Need advice re: Research

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10+ Year Member
Aug 3, 2005
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Hi -
I would like to ask a question regarding my personal situation this year. I am between my 2nd and 3rd years of med school and am taking a year off to do research. Since summer, I have been working in a lab in the patholoogy department of my school which focuses on cancer immunotherapy research. My question is whether or not I should try to find a radiation oncology lab for next semester - this would give me about 5 months in each lab if I made the switch in January. The other option is to stay in my current lab for the rest of the year. While this is what I originally planned to do, I want to make sure that I make the most of my year off in terms of learning. While I would like to publish this year, I'm not sure it will happen under the guidance of my current mentor. And, in case anyone is wondering, I am not being supported financially by my current lab, so in that sense I am free to move around. If anyone has any advice, it would certainly be appreciated.
Thanks so much,
A. :)


And to think . . . I hesitated
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Apr 16, 2004
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Good question, but this is a tough call.

For those of us who have done basic research, I think we would agree in principle that it is better to devote one year to a single project than six months to two. Ultimately, your goal should be to publish, whether that is an abstract or a manuscript or a peer-reviewed journal.

Perhaps you could sit down with your mentor and discuss these issues. I don't know about the importance of publishing in rad onc vs. med onc, perhaps others with more experience could comment on this.