long neurotic research question

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology: Eye Physicians & Surgeons' started by Mirror Form, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. Mirror Form

    Mirror Form Thyroid Storm
    10+ Year Member

    May 8, 2003
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    Attending Physician
    Being a third year med student / aspiring ophthalmologist, I met with my school's bigwig chair of the ophthalmology dept to discuss research with her. Unfortunately, on the day of the scheduled meeting (which took a month to get), I had a bad case of Norwalk Virus gastroenterititis. However, I knew I couldn't let that hold me back so I went anyway.

    She outlined a couple different possible research projects. One was a chart review of the efficacy of SLT at our dept. The other one she seemed really excited about, and said it was "perfect for a med student." It was to compare the accuracy of three types of methods of measuring CCT (including the orbscan and the new portable pach-mate) on corneas of different thicknesses. Since she seemed so excited about it, I chose that one, not realizing what I was getting myself into.

    Upon closer examination of this project, I'm now realizing that I'll have to recruit like 30 patients with variable thickness CCT's (w/o any monetary incentive), coordinate with different professors and residents to use the equipment, and just basically never even come close to getting this project certified and done by the time I apply to ophtho. I also have no formal research experience either.

    Trying to weasel my way out of it, I did a lit search and found a bunch of other studies that were a little similar. I emailed the bigwig saying that since there was already a lot of research in this area that maybe I should do the chart review instead. Unfortunately she replied that those studies weren't very similar. But she did say that if I wanted to switch to the chart review, that would be okay.

    So, do you guys think that I should switch the chart review? Or do you think that would make me look like a bum in the eyes of the person I'm trying to impress? Should I just do my best on this measuring CCT project even though I don't even know where to begin with it?

    Also, I was also wondering if it would be a bad idea to bring in other med students who are interested in ophtho to help with the project. I could find other MS III's or some MS II's to help with the CCT or chart review studies and we could just put multiple names on the paper. Would that make me look worse if there were several other names on the paper, or would the programs I apply to not really care that much?
  2. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 15+ Year Member

    Oct 1, 2002
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    Attending Physician
    Both are fairly straight forward projects. Recruiting your friends will not be that hard. You'll find a nice distribution of corneal thicknesses. I'd go for the one that your mentor is more excited about or do both! ;)

    Just kidding there. If chart review is your flavor, then do that. Otherwise, I'd pursue the more exciting research. Exciting = :thumbup:

    Good luck!
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