heen_bean

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I'm an American IMG studying in Ireland. I've done research at Hopkins, UCSF, and Harvard, but due to sheer luck I don't have any publications, poster presentations, or abstracts. I'd say my LORs from those programs would be OK/average, but not spectacular. I have very good extracurriculars though (including a national leadership position and a TEDx talk if that counts for anything). Can I still match without any publications, if my leadership is good? I'm interested in paeds, ob/gyn, or family med.
 

Doctor4Life1769

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You did a Ted Talk?

Neat.
 

Doctor4Life1769

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I've no idea the difference. :shrug:
 
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heen_bean

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TED is the official organization where they invite famous people to speak at their annual conference. TEDx are independently organized events by cities, universities, etc where anyone can apply (though that doesn't guarantee you will get accepted of course).
 

typhoonegator

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Some programs value research more highly than others, but in those specialties listed I'm sure many of them would be intrigued by your application and not turned off by the lack of research output. Not everyone is expected to be cut from the same mold. You've demonstrated leadership, which is a quality that many programs would like to engender. Plus you do have some research experience, just nothing that has led to anything. I think you should still be competitive.
 

the argus

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Lack of publications is not going to stop you from matching in any of the specialties listed, certain programs maybe, but not the specialties as a whole.

I would also not use any LORs from places where you strictly did research. Besides people that are applying to research specific tracks, research letters are mostly worthless. Residency is by and large clinical, and PDs want to see letters evaluating your clinical capacity.
 

rokshana

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I'm an American IMG studying in Ireland. I've done research at Hopkins, UCSF, and Harvard, but due to sheer luck I don't have any publications, poster presentations, or abstracts. I'd say my LORs from those programs would be OK/average, but not spectacular. I have very good extracurriculars though (including a national leadership position and a TEDx talk if that counts for anything). Can I still match without any publications, if my leadership is good? I'm interested in paeds, ob/gyn, or family med.
sorry, that's not sheer luck...thats lack of initiative...

but the good news for you is that as in IMG, its not really the important element of your application...your step scores are the most important item...great scores you will get interviews, crappy scores and your application will suffer.

ob/gyn is fairly competitive for an IMG, peds and fm not so much (but still need to apply widely).
 
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heen_bean

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sorry, that's not sheer luck...thats lack of initiative...

but the good news for you is that as in IMG, its not really the important element of your application...your step scores are the most important item...great scores you will get interviews, crappy scores and your application will suffer.

ob/gyn is fairly competitive for an IMG, peds and fm not so much (but still need to apply widely).
Thank you for your input! I appreciate your advice. :) I wouldn't say it's lack of initiative because some of my research didn't lead to publishable results, and other projects I worked on are long-term so they are are still not completed.

In your opinion, what factors are most important after step scores?
 
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heen_bean

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Lack of publications is not going to stop you from matching in any of the specialties listed, certain programs maybe, but not the specialties as a whole.

I would also not use any LORs from places where you strictly did research. Besides people that are applying to research specific tracks, research letters are mostly worthless. Residency is by and large clinical, and PDs want to see letters evaluating your clinical capacity.
Thank you! I didn't realize clinical LORs were better than research LORs. I'll keep that in mind when I start rotations.

I'm not planning on going into research in my career, and I'm not particular about getting a top spot, as long as I match back here.

I'm taking a year off for health reasons though, so I'll get some research done this year (and hopefully a publication).
 
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heen_bean

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Some programs value research more highly than others, but in those specialties listed I'm sure many of them would be intrigued by your application and not turned off by the lack of research output. Not everyone is expected to be cut from the same mold. You've demonstrated leadership, which is a quality that many programs would like to engender. Plus you do have some research experience, just nothing that has led to anything. I think you should still be competitive.
Thank you! I'm relieved to hear that. I'm taking a year off for health reasons so I'll get some research done then, but I'm glad that even without publications, I'm not screwed.

How strongly do programs view leadership in general? I feel that since my leadership roles are unique they might help me stand out from the crowd (though as to how much it will help, I am not sure).
 

gutonc

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Thank you! I didn't realize clinical LORs were better than research LORs. I'll keep that in mind when I start rotations.
You're being hired to do a clinical job. So recommendations that speak to your ability to do that job, rather than your ability to do tissue culture, or run gels, or whatever the kids are doing in the lab these days, is infinitely more important. At the most, you should use 1 research LOR, and then only if it is amaze-balls.
 

hamstergang

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How long do you think it will be until LORs actually call candidates 'amaze-balls?'
 

Law2Doc

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Thank you for your input! I appreciate your advice. :) I wouldn't say it's lack of initiative because some of my research didn't lead to publishable results, and other projects I worked on are long-term so they are are still not completed.

In your opinion, what factors are most important after step scores?
I think the gist of the advice you've been given stems from two important factors-- the fields you are interested in don't tend to stress research as much as some others, and the places that are more research heavy may not be as interested in an IMG. High step scores and interview skills will be key in your journey. To some extent the experiences at these prestigious programs could make some of the community places that take IMGs wonder about your interest in them, so activities stressing an interest in getting your hands dirty with patients might be more valuable.