Primary vs. Secondary Research for Residency Applications


Full Member
Oct 30, 2019
  1. Medical Student
    Hello everyone. I'm just curious how primary research is viewed vs. secondary research when applying to residency

    The current PI I am working for mostly does primary clinical research where we have to collect data over periods of time and then we analyze it. This obviously takes longer than secondary research which are usually reviews of articles or data already out there. Do you think it'd be a good idea to look for more secondary research vs. primary research down the road as everyone here is talking about how important the # of publications you have are to residencies.


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      Full Member
      Oct 30, 2019
      1. Medical Student
        A little confused since i thought your other threads already have the answers: How do people get multiple publications during med school? Do people usually do multiple projects at a time or just finish one project then do another

        Also why not do both types of research? Keep the primary one running to get into a high impact journal and get several other smaller ones running on the side to increase the count
        Oh yeah, that question was focused on just my mentor.

        However, your suggestion actually answered answered the bigger question II was thinking about @Lawper as I was thinking about how to increase my research efficiency. I'll just shop around and see if there are any research projects that don't take as long. Thank you very much!


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        Jul 11, 2013
        In my gaff
          For honoring rotations I think optimal order is:
          Psych -> IM -> OBGYN -> Peds -> Surgery -> FM
          Ease into clinical rotations with psych, then set a foundation for the entire year with IM, then learn the basics of the OR in OBGYN so you know how to act during surgery, peds is good right after OBGYN, then end with FM since it's so broad and essentially encompasses all other shelf exams. IMO this is the best schedule for clinic and shelf exams.

          For Step 2 CK, ending with Peds -> Surgery -> IM as your last three would probably best. Taking and studying for the IM shelf after 2 to 3 months of IM is amazing preparation for step. For maxing out your step 2 CK, taking IM last is definitely the best.

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