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pleeze read - research

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by Nestle, Jan 17, 2002.

  1. Nestle

    Nestle Member 7+ Year Member

    May 20, 2001
    hey guys! i don't know maybe you're all sick of my research questions but...i'm facing a mini-drama right now, cuz i'm torn between two research projects that i could do this summer, my LAST summer. Both are clinical.
    one of them is in a highly competitive field i'm really interested in, a really really interesting topic, but no patient contact whatsoever (its phone surveys). the other one is in a field that's semi-interesting to me but involves lots and lots of patient contact, which i was really looking forward to. what do i do???

    hey also - does anyone do research during their second year, or is that completely ridiculous and unheard of??? (i'm talking something relatively simple - i think - like phone surveys)

    and...when you apply for residency, is it important that research experience be in the field you are applying to?

    if you read this far, thanks!
    i'd really really appreciate any input.
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  3. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    A lot of it depends on which field you're looking to apply in. For example, most of my classmates applying this year in the super-competitive fields like derm or optho have done research in those particular areas. On the other hand, there are many specialties that like research of any kind, not necessarily in their area. Many of the residency programs understand that most med students change their minds about which field they want to go into at least once during medical school, so they expect that applicants will often have research experience outside of that specialty. Some of the highly competitive fields, on the other hand, can afford not to have these realistic expectations.

    Also, keep in mind that most people who do research during their clinical years are doing it more for residency applications than for their own enjoyment. So make sure that whichever project you choose will help you out when it's time for your applications. On the other hand, you do want to enjoy your research, or else you won't be productive. Lastly, in my opinion, patient contact is not a prerequisite for clinical research. You will get plenty of patient contact during your clinical years and during residency, so I wouldn't use that as your sole criteria for choosing your research.

    Hope that helps!
    PS -- which specialty are you thinking about?
  4. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2001
    Whoops -- I misread your original post. When you said your last summer, I thought that you were a 3rd year med student considering a project during your last summer of med school (which is not unheard of).

    Ignore my previous advice! :)

    Since you're only in your 1st year, keep in mind that your career choices may very well change. I would go with the project that sounds the most interesting right now. In some ways, you might want to try out the one in the area that you think you're interested in, so that you could learn more about the specialty and meet some of the faculty. That's exactly what I did during my preclinical years, and it helped me realize that there is no way in h*** that I would ever go into the specialty that I thought I was interested in.

    Keep in mind, that this is not necessarily your last chance to do research. Students can often do clinical research projects during their clinical years, depending on their rotation schedule, usually in the field that they know they are going to apply to.
  5. tulanestudent

    tulanestudent Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 29, 2001
    New Orleans, LA
    Yep, I agreee that you do what you think will be more fun and you'll learn more from (interacting with patients).

    I did lab research that first summer, under a prominent doc at my school, trying to "look good" for a field I was most interested in at the time. I am no longer interested in that specialty, have always hated lab research and dislike it even more now, and didn't get my name on a paper, despite lots of work on repeating experiments that rarely worked. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to do what you think you will enjoy, b/c I made the wrong choice that summer and regret it.

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