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publications necessary?

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by cp00739, May 27, 2002.

  1. cp00739

    cp00739 Member
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    is it necessary to have one or more publications to be accepted into MD/PhD?

    in may case, the last two summers I have been able to produce and abstract along with a poster to present at our university's local "Faculty of medicine summer students' research day", would these two abstracts/posters suffice?

    thanks!
     
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  3. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    Pubs look great but are not necessary. I didn't have any when I was applying.
     
  4. Neuronix

    Neuronix Total nerd
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    Every professor I've ever talked to about MD/PhD has tried to tell me that publications are necessary to get into MD/PhD, especially at the good schools. Now though I know that they were wrong. If you ask around here, very few of the people who went from undergraduate to MD/PhD programs had publications. In fact, SonicHedgehog, my MD/PhD role model, got into a top notch program without any.

    So don't sweat it. From what I understand you just need to be ready to intelligently discuss your research and you should be ok. From what I hear there's so many reasons you can't get publications as an undergrad (me included!), that it's normal for you not to have one.
     
  5. atsai3

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    No publications necessary. It may backfire if you attempt to pass off a presentation at a local "research day" as a published abstract. But if you are far enough along in your research to have accomplished this much, then it certainly won't hurt you to list it under your research experience. And if you can discuss your research intelligently (including limitations), then you're golden.

    Cheers
    -a.
     
  6. isidella

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    On the other hand, can too many publications in peer-reviewed journals hurt you? Could this make an applicant seem too experienced or possibly "set is his ways?" I have 2 as an undergrad and 2 as a post-bacc. Is anyone else worried about this?
     
  7. RT

    RT Rt
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    Nah. I think 2 pubs as undergrad and 2 as postbac are great. If anything, I'd rather be overqualified than under. Again, it's not necessary, but having pubs especially 1st author would definitely improve your qualification.

    I on the other hand have been trying to get as much pubs as humanly feasible, so I'd give you two thumbs up all the way <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> :) Congratulations.
     
  8. Vader

    Vader Dark Lord of the Sith
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by isidella:
    <strong>On the other hand, can too many publications in peer-reviewed journals hurt you? Could this make an applicant seem too experienced or possibly "set is his ways?" I have 2 as an undergrad and 2 as a post-bacc. Is anyone else worried about this?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Congratulations on the publications. Just make sure you can describe the experiments and communicate the results, conclusions, and broader significance (all of which I'm sure you can do already). :D
     
  9. Bikini Princess

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    :) A bit of recent advice from my 4 years doing research undergrad: (graduated two weeks ago yay!!!) :)

    Be sure to make sure your PI publishes fairly often.

    My new PI doesn't publish very often because he likes to save up data for the prestigious journals. It's bad because I'd rather have my name in FEBS letters than no pub. at all.

    Also, try to have a PI who is well-connected. Ie. is on the editorial board of a journal, a member of science societies (ie NAS) and well-funded. And undergrad students under you to do the trivial but time-consuming work, like making solutions or doing two-hyrid screening.

    In an ideal world, you want to be the person interpreting the results, not the person doing them. :) And get a chance to write proposals or abstracts for meetings too. You want your name first; not wedged between the post-doc, the PI, and five other people.

    Wow this is went way long..but I doing research is really fun, lab people are always so fun to be around. :) Good luck! : ) <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  10. MacGyver

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    What is considered prolific publishing?

    2 or 3 pubs a year? or more like 5-6?
     
  11. isidella

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    It very good to hear this feedback, and I am always a sucker for praise <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> Now here is the next question:
    My first two pubs were in the evolutionary biology of deep-sea corals and my two most recent pubs are regarding the molecular staging of cancer. I changed my interest from marine genomics to cancer after some soul-searching sparked by personal crisis. I am not wishy-washy about what I want to do, but it may appear that way from the outside. For instance, consider: "So your mom died of cancer and this week you want to cure it, so when your dad dies of heart disease, will you change your interests again?" (One of my PIs said that to me during my interview for the tech position I am now in.) I fear the same may happen during MD/PhD interviews, god willing I get one. Any advice how to make my transition seem smoother from the outside. Does anyone see this as a problem? Thanks for taking the time to help me out; I hope I can do the same for some of you in the future. Isid
     
  12. RT

    RT Rt
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    I don't see that as a problem. Undergrad and grad research have little to do with what you'd be doing later on. What's more important for one's career is postdoctoral research. And yes, it would be wise to pick an area where you're dearly interested in for your postdoc.

    Most undergrads do research just for the experience, not because they're genuinely inspired by the topic. So a smoother transition would be you discovered that research is worthwhile during your study with marine genomics. And so you prefered doing something that would relate to your personal experience, which would make the research even more meaningful. However, changing interest early is much easier than changing it ten years down the road simply because to do advanced research, one needs the expertise and knowledge, which would require a couple of years to build.

    It's also important to pick a solvable problem with great career outlooks taking into consideration the competition. We wouldn't want to stick to a dead-end project just to prove that we're brilliant.
     
  13. atsai3

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    The fact that you have publications is not supposed to be an indication of your future career. (Primarily.) At this stage of your life, all it basically means is that you can do research, and you can do it well enough to get published.

    Many MD/PhD students choose a certain course of research during their "in between" PhD years that has almost nothing to do with their clinical interest. For example, suppose after you finish 2 years of medical school you're really interested in biochemistry, metabolism, and diabetes. You then spend another 3-5 years writing your dissertation in this area. Then you go back to medical school, decide that internal medicine is not for you, and go for radiology. (And this happens quite a lot. There's nothing that helps you with your decisionmaking more than actually *doing* time on the wards.)

    If this happense, the PhD isn't *useless*. The PhD portion of your training is as much about putting together a toolbox of methods (that you can use to apply elsewhere, if you decide to go in another direction) as it is about putting together an area of expertise.

    The other thing arguing for the PhD portion of the MD/PhD being about putting together a toolbox is because by the time you finish your clinical training, you will be at least 5 years (2 medical school+3 residency) from picking up your research agenda again. That's a lot of time. Things change.

    This is just a long winded way of saying that you don't need to worry that your publications are in different fields. They won't take it as a sign of wishy-washy-ness, but rather that you are capable enough to publish in a variety of disciplines. It's way too early for them to &gt;expect&lt; that much of a focus.

    Cheers,
    -a.
     

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