Is it ok if I do research and publish in a specialty I may not go into?

Apr 2, 2019
756
1,900
Status
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
I will be doing a research fellowship before medical school and am interested in doing clinical research in a surgical field. I am not totally sure what specialty I want to go into in the future, but if I were to do research in, say, a neurosurgery lab, and publish in that field, would that look odd if I hypothetically applied for a different surgical specialty or even a non-surgical field. If it wouldn't reflect poorly, would it help my application if I had that degree and publications in the different field?
 

slowthai

holding a barbell.
7+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2013
1,877
4,339
In my gaff
Wouldn't hurt at all. It would help to an extent because any pub is good. But it wouldn't help show commitment to your field of choice; in which case you would have to have pubs specific to that field of course. This will also help to prevent people from thinking that the field you switched to is being used as a backup if it happens to be significantly less competitive than the field you did your research fellowship in.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

aSagacious

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2010
8,231
330
Status
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Not a big deal at all. People switch late all the time. As above, just provide demonstrated interest (away rotations, LoRs, pubs) in your eventual specialty as soon as you decide.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
About the Ads

ewax

7+ Year Member
May 4, 2012
259
267
Status
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Performing any kind of research from start to finish (regardless of in your field or not) shows that you understand the scientific process and have developed research skills. As long as you can speak intelligently about your research during interviews, you should have no problems.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

MedSchoolTutors

Top MCAT/USMLE/COMLEX Tutors Answer Your Questions
Vendor
Apr 25, 2019
1,187
1,098
www.medschooltutors.com
Status
  1. Medical Student
  2. Resident [Any Field]
  3. Attending Physician
Entirely fine. My first research experience before medical school was in astrochemistry. In fact, in some ways having an out-of-specialty project gives you something unique to talk about. If you can somehow connect your experiences there to your later work in your field, then that is an awesome CV move.

David D, MD - USMLE and MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

BacktotheBasics

SDN Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2010
3,079
3,151
Status
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Better to do a process right and show you know how to get things done than get cherry-picked to be on a project based on who you know that's relevant to your field of interest. That said, I can't guarantee admissions/recruitment committees can see through the latter anymore given than everyone seems to do it...but do it for yourself OP.
 

odyssey2

7+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2013
340
425
Status
  1. Medical Student
The only specialties that might have a problem with it are the ultra competitive ones like derm, Ortho, or plastics, but if it’s early enough in your career and you eventually shift to specialty-specific research it probably won’t hurt even in those fields.
 

Domepiece

5+ Year Member
Jan 9, 2016
199
302
Status
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
You are literally not even in medical school yet, no one has any expectation of you knowing what specialty you will apply to. No, it will not reflect poorly.

Learn about the process of doing research. Find a team you think you would enjoy working with and has published at most in the last 2 years. Getting your name on some outcome (abstracts/pres/pubs) is a plus, but also remember that often authorship and the ultimate success of a project is multifactorial so do not be disheartened if you don't get anything "tangible" out of it. Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Banco

5+ Year Member
May 28, 2014
1,477
1,783
Status
  1. Medical Student
Hold up, you're not even in med school? just do what you like...
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

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.
About the Ads