bashwell

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Do IM program directors care if your research is in an IM related field?
If you're a US MD, and you don't want one of the top IM programs, then you don't even need any research to match somewhere.

Research never hurts, but obviously it'd be good to have research in the field you're expecting to go into. However, most PDs know med students change their minds about specialties during med school, so it's not like they'll penalize you for doing research outside your eventual chosen specialty. For example, if you did research in surgery, but then realized you didn't want surgery, then applied for IM, most IM PDs probably wouldn't care that your surgery research isn't IM related. Most likely they'd either be neutral or they would be positive about you being able to start a project and publish it (e.g., case report, poster, paper).

Of course, research helps for competitive IM fellowships.
 
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BeTheBallDanny

BeTheBallDanny

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If you're a US MD, and you don't want one of the top IM programs, then you don't even need any research to match somewhere.

Research never hurts, but obviously it'd be good to have research in the field you're expecting to go into. However, most PDs know med students change their minds about specialties during med school, so it's not like they'll penalize you for doing research outside your eventual chosen specialty. For example, if you did research in surgery, but then realized you didn't want surgery, then applied for IM, most IM PDs probably wouldn't care that your surgery research isn't IM related. Most likely they'd either be neutral or they would be positive about you being able to start a project and publish it (e.g., case report, poster, paper).

Of course, research helps for competitive IM fellowships.
Right but if I would like to go to one of the top IM programs am I at a disadvantage if my research is in, lets just say, neuroscience? Are most people at BIDMC and Vandy and places like that aiming for IM from the beginning with lots of Cardio/GI/random IM interest research?
 

bashwell

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Right but if I would like to go to one of the top IM programs am I at a disadvantage if my research is in, lets just say, neuroscience?
Again, I don't think research ever hurts, so I don't think you'd ever be at a "disadvantage" by having research.

I think neuroscience research is fine because you could probably argue there's some relevancy to IM.
Are most people at BIDMC and Vandy and places like that aiming for IM from the beginning with lots of Cardio/GI/random IM interest research?
I doubt it. See Vandy's current resident list for example. There are people who match into top IM programs with PhDs, but there are also people who match into top IM programs with little research. Apart from obvious things like high Step 1 scores (and Step 2 if you have them), strong dean's letter, to some extent your med school pedigree, I suspect for top programs it's more about how you portray or paint yourself, your journey in life, etc. If you depict yourself as a physician-scientist, then people will expect you to have done some research. If you depict yourself as someone more interested in primary care and global health, then they might not. Just my opinion.

If you want GI or cards, then it would be immensely helpful to publish research in GI or cards. If you're not sure which one, then pick a research project that covers both or multiple.
 
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Right but if I would like to go to one of the top IM programs am I at a disadvantage if my research is in, lets just say, neuroscience? Are most people at BIDMC and Vandy and places like that aiming for IM from the beginning with lots of Cardio/GI/random IM interest research?
At this point in your career, it is much more important for you to show IM program directors that you are able to take a project to its completion and have a tangible product at the end of the day. A neuroscience project that resulted in an abstract/presentation/manuscript >> a medicine project that's half-done.

Totally different story for fellowships as you are expected to do research in your specialty of interest, especially for cards/GI/heme-onc/pulm.