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name on publication before med school vs. ms1 summer research

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Ilovewaiting, May 29, 2008.

  1. Ilovewaiting

    Ilovewaiting Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    May 12, 2006
    Hi all,

    I am a rising MS2. I got my name on a few publications before med school, but they were in biodefense/bioterrorism issues- not very clinical or science orientated. How will these look to top residency programs in internal med? I am not doing any research this summer, but am working in family medicine (I figured it would be a good way to get a wide range of experience) for a few weeks.
    Does it make a difference that I have my name on publications despite the field, and does it matter that I am not doing research specifically this summer- or does it only make a difference if you have publications at all, regardless of timing.

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  3. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2003
    what authourship and what journals?
  4. AmoryBlaine

    AmoryBlaine the last tycoon 7+ Year Member

    May 1, 2006
    Publications are universally good. They range from helpful to stellar in terms of how much they contribute to your application to any specialty.
  5. RxnMan

    RxnMan Who, me? A doctor? Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Depending on your level of involvement/authorship/journal, your papers will help a little -> help a lot. The ideal would be to have research and clinical fields line up, but don't worry too much. Your papers, regardless of field, should be on your residency apps. If you're worried about 'having' to do more, only do research if you're actually interested in carrying it throughout your career.
  6. Ilovewaiting

    Ilovewaiting Junior Member 5+ Year Member

    May 12, 2006
    thanks for the responses.
  7. Monica Lewinsky

    Monica Lewinsky 2+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2008
    I never understood how the journal comes into play, despite everyone always citing the significance, when the research was done in a completely different field from the person judging your credentials. There are obvious exceptions (NEJM, Science, Nature, Cell, that league) but most people don't publish in the highest of the top tier journals. But what if you get published in a journal that is well-respected within its field, but the journal is virtually unheard of outside its field (like most journals)? I don't see how anyone can make a judgement call on your research's prestige unless it is also within their area of specialization.

    For example, some lower tier journals have very prestigious sounding names (Journal of 'x specialty') when they aren't highly regarded.
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Generally more recent is weighted more heavily than remote, first author is weighted higher than second, peer reviewed is weighted more heavily than non-peer reviewed, and more prestigious journal is weighted more than other publications. So the ideal (which few attain, and those that do tend to take time off during school), is to be first author in a peer reviewed major publication during med school. And you work back from there with the above parameters. Being a lower placed author in an obscure publication 5 years ago, although better than nothing, is not going to vault you past much competition.
  9. thebeatblitz

    thebeatblitz 5+ Year Member

    Sep 17, 2006
    I think that's what makes it nice about research in the field you want to pursue. But, if they really cared, they could just read the article or look up the journal's impact factor.

    You're right about the naming convention though. I've published as a 2nd to last author in PNAS (sweet!), but first and second authors on JNM (Journal Nuclear Medicine) abstracts and papers (never heard of journal till published), but most of the rads people think pretty highly of JNM, which I found weird when I first started writing. So, apparently a nucs journal is pretty up there as far as imaging journals go (competes with Radiology and Neuroimage).
  10. Monica Lewinsky

    Monica Lewinsky 2+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2008
    Fat chance they'd ever do that :cool:
  11. tbo

    tbo MS-4 10+ Year Member

    May 5, 2002
    Generally speaking, journal prestige is a social construct but those doing the constructing know precisely what the perceived relevance/importance of publishing in them is. The rule I was taught is in medicine, the broader the audience (NEJM reaches pretty much any medical topic) the more prestige but as many have said here, that doesn't hold up. The folks I work for would much rather publish in their subspecialty than in these conglomerate "higher order" journals since "we know what the hell we're talking about".

    Also, one other thing that wasn't mentioned is what professional society is attached to the journal (and therefore which bigwigs attend their annual meetings). Annals of Surgery and Archives of Surgery sound damn near the same, but rest assured that the Annals of Surgery will win any prestige contest any day of the week (associated with the vaunted American Surgical Association).
  12. Monica Lewinsky

    Monica Lewinsky 2+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2008
    Exactly...there's no way to really judge a publication's merit if you are not versed in the particular area in which the work was done.

    It really makes me wonder what utility "quality" research has over research that gets published in a journal that, at least, appears to be at a decent level of legitimacy. After all, as medical students we shouldn't be expected to fall into an amazing idea (trust me, we never have our own amazing research ideas) and attain amazing results.

    For example, you could work your ass off during M1 and M2 (and, of course, the summer in between) and end up with no publication if you were chasing a bad idea. Why should this put you at a disadvantage compared to someone who, perhaps, was less naive in choosing a project which would be more likely to be one to produce better results (it is obvious that some projects are more fruitful than other before they are even started).
  13. Great question.

    So while it behooves you to carefully pick research projects that will be "productive" (i.e. publishable), if your paper does not get accepted anywhere just be prepared to discuss all of the research experience and work ethic later, either on an interview or personal statement. Don't let all your efforts go to waste!

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