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Med students matching: What do you wish you would have known/done in med school?

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MilkmanAl

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Meh...sort of. Residency application gets sort of weird since they'll actually evaluate your app when it's not complete. That is, if you submit your application on September 1 when it opens, you may be getting interviews long before your rec letters, Dean's letter, or transcript are in. In that case, Step 1 is paramount since it's really the only thing they have to judge you on. If you had to submit everything all at once, med school app-style, that'd be the closest analogy, I suppose. In reality, though, the similarity mostly ends at the fact that they're each the most important standardized test for their respective processes.
 

danzman

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I am a DO applying to both DO and MD EM this year. I would agree that step 1 is by far the most important thing to get an interview, period. I have been pretty surprised at just how competitive EM is, as I always felt it was a "middle of the road" field. Many MD places seem to be getting 1500-2000 applications for 15 spots and DO programs get 500-800 for 6 spots. You have to have something that sets you apart and it seems that research is essentially worthless in EM. I have a unique background via a previous career outside of medicine that has been talked about at length in all my interviews and I think may be the one thing that PDs will remember about me. I would advise anyone to have something of interest about them that sets them apart from the rest of herd that is completely outside the world of medicine. Showing that you are a complete person with unique life experiences makes them like you. Who would you rather work with, a guy who sat in the lab and looked at a microscope all through college, or one that traveled the globe/started a business/played the drums in a rock band?

The other thing I wish I knew was just how little time you have to pick a field. I bounced back and forth between ENT, surg, and EM all through school for no real reason other than I liked the "idea" of being one of those types of doctors. I expected that step 1 would cut my options down but when I did pretty good on it, I had to make some decisions. For me, I decided that I had to give one field all my energy. I don't think I could have applied to two of them and been a quality candidate. And because there are only so many golden elective months, you have to decide early. Best advice I got was to pick two by December of your 3rdyear, and then set up away's in both. By 4th year pick one and run with it. Audition months fill up crazy fast in small competitive fields like ENT and Optho and even EM.

Being a DO has been a mixed bag. I feel that all of the MD programs have been extremely open and honest about their opinions of DO's, some mind, some dont, I certainly can't fault them for it. I only applied to places that had taken a DO recently and I think that is the best course. Also, I have been very surprised with the quality of most of the DO programs (all but one of the 10 I went to have been solid), however, geographically speaking the DO programs are pretty crappy (MI, OH, PA). Deciding to drop out of the DO match has been hard and Im still not sure what to do.

My mantra would be, study hard, pick a field early that you enjoy, and don't be a prick.
 

Phyozo

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Grades/AOA, Step 1, Research, Med school prestige, personal connections. Those are the most important factors.

Completely agree. If you're applying to a top academic places, don't downplay research and med school prestige. Everyone at those schools has amazing grades and step scores...you'll have to go to the others to distinguish. If you want to interview at a top academic place, get started from day 1 and publish something.

I'd like to mention one thing that ISN'T on there are ECs. Whoever said PDs don't really care about ECs is right. At "top" places, you're being picked by people whose entire lives exist because they know how to do research and write grants...not because they were class treasurer or volunteered at the women's shelter on weekends.

Finally, this whole bit about Step 1 being equally important is ridiculous. That plus your 3rd year grades are how you get your interviews. Like was said before, you would do the same thing if you were the PD and needed to pick the best 300-400 applicants to interview from a >1500 applicant pool.
 

JackShephard MD

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Completely agree. If you're applying to a top academic places, don't downplay research and med school prestige. Everyone at those schools has amazing grades and step scores...you'll have to go to the others to distinguish. If you want to interview at a top academic place, get started from day 1 and publish something.

I'd like to mention one thing that ISN'T on there are ECs. Whoever said PDs don't really care about ECs is right. At "top" places, you're being picked by people whose entire lives exist because they know how to do research and write grants...not because they were class treasurer or volunteered at the women's shelter on weekends.

Finally, this whole bit about Step 1 being equally important is ridiculous. That plus your 3rd year grades are how you get your interviews. Like was said before, you would do the same thing if you were the PD and needed to pick the best 300-400 applicants to interview from a >1500 applicant pool.

I don't think you can downplay med school prestige, it isn't a controllable factor for any of us in medical school.
 

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I don't think you can downplay med school prestige, it isn't a controllable factor for any of us in medical school.

You' re right. There's nothing you can do about it. Except just to be aware that prestige of the school matters so if you go to one of those aforementioned schools, youll automatically be at an advantage (implying your step 1 is high enough).
 

drizzt3117

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You' re right. There's nothing you can do about it. Except just to be aware that prestige of the school matters so if you go to one of those aforementioned schools, youll automatically be at an advantage (implying your step 1 is high enough).

I'd agree with this. I just interviewed at two of the most competitive programs in my field. Of the 25 interviewees, only two weren't from top 25 schools.
 

Asp

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I'd agree with this. I just interviewed at two of the most competitive programs in my field. Of the 25 interviewees, only two weren't from top 25 schools.

If you are "merely" a well-rounded applicant, it's important to be from a name brand school.

Otherwise breaking into the top programs in competitive specialties requires some hooks in your application, which could include stellar research and outstanding potential to be a future leader, being the offspring of a well known practitioner in the field, or being a member of a sexy minority group.

Once you get to the interview, being tall and good-looking helps a lot, too.
 

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My Q is about the Shelf scores and getting into a particular specialty. I want to go into IM, but I got my shelf score back 71 (32% nbme). I needed a 50% to get even HP in the rotation. I'm pretty sure that I did well on the evals because the residents I worked with told me they would write good ones for me, and I was hardworking, and constantly read new research articles on pts. And overall did well being pimped.

Otherwise I've gotten HP in surgery, H in Psych, HP in Optho.

Q: How much should I be crying right now? How much will a Pass in my desired specialty hurt me?
 

2012mdc

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If you are "merely" a well-rounded applicant, it's important to be from a name brand school.

Otherwise breaking into the top programs in competitive specialties requires some hooks in your application, which could include stellar research and outstanding potential to be a future leader, being the offspring of a well known practitioner in the field, or being a member of a sexy minority group.

Once you get to the interview, being tall and good-looking helps a lot, too.

Prestige matters a lot for the elite places. I got interviews at 4 of the top 10 programs in my specialty and others with similar profiles at more regarded med schools got most if not all of the top 10.

If you're not from a name brand school and you want to give yourself the best shot at a top program in a competitive field do significant research. Grades and Step 1 are often not enough to offset a lack of prestige. I really don't think URM status matters much at all in certain fields. I've been to large programs in my field where they don't have a single person like me. I don't think programs really care about that stuff.
 

MilkmanAl

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Grades and Step 1 are often not enough to offset a lack of prestige.
At some schools, that certainly seems to be true. There also appears to be a substantial regional bias for how interviews are granted.
 

MossPoh

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This feels like we are going in circles.

If you have aspirations of becoming a famous academic physician at the blue chip programs, pick the fancy name over the less known name. If you don't care so much, then the cheaper school may work out better. If you changed your mind halfway through, work hard and adjust your course to the best of your ability.

Study hard. Do the best you humanly can on Step 1 and Step 2. If the end result isn't what you hoped for, that ship has sailed. Adjust accordingly and move on.

If you like research or have a passing interest in a field that requires research, then see about getting involved. If not, your course may or may not be adjusted accordingly.

Don't be a douche around people. Don't think you're better than anyone. Work hard. If you're an oblivious douche, your course will be adjusted for you unknowingly.




That is what I gleaned from this thread so far....
 
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Sheldor

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This feels like we are going in circles.

If you have aspirations of becoming a famous academic physician at the blue chip programs, pick the fancy name over the less known name. If you don't care so much, then the cheaper school may work out better. If you changed your mind halfway through, work hard and just your course to the best of your ability.

Study hard. Do the best you humanly can on Step 1 and Step 2. If the end result isn't what you hoped for, that ship has sailed. Adjust accordingly and move on.

If you like research or have a passing interest in a field that requires research, then see about getting involved. If not, your course may or may not be adjusted accordingly.

Don't be a douche around people. Don't think you're better than anyone. Work hard. If you're an oblivious douche, your course will be adjusted for you unknowingly.




That is what I gleaned from this thread so far....

Excellently summarized.

Of course when you see it all in one place it looks like it could be similarly captured as: Use common sense.
 
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MossPoh

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Pretty much. I am nearly positive there is a direct correlation between amount of time in school and the degree to which one over analyzes daily problems, but I won't say that for sure until I see some data in a peer-reviewed journal.
 

calvnandhobbs68

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I'd like to mention one thing that ISN'T on there are ECs. Whoever said PDs don't really care about ECs is right. At "top" places, you're being picked by people whose entire lives exist because they know how to do research and write grants...not because they were class treasurer or volunteered at the women's shelter on weekends.

I'm glad you brought this up because I don't think most students understand the concept. You typically see the same college mentality carrying over into medical school where people try to snap up as many ECs as they can. If you're into it that's cool but you know most people can't be actually interested enough to be on the board of 5 different student organizations...I just think most people still believe that ECs are gonna be major parts of their applications when (many) residency programs don't care that much. They aren't choosing you so you can go volunteer at the free clinic every week (although programs will sometimes have you volunteer a night every now and then). They're picking you to slave away in their program for the next 3-4 years.
 

calvnandhobbs68

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I am a DO applying to both DO and MD EM this year. I would agree that step 1 is by far the most important thing to get an interview, period. I have been pretty surprised at just how competitive EM is, as I always felt it was a "middle of the road" field. Many MD places seem to be getting 1500-2000 applications for 15 spots and DO programs get 500-800 for 6 spots.

The amount of applications is always talked about and I think this underscores the reason why Step 1 is so important. As a result of the way the matching system works, places just get bombarded with applications. Look at the most recent optho match for another example of this (I know optho is competitive and a smaller field but still). 823 registrations with an average of 52 applications per applicant, up from 36 just ten years ago. People carpet bomb programs with applications (which is to their advantage) so really the only way to do a reasonable first pass screen that isn't gonna take up a crapload of time is by Step 1 score.
 

b-real

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I am a DO applying to both DO and MD EM this year. I would agree that step 1 is by far the most important thing to get an interview, period. I have been pretty surprised at just how competitive EM is, as I always felt it was a "middle of the road" field. Many MD places seem to be getting 1500-2000 applications for 15 spots and DO programs get 500-800 for 6 spots. You have to have something that sets you apart and it seems that research is essentially worthless in EM. I have a unique background via a previous career outside of medicine that has been talked about at length in all my interviews and I think may be the one thing that PDs will remember about me. I would advise anyone to have something of interest about them that sets them apart from the rest of herd that is completely outside the world of medicine. Showing that you are a complete person with unique life experiences makes them like you. Who would you rather work with, a guy who sat in the lab and looked at a microscope all through college, or one that traveled the globe/started a business/played the drums in a rock band?

The other thing I wish I knew was just how little time you have to pick a field. I bounced back and forth between ENT, surg, and EM all through school for no real reason other than I liked the "idea" of being one of those types of doctors. I expected that step 1 would cut my options down but when I did pretty good on it, I had to make some decisions. For me, I decided that I had to give one field all my energy. I don't think I could have applied to two of them and been a quality candidate. And because there are only so many golden elective months, you have to decide early. Best advice I got was to pick two by December of your 3rdyear, and then set up away's in both. By 4th year pick one and run with it. Audition months fill up crazy fast in small competitive fields like ENT and Optho and even EM.

Being a DO has been a mixed bag. I feel that all of the MD programs have been extremely open and honest about their opinions of DO's, some mind, some dont, I certainly can't fault them for it. I only applied to places that had taken a DO recently and I think that is the best course. Also, I have been very surprised with the quality of most of the DO programs (all but one of the 10 I went to have been solid), however, geographically speaking the DO programs are pretty crappy (MI, OH, PA). Deciding to drop out of the DO match has been hard and Im still not sure what to do.

My mantra would be, study hard, pick a field early that you enjoy, and don't be a prick.

Where exactly are these places that are getting 1500-2000 applications in EM? I've been on interviews in some pretty competitive places and the most I've been told is 1000.
 

drizzt3117

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Prestige matters in residency for private practice too.

This feels like we are going in circles.

If you have aspirations of becoming a famous academic physician at the blue chip programs, pick the fancy name over the less known name. If you don't care so much, then the cheaper school may work out better. If you changed your mind halfway through, work hard and adjust your course to the best of your ability.

Study hard. Do the best you humanly can on Step 1 and Step 2. If the end result isn't what you hoped for, that ship has sailed. Adjust accordingly and move on.

If you like research or have a passing interest in a field that requires research, then see about getting involved. If not, your course may or may not be adjusted accordingly.

Don't be a douche around people. Don't think you're better than anyone. Work hard. If you're an oblivious douche, your course will be adjusted for you unknowingly.




That is what I gleaned from this thread so far....
 

2012mdc

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I'm glad you brought this up because I don't think most students understand the concept. You typically see the same college mentality carrying over into medical school where people try to snap up as many ECs as they can. If you're into it that's cool but you know most people can't be actually interested enough to be on the board of 5 different student organizations...I just think most people still believe that ECs are gonna be major parts of their applications when (many) residency programs don't care that much. They aren't choosing you so you can go volunteer at the free clinic every week (although programs will sometimes have you volunteer a night every now and then). They're picking you to slave away in their program for the next 3-4 years.

Besides research I wouldn't do EC's just for ERAS. I mean its a good idea not to have your experience section blank but just do stuff you're interested in. I did tutoring, admissions committee, social committee stuff, and some SNMA stuff. I enjoyed all of them and it was good material for convos during interviews but I doubt it was make or break stuff. In fact I think my hobbies have gotten more play than my EC's. If you're a normal person you'll want to do something other than study and just get involved in something you find interesting.
 

MossPoh

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Prestige matters in residency for private practice too.

Well, thanks for taking a sarcastic reply intended to point out how ridiculous and overly analytical the debate has gotten literally.... But in that case, I will take the bait.

Only in select circumstances where you want or have to live in some very specific popular area. If you just want to be where the majority of doctors are, then no, it doesn't matter much. I am not saying it doesn't matter. I'm saying that the prestige factor doesn't outweigh an extra 100+k of debt if you are just aiming to end up in some small or moderate sized city. I know multiple people that hire for their groups and we have talked about the prestige thing. Many of them went off the interview and how they felt they melded with the group. A few hired a doc because of prestige and then had nothing but problems. Prestige does not equate with being a good doctor or practice partner. I know my dad's group even had to let their blue chip academic guy go because he was...well, too academic. He was painfully slow with his reads and just could never seem to keep up with the pace of the practice.
 

drizzt3117

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The elite private practice groups mostly recruit from top places. One of the private practice radiology groups here (median salary well > 1M) has more than half of their 30 members from MIR, UCSF, MGH, and other top 10 programs. Remember in rads less than 50% go into academics at all but very few programs.

Well, thanks for taking a sarcastic reply intended to point out how ridiculous and overly analytical the debate has gotten literally.... But in that case, I will take the bait.

Only in select circumstances where you want or have to live in some very specific popular area. If you just want to be where the majority of doctors are, then no, it doesn't matter much. I am not saying it doesn't matter. I'm saying that the prestige factor doesn't outweigh an extra 100+k of debt if you are just aiming to end up in some small or moderate sized city. I know multiple people that hire for their groups and we have talked about the prestige thing. Many of them went off the interview and how they felt they melded with the group. A few hired a doc because of prestige and then had nothing but problems. Prestige does not equate with being a good doctor or practice partner. I know my dad's group even had to let their blue chip academic guy go because he was...well, too academic. He was painfully slow with his reads and just could never seem to keep up with the pace of the practice.
 

Asp

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The elite private practice groups mostly recruit from top places. One of the private practice radiology groups here (median salary well > 1M) has more than half of their 30 members from MIR, UCSF, MGH, and other top 10 programs. Remember in rads less than 50% go into academics at all but very few programs.

What do you mean by elite private practice groups? The ones in desirable locations? The ones that own their own equipment? -- it seems difficult to clear a mil unless you're collecting both the professional and technical fee.

I thought residency prestige actually correlated slightly negatively with future income. Not only do more of their residents go into low paying jobs in academics, but they tend to work in more saturated markets in desirable locations.

It was also my impression that in terms of salary across different groups in similar practice situations and locations, it is pretty egalitarian. But what do I know. Nobody releases true compensation numbers.
 
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2012mdc

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What do you mean by elite private practice groups? The ones in desirable locations? The ones that own their own equipment? -- it seems difficult to clear a mil unless you're collecting both the professional and technical fee.

I thought residency prestige actually correlated slightly negatively with future income. Not only do more of their residents go into low paying jobs in academics, but they tend to work in more saturated markets in desirable locations.

It was also my impression that in terms of salary across different groups in similar practice situations and locations, it is pretty egalitarian. But what do I know. Nobody releases true compensation numbers.

I'm guessing the ones that pay the most. Even the top places like MGH send the vast majority of their residents into PP. Volume and getting fast matters a lot though. If you know you want to do a fast paced PP job that's higher paying you should probably avoid a place with lower volume like Stanford from what I've heard but I'm just going off hearsay
 

Asp

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I'm guessing the ones that pay the most. Even the top places like MGH send the vast majority of their residents into PP. Volume and getting fast matters a lot though. If you know you want to do a fast paced PP job that's higher paying you should probably avoid a place with lower volume like Stanford from what I've heard but I'm just going off hearsay

But isn't pay directly tied into how many RVUs you can / are willing to read? That seems to depend on YOU, not your residency prestige. Not saying you're wrong, just wondering what would account for a difference in pay there.
 

2012mdc

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But isn't pay directly tied into how many RVUs you can / are willing to read? That seems to depend on YOU, not your residency prestige. Not saying you're wrong, just wondering what would account for a difference in pay there.

I really don't know. I haven't really started worrying about that yet.
 

drizzt3117

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The elite private practices cover many hospitals and have the leverage to negotiate good deals with HMOs. Some of them do have imaging centers; this particular one does not.

The negative correlation is due to self-selection as people tend to go to academic positions from top programs but going to a top program hardly precludes you from going into private practice if you so choose. Going to a top program just gives you options.

What do you mean by elite private practice groups? The ones in desirable locations? The ones that own their own equipment? -- it seems difficult to clear a mil unless you're collecting both the professional and technical fee.

I thought residency prestige actually correlated slightly negatively with future income. Not only do more of their residents go into low paying jobs in academics, but they tend to work in more saturated markets in desirable locations.

It was also my impression that in terms of salary across different groups in similar practice situations and locations, it is pretty egalitarian. But what do I know. Nobody releases true compensation numbers.
 

Valadi

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This thread is full of truth.
 

rockbottomskyhi

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Doing well on step 1's was obvious to me but in terms of research, what's the best way to go about it? For M1s, I feel like most of us don't know which specialty we want to go into. We may have an idea but it's likely to change. People interested in optho might do optho specific research but what if they decide to do something else completely unrelated? What research topics is best to go into if you have no idea what specialty you want to apply to? I don't know if there's any harm in doing subject specific research but interested in how other people approached their research.

Thanks
 

Sheldor

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Doing well on step 1's was obvious to me but in terms of research, what's the best way to go about it? For M1s, I feel like most of us don't know which specialty we want to go into. We may have an idea but it's likely to change. People interested in optho might do optho specific research but what if they decide to do something else completely unrelated? What research topics is best to go into if you have no idea what specialty you want to apply to? I don't know if there's any harm in doing subject specific research but interested in how other people approached their research.

Thanks

Subject specific research>Non-subject specific>No research

It always helps to do research, and if you get it right the first time then it helps more. You can always hedge your bets by choosing wisely. For example: Interested in EM, trauma, and optho? Do research on emergency eye trauma. In other words, making it specific to more than one specialty always helps.
 

gutonc

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Subject specific research>Non-subject specific>No research

It always helps to do research, and if you get it right the first time then it helps more. You can always hedge your bets by choosing wisely. For example: Interested in EM, trauma, and optho? Do research on emergency eye trauma. In other words, making it specific to more than one specialty always helps.

This is pretty good advice. Also, it's much easier to get a basic science summer project going as an M1 than it is to get a clinical project going. Once you're an M3 and have an idea what you want to be when you grow up, look for a clinical project to attach yourself to.

It should also be pointed out that some specialties (Derm, Rad Onc, Ortho, Uro, etc...the super competitive stuff) will expect you to have some specialty specific research, even if you have other research.
 

rockbottomskyhi

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Does it hurt much to have done research in a field that is unrelated to the field you end up applying to for residency? For example, what if I did optho research for M1 and some of second year because I am interested in it but I find cardio more interesting later and apply to residency for that?
 

gutonc

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Does it hurt much to have done research in a field that is unrelated to the field you end up applying to for residency? For example, what if I did optho research for M1 and some of second year because I am interested in it but I find cardio more interesting later and apply to residency for that?

Look 2 posts up for the answer. Also, you won't apply for a cardiology residency, you will apply for an IM residency and then a cards fellowship. IM programs generally think that any research is good research.
 
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mrpixel

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Besides doing research, isn't there any close EC next to research? Are all all other ECs, no matter how great, a distant second to research?

Which is valued more? Basic science research or clinical research?

I didn't see these questions answered in this thread(unless I missed it when reading through) and was wondering these questions too. Any input? Thanks!! :)
 

dragon529

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The general consensus is research >>>>> any other EC in terms of what PDs are looking for in an applicant. In terms of what is valued higher, a pub from bench research will be valued higher than from a clinical research. However, bench usually takes a longer time and a lot more dedication.
 

obgyny

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How much impact do bench research publications obtained before med school have on your residency application? I have a pub from my 2 gap years working in a research lab. And there's 2 more publications I will be on that would get published while I'm in med school (though I'm not working in that lab anymore). I've heard you can put these on the residency application, but I was curious as to how they would be viewed as.
 

gutonc

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I didn't see these questions answered in this thread(unless I missed it when reading through) and was wondering these questions too. Any input? Thanks!! :)

No, in general there is no close EC to research. Doesn't mean you shouldn't do something else but don't think that joining your schools "Ortho Interest Group" is anywhere near as important as research. The one exception to this is if you're sure you're going into something PC related, a project where you start/run something like a homeless health clinic or similar major health outreach program will be viewed pretty favorably by FM and PC-type IM programs. Derm programs will wonder why you were wasting your time on homeless people when they can't afford BoTox anyway.

As for which research is more valued, I think that good research is better, not bench vs. clinical. A solid clinical study (a trial for instance) will be more important than running a few gels over the summer. A good basic science project that gets published in a decent journal will be better than a chart review that you present at the regional ACP conference, etc.
 

mrpixel

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No, in general there is no close EC to research. Doesn't mean you shouldn't do something else but don't think that joining your schools "Ortho Interest Group" is anywhere near as important as research. The one exception to this is if you're sure you're going into something PC related, a project where you start/run something like a homeless health clinic or similar major health outreach program will be viewed pretty favorably by FM and PC-type IM programs. Derm programs will wonder why you were wasting your time on homeless people when they can't afford BoTox anyway.

As for which research is more valued, I think that good research is better, not bench vs. clinical. A solid clinical study (a trial for instance) will be more important than running a few gels over the summer. A good basic science project that gets published in a decent journal will be better than a chart review that you present at the regional ACP conference, etc.

Thanks for the response! That's a good distinction, I'll be keeping these points in mind.
 

calicubed

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How much impact do bench research publications obtained before med school have on your residency application? I have a pub from my 2 gap years working in a research lab. And there's 2 more publications I will be on that would get published while I'm in med school (though I'm not working in that lab anymore). I've heard you can put these on the residency application, but I was curious as to how they would be viewed as.

bump

Also, what about pubs from ugrad? Does having these pubs before med school give a student more leeway in their summer between M1/M2 to not worry so much about being strategic in gaining authorship and perhaps do something else? For example, there are those students that spend their summer in another country and sometimes do clinical research there. In a way, they get to have their last summer and also have the potential to experience a totally different patient population. Or is it smarter in the long run for a student to be involved in a research (basic or clinical) project at their home institution?
 

Valadi

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bump

Also, what about pubs from ugrad? Does having these pubs before med school give a student more leeway in their summer between M1/M2 to not worry so much about being strategic in gaining authorship and perhaps do something else? For example, there are those students that spend their summer in another country and sometimes do clinical research there. In a way, they get to have their last summer and also have the potential to experience a totally different patient population. Or is it smarter in the long run for a student to be involved in a research (basic or clinical) project at their home institution?

All published research is respected. More publications obviously looks better. You'll have to weigh for yourself how competitive you want to be and your summer plans based on that. A clinical trip abroad is nice, but obviously a summer fellowship that results in a paper makes you look like more of a rockstar.
 

guppy3

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What about for specialities that are not as competitive, like Psych or Pedes? What would be the best way to spend the M1 summer, doing a clinical research project or doing a medical mission in another country? Is doing advocacy/prevention work in the community (not research, more like service) valued in applying for residency? I'm interested in doing so many things that summer, I can't decide!
 

MilkmanAl

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What about for specialities that are not as competitive, like Psych or Pedes? What would be the best way to spend the M1 summer, doing a clinical research project or doing a medical mission in another country?
Drink, watch sports, read, hang out, etc.
 

Phyozo

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What about for specialities that are not as competitive, like Psych or Pedes? What would be the best way to spend the M1 summer, doing a clinical research project or doing a medical mission in another country? Is doing advocacy/prevention work in the community (not research, more like service) valued in applying for residency? I'm interested in doing so many things that summer, I can't decide!

If I were you, I'd do clinical research. Even though psych is less competitive, you can bet the class at UCSF or stanford has a much higher average than the average of the specialty as a whole. When you get into the upper levels, everyone looks similar on paper and it'll be those other things that distinguish you. Having said that, most people who will be interviewing you at big name academic places will be/are doing research and will be/are most interested in that.

Or you can decide you just wanna do a community program in a less competitive specialty and drink/play your M1 summer away. Nothing wrong with that either.
 

drizzt3117

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If I were you, I'd do clinical research. Even though psych is less competitive, you can bet the class at UCSF or stanford has a much higher average than the average of the specialty as a whole. When you get into the upper levels, everyone looks similar on paper and it'll be those other things that distinguish you. Having said that, most people who will be interviewing you at big name academic places will be/are doing research and will be/are most interested in that.

Or you can decide you just wanna do a community program in a less competitive specialty and drink/play your M1 summer away. Nothing wrong with that either.

Meh, my brother did nothing his m1 summer and is chief resident at one of the Harvard hospitals in a surgical subspecialty now. You don't absolutely need research to get into a top academic place, even in the most competitive specialties (except rad-onc, probably)
 

Substance

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Meh, my brother did nothing his m1 summer and is chief resident at one of the Harvard hospitals in a surgical subspecialty now. You don't absolutely need research to get into a top academic place, even in the most competitive specialties (except rad-onc, probably)

The most important recipe for getting into a good residency, after having an excellent step 1 score, is getting to know the right people.

Don't ask me how to do it though. I think I'm autistic.
 

Phyozo

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Meh, my brother did nothing his m1 summer and is chief resident at one of the Harvard hospitals in a surgical subspecialty now. You don't absolutely need research to get into a top academic place, even in the most competitive specialties (except rad-onc, probably)

That's probably because he was awesome.

Those of us who are less awesome sometimes need a boost in the form of research =), especially if we come from a less-than-stellar med school.
 

2012mdc

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That's probably because he was awesome.

Those of us who are less awesome sometimes need a boost in the form of research =), especially if we come from a less-than-stellar med school.

I'll revisit this thread after Match Day but I could serve as a good anecdote for the importance of research. I had a strong Step 1 and AOA but no research during med school and my school is not well known (to the point where some interviwers said "Oh, I didn't know School X had a medical school").

Got a good number of interviews at very competitive places but :xf: to see if I actually match at one of them.
 
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