. Whether that translates to your personal ability to succeed in either specialty is completely unknown. I wouldn't pick based off some speculated job-market of one specialty over another (which is liable to change over the next decade anyway), but instead choose based on your opportunities and interest.
Good response and I agree with the gestalt of your assessment

My Step 1 score is competitive (>245) and I did well enough on NBME shelf exams and clinically to honor almost every MS3 rotation. I have Step 2 CK pending.

Overall, it seems there are more opportunities in my intended IM sub-specialty than in radiology. I like both fields nearly equally (but dislike the endless rounding that characterizes IM), s0 it really comes down to opportunities which seem more in IM/sub-specialty.