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Pubs for internal medicine residency?


Full Member
Feb 1, 2020
  1. Medical Student
About how many publications should I shoot for to be a viable candidate for an internal medicine residency at an academic medical center and/or in a desirable location? Of what quality or type should the pubs be? I'm about to start med school at a low-tier DO school, so I've got that to contend with. So far, I'm the first author on two systematic reviews about treatments for a neurodegenerative disease published in a low-tier journal about that disease. I read about a DO student who didn't get interviews at any of the fancy programs he did away rotations at because he didn't have enough research experience. I'm trying to figure out how to avoid the same outcome. I've also read on here it's difficult to "match well" in IM. Any thoughts?


Full Member
5+ Year Member
Sep 7, 2016
  1. Resident [Any Field]
My classmate got a top 30 IM program in a big city with two dinky research projects in an open access journal (and dope board scores). I had more average boards and the same research and ended up at a less prestigious but still good program. As long as you have a few things like case reports, abstracts etc you'll be fine. The really fancy programs in desirable areas like Columbia and UCSD are unlikely to take a DO regardless of research or boards though, so don't set your sights too high.

Also remember that "matching well" on SDN is not the same as "matching well" in real life.
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Full Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2013
  1. Resident [Any Field]
From my experience, I did not get the sense that research is nearly as important for IM as it for the competitive specialties, so your med school performance will largely determine where you get interviews. Pubs will not make up for average/poor performance, but an outstanding performance can minimize the need for publications. With that said, it's difficult to give you a precise number. I know it's not really helpful advice, but do as much research as is feasible without sacrificing your ability to do well in your classes/rotations.
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