Mentoring Relationships/Research

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enantio1988

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Hey everyone,

For those of you in medical school and doing research, how often do you do it compared to time spent studying/in the classroom? Is it relatively easy to find a supervisor who will let you join his or her lab, or is there some formal application process involved? Is it difficult to publish papers frequently given the hectic nature of medical school? Generally, how often do these supervisors (who I'm guessing are mostly MD's) spend time in lab as opposed to teaching/practicing?

Also, I'm interested in finding a really good mentor in medical school, someone who can provide both personal and professional guidance. How exactly do these mentoring relationships work? I know that in graduate school, students tend to work closely with mentors to publish papers, but can such a close and fruitful relationship be feasible in medical school? From current medical students, can you tell me a bit more about your mentoring relationships?

Thanks in advance!

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Well, I work full-time doing research. So, I'd say that my research-study ratio is 2:1.

Research: 40/week (sometimes a little more)
Class: 12 hours/week
Study: 8-10 hours

Oops...

You said medical school students. My B....
 
I'm earning my PhD at the moment, but I worked in my lab during my MS2 year, so I'll try to answer your questions.

For those of you in medical school and doing research, how often do you do it compared to time spent studying/in the classroom?

Let me preface this by saying that I do not study every day - I did attend class during my MS1/MS2 years, but I used most of my non-class time for research. Numerically, that broke down to about 30 hours of in-class time per week, 20-30 hours of lab time per week, and variable study time depending on when exams were scheduled. For me, I was in lab afternoons, evenings, and some weekends when I was exam free, and I took off the 2 days before each exam in order to devote time to studying.

If you are aiming for clinical research rather than bench research, you can get away with far less than 20 hours of lab-time per week.

Is it relatively easy to find a supervisor who will let you join his or her lab, or is there some formal application process involved?

This is fairly easy. At my school, lecturers will even advertise current projects and ask interested student to contact them. No formal application involved.

Is it difficult to publish papers frequently given the hectic nature of medical school?

This depends on whether you are talking about clinical or basic science research. Clinical projects are more flexible and short-term, so publishing is very likely if you devote a few months to a year to the project. Basic science research moves more slowly, and you are unlikely to publish as a part-time student in lab.

Generally, how often do these supervisors (who I'm guessing are mostly MD's) spend time in lab as opposed to teaching/practicing?

This varies between researchers. Generally, the PIs will be academic physicians who see patients, give lectures, oversee studies, and occasionally chair departments. They have full plates and many will dictate the research duties to someone lower on the totem pole.

Also, I'm interested in finding a really good mentor in medical school, someone who can provide both personal and professional guidance. How exactly do these mentoring relationships work? I know that in graduate school, students tend to work closely with mentors to publish papers, but can such a close and fruitful relationship be feasible in medical school? From current medical students, can you tell me a bit more about your mentoring relationships?

At my school, each student is assigned a mentor based on shared interests. After switching three times, I did find a mentor who was able to give me solid (non-sugarcoated) advice about research and medicine. If your school doesn't handle the matching, I would suggest that you look at the faculty profiles of your lecturers and find someone who is doing what you want to do. Then, just get in touch with them, tell them that you have similar interests, and ask if they would be willing to meet with you to discuss their path/work/etc.
 
[Mentoring of medical interns is essential to develop perspective & proficiency.]

Hey everyone,

For those of you in medical school and doing research, how often do you do it compared to time spent studying/in the classroom? Is it relatively easy to find a supervisor who will let you join his or her lab, or is there some formal application process involved? Is it difficult to publish papers frequently given the hectic nature of medical school? Generally, how often do these supervisors (who I'm guessing are mostly MD's) spend time in lab as opposed to teaching/practicing?

Also, I'm interested in finding a really good mentor in medical school, someone who can provide both personal and professional guidance. How exactly do these mentoring relationships work? I know that in graduate school, students tend to work closely with mentors to publish papers, but can such a close and fruitful relationship be feasible in medical school? From current medical students, can you tell me a bit more about your mentoring relationships?

Thanks in advance![/QUOTE]
 
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