Quantcast

IM - Research tract

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

sschance

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
44
Reaction score
9
Hey all,

Apologies if this is not the right place to ask. I searched around the forum, but was unable to get a clear picture to my question.

I looked at some IM programs, and some of them provide research tract for their IM residents.

I am curious what population of applicants usually get these positions? I assume there are a high % of MD/PhDs, but what about candidates with MD only? How competitive do MD-only candidates need to be to get these positions (however much stats you can share)? In addition, where would I find more info?

Thank you for your time!
 

justin1390

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2012
Messages
118
Reaction score
99
It depends on the size of the tract and how you get into it. Many programs have tracts that you don't split off to until your second year, and thus you have a year to think about it, apply, and get accepted while an intern. Other programs get you in pretty quick. The people looking strongly at fellowship or with past experience in research MD/PhD are going to be the most competitive, but let's face it, even a moderately sized program will maybe have 1 or two of these candidates a year, and they may be burnt out on research.

Because these programs are highly specific to the residency, you need to wait until interview season or inquire personally about these programs. On the plus side, if you do inquire (without being pesky), you might actually land yourself an interview since you have already shown interest. Just an idea. Be polite and tactful! :) Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

CatFactorial

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2011
Messages
864
Reaction score
275
She's rich, she's beautiful, she's got huuuuuuuuuuge...tracts of land?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

NotAProgDirector

Pastafarians Unite!
Staff member
Volunteer Staff
15+ Year Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
9,402
Reaction score
11,599
Back on track here:

I have this conversation with several applicants each year. In general, you need a PhD to be in the research track -- or at least a solid research Masters. Here's why:

First of all, the research track is not a "fast track". It's one year LONGER than just doing the fellowship. You trade your PGY-3 IM clinical year for 2 years of research. The fellowship remains the same length. If you can get hired into a research position in your home institution, you can finish one year earlier on the research track -- which is exactly where you would have finished doing it the regular way.

Second, the usual structure of the research track is 2 years IM + 2 years research + 1-2 years clinical fellowship + 1 year research. Occasionally, if your research is going to require clinical specimens / procedures, you'll do one year of research in the PGY-3, then the fellowship, then 2 years of research at the end. So, after those two middle years, you'll apply for a K award which you want to win by the time you get to that last year of research. This means that you need to produce encouraging results in those 2 years, enough to garner a K. You need to hit the ground running to make that work, and that usually requires a PhD or similar level of research experience first.

I talk more people out of the research track than those that go in. Once you start, you can't stop -- or if you do stop, you need to come back and complete your PGY-3 IM year.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

visari

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
410
Reaction score
196
1) Do you want to be a physician scientist (i.e spend most of your time running a lab)?
2) Do you have the means to be a physician scientist (PhD, masters, extensive lab research experience, grant writing...etc)?
3) Do you understand the difficulties nowadays in starting up a career as a physician scientist?

In my opinion, you need to answer with a resounding YES to the above three questions before considering a CI track
 

sschance

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
44
Reaction score
9
lmao, sorry I used "track" wrong. It was pretty late, and embarrassingly didn't catch it.

It depends on the size of the tract and how you get into it. Many programs have tracts that you don't split off to until your second year, and thus you have a year to think about it, apply, and get accepted while an intern. Other programs get you in pretty quick. The people looking strongly at fellowship or with past experience in research MD/PhD are going to be the most competitive, but let's face it, even a moderately sized program will maybe have 1 or two of these candidates a year, and they may be burnt out on research.

Because these programs are highly specific to the residency, you need to wait until interview season or inquire personally about these programs. On the plus side, if you do inquire (without being pesky), you might actually land yourself an interview since you have already shown interest. Just an idea. Be polite and tactful! :) Good luck!

Thank you! This is very helpful. I have a master's, and was considering taking a year out for HHMI (if i can get it). Do you think it is worth it to go into research?



Back on track here:

I have this conversation with several applicants each year. In general, you need a PhD to be in the research track -- or at least a solid research Masters. Here's why:

First of all, the research track is not a "fast track". It's one year LONGER than just doing the fellowship. You trade your PGY-3 IM clinical year for 2 years of research. The fellowship remains the same length. If you can get hired into a research position in your home institution, you can finish one year earlier on the research track -- which is exactly where you would have finished doing it the regular way.

Second, the usual structure of the research track is 2 years IM + 2 years research + 1-2 years clinical fellowship + 1 year research. Occasionally, if your research is going to require clinical specimens / procedures, you'll do one year of research in the PGY-3, then the fellowship, then 2 years of research at the end. So, after those two middle years, you'll apply for a K award which you want to win by the time you get to that last year of research. This means that you need to produce encouraging results in those 2 years, enough to garner a K. You need to hit the ground running to make that work, and that usually requires a PhD or similar level of research experience first.

I talk more people out of the research track than those that go in. Once you start, you can't stop -- or if you do stop, you need to come back and complete your PGY-3 IM year.

Apologies for the ignorance, but are K awards "relatively easy" to come by? I was reading around and it seemed like the research arena really needs physician-scientists.


1) Do you want to be a physician scientist (i.e spend most of your time running a lab)?
2) Do you have the means to be a physician scientist (PhD, masters, extensive lab research experience, grant writing...etc)?
3) Do you understand the difficulties nowadays in starting up a career as a physician scientist?

In my opinion, you need to answer with a resounding YES to the above three questions before considering a CI track

1) yes
2) maybe, I have stronger background than most medstudents, but i am not sure if it is enough - but def not on PhD level for sure.
3) no, please do explain!

I did the Research Track.

Don't do the Research Track.
What happened, mang??? you sound traumatized.
 

visari

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
410
Reaction score
196
1) yes
2) maybe, I have stronger background than most medstudents, but i am not sure if it is enough - but def not on PhD level for sure.
3) no, please do explain!

It goes without explaining. Starting up your lab and keeping the funds is an uphill battle. A lot of well established labs are struggling so you need something really solid to compete out there. Also I don't know where you are in your training but if you're asking if the K awards are easy to come by, you have a whole lot of research to do before you commit yourself to any track.
 

gutonc

No Meat, No Treat
Staff member
Administrator
Volunteer Staff
15+ Year Member
  • Joined
    Mar 6, 2005
    Messages
    20,145
    Reaction score
    15,099
    What happened, mang??? you sound traumatized.
    The reality of basic research funding happened.

    After 2 years of grant rejections and working twice as hard as my clinical colleagues for 1/4 of what they made, I learned to love clinical medicine. And still do.
     

    NotAProgDirector

    Pastafarians Unite!
    Staff member
    Volunteer Staff
    15+ Year Member
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages
    9,402
    Reaction score
    11,599
    lApologies for the ignorance, but are K awards "relatively easy" to come by? I was reading around and it seemed like the research arena really needs physician-scientists.

    Shoot, I meant to mention this in my response so thanks for pointing it out. No, K awards are a nightmare to get. That's why you need a PhD first, so that you have any hope of getting enough done in 2 years to get a K. And even with that, it's very difficult.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 1 user

    gutonc

    No Meat, No Treat
    Staff member
    Administrator
    Volunteer Staff
    15+ Year Member
  • Joined
    Mar 6, 2005
    Messages
    20,145
    Reaction score
    15,099
    Shoot, I meant to mention this in my response so thanks for pointing it out. No, K awards are a nightmare to get. That's why you need a PhD first, so that you have any hope of getting enough done in 2 years to get a K. And even with that, it's very difficult.

    K awards are super easy to get...in comparison to R01s. Depending on the institute you submit to, you're looking at somewhere between a 15 and 25% chance of funding overall. This is about double your chances of scoring an R01.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: 1 user

    NotAProgDirector

    Pastafarians Unite!
    Staff member
    Volunteer Staff
    15+ Year Member
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages
    9,402
    Reaction score
    11,599
    K awards are super easy to get...in comparison to R01s. Depending on the institute you submit to, you're looking at somewhere between a 15 and 25% chance of funding overall. This is about double your chances of scoring an R01.

    Apparently your definition of "super easy" and mine are different. Agreed that K's are a walk in the park compared to R01's. But a 25% chance of getting the funding you need vs begging a dept chair vs your research career is over isn't great. Anyway, my point was that if you want a realistic chance of getting a K, you need to be super productive during your 2 years of research and that usually requires a PhD prior so that you can continue the work you've already done, or can hit the ground running.

    EDIT: Crap, just re-read your answer and realized that's what you meant. Sorry!
     

    gutonc

    No Meat, No Treat
    Staff member
    Administrator
    Volunteer Staff
    15+ Year Member
  • Joined
    Mar 6, 2005
    Messages
    20,145
    Reaction score
    15,099
    Apparently your definition of "super easy" and mine are different. Agreed that K's are a walk in the park compared to R01's. But a 25% chance of getting the funding you need vs begging a dept chair vs your research career is over isn't great. Anyway, my point was that if you want a realistic chance of getting a K, you need to be super productive during your 2 years of research and that usually requires a PhD prior so that you can continue the work you've already done, or can hit the ground running.

    EDIT: Crap, just re-read your answer and realized that's what you meant. Sorry!
    ;)
    And I think 25% is a significant overestimation.
     
    This thread is more than 5 years old.

    Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

    1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
    2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
    3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
    4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
    5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
    6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
    7. This thread is locked.
    Top