Peach Newport

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To me (who's school offers zero research) it seems virtually impossible to get "needed" research.

Why would a PI just let me work in his lab and give me authorship? The only researchers I could find who would let me work with them told me A) publication wouldn't be for years, and B) I would not be getting author credit. They said that "you can't just join in a research group and expect them to let you be an author, you need to work your way up to that and pay your dues."

What I want is a research project I can get my name on, but I've been told NOT to tell PIs this, for, because it shows I'm "in it for the wrong reasons." Even if I'm interested in the subject matter, I always get told "expecting to get your name on a paper is unrealistic."... but if I don't say this, I'll get set up with a long-term project that won't help me at all and waste everyone's time.

I can't keep cold-emailing (most PIs in the area say they only take kids from their school, and a few say they don't work with DOs). I have no family/friend connections.

Also, TBH, when I hint that I'm looking for clinical research that i may be able to publish, I feel like a tremendous a**hole.

On top of that, if I decide I want to do, say, ortho, I'll need this research to be in orthopedic surgery, making it exponentially more difficult.

Please tell me there's some secret trick I'm missing.
 
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BorntobeDO?

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I think it is perfectly reasonable to establish that you want to get published, anyone who says otherwise has their head up their butt. That's why everyone does research including those PI's. So my thought is it only takes one to say yes and your gonna have to spam to find that one. I might try previous grads in competitive residency's who are probably publishing.
 
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IslandStyle808

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The thing about SDN is that you don't get the full reality of what it takes to find a project. Just as you come on here and see USMLE scores of 250 left and right, you will also see dude with multiple publications before MS2. Its an overblown myth on SDN that getting research and publication is easy in medical school (footfetish is learning this in allo forums right now).

I going to say that the people you asked were mostly PhD because those two reasons sound like something they would say. Reason A is understandable because a lot of times it takes years to get a good result. Reason B is bogus and are the same scum that use undergraduate students as slave labor. Be glad you are a medical student because if there is a PI you don't like you can just stop working with them, unlike PhD students whose degree hinges on being in good standing with their PI.

I've been in the same boat (before medical school and during) and in the end it comes down to cold-emails to reach out and find a PI. The reality that DO students face is that research opportunities are hard to come by and you will have to come to terms with doing research that may not be in your field.

Now with that said here is a tip that might help. When looking up PIs in your area, also look them up on PubMed. Look at their most recent publication history. My rule of thumb is 1) make sure they have been publishing within the last 3 years, 2) make sure they are publishing every 2 years or less, and 3) try to see if any of the authors are medical students. If they meet the criteria and you like their research (liking their research is also important), then email them.

When emailing them, mention about their publications and ask them about any similar projects they have. If you are able to get a meeting, talk to him or her about being involved in the research. Make sure to indicate you want to make an intellectual contribution and be a big part. Then ask them where they are at in their project (if they are just starting an IRB, then I suggest not working with them if you are in MS2). If they are beyond that and collecting data, then this seem like a reasonable project to come into.

Its a bit of an art to be able to show your interest at research and at the same time ask about the productivity of the PI. I still struggle at this.
 
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FistLength

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To me (who's school offers zero research) it seems virtually impossible to get "needed" research.

Why would a PI just let me work in his lab and give me authorship? The only researchers I could find who would let me work with them told me A) publication wouldn't be for years, and B) I would not be getting author credit. They said that "you can't just join in a research group and expect them to let you be an author, you need to work your way up to that and pay your dues."

What I want is a research project I can get my name on, but I've been told NOT to tell PIs this, for, because it shows I'm "in it for the wrong reasons." Even if I'm interested in the subject matter, I always get told "expecting to get your name on a paper is unrealistic."... but if I don't say this, I'll get set up with a long-term project that won't help me at all and waste everyone's time.

I can't keep cold-emailing (most PIs in the area say they only take kids from their school, and a few say they don't work with DOs). I have no family/friend connections.

Also, TBH, when I hint that I'm looking for clinical research that i may be able to publish, I feel like a tremendous a**hole.

On top of that, if I decide I want to do, say, ortho, I'll need this research to be in orthopedic surgery, making it exponentially more difficult.

Please tell me there's some secret trick I'm missing.
Islandstyle wrote an excellent response. It sounds like you are reaching out to PhD's, who in my experience have their head in the clouds and don't have the haziest idea of the importance of being part of publications. Say thank you and move on. Both options A and B are worthless for your application.

I was in your same exact situation, despite living in a big city no other school had a space for me. I ended up driving 2 hours every day to do research at another location. Having multiple research projects finished at this point and having worked with multiple people, the right people totally expect you to be part of authorship as they understand the process. You have to keep asking around. You are volunteering your time and efforts, a PI doesn't get a free ride, you need publications. You don't need to start with your name on a paper, you can submit posters to national conferences and give presentations, then make a paper out of it. Goodness tends to build on itself at that point.

The researcher does not have to be a "PI" with a massive grant. It can be an assistant/associate professor trying to build their name, you can do simple retrospective reviews on any idea that they have.
 
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Geraltofrivia

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To me (who's school offers zero research) it seems virtually impossible to get "needed" research.

Why would a PI just let me work in his lab and give me authorship? The only researchers I could find who would let me work with them told me A) publication wouldn't be for years, and B) I would not be getting author credit. They said that "you can't just join in a research group and expect them to let you be an author, you need to work your way up to that and pay your dues."

What I want is a research project I can get my name on, but I've been told NOT to tell PIs this, for, because it shows I'm "in it for the wrong reasons." Even if I'm interested in the subject matter, I always get told "expecting to get your name on a paper is unrealistic."... but if I don't say this, I'll get set up with a long-term project that won't help me at all and waste everyone's time.

I can't keep cold-emailing (most PIs in the area say they only take kids from their school, and a few say they don't work with DOs). I have no family/friend connections.

Also, TBH, when I hint that I'm looking for clinical research that i may be able to publish, I feel like a tremendous a**hole.

On top of that, if I decide I want to do, say, ortho, I'll need this research to be in orthopedic surgery, making it exponentially more difficult.

Please tell me there's some secret trick I'm missing.
If you're at a DO school, good luck finding research. It is basically impossible. If you have the board scores, a gap year in your specialty of choice is going to be your best bet. For what it's worth, most MD students who are looking for competitive specialties also take gap years.

And stop cold-emailing and start cold-calling. It is super frustrating as a DO. I did "research" between first and second year and the PI thought I couldn't even do a simple PCR because I was a DO student, never mind the fact that I already had 4 years behind (I really hate going to a DO school if that's not apparent enough). Turns out the sample she gave me wasn't even DNA. And yes I was telling her to give me something else but she did not believe me at all. You will see this frustration wherever you go.
 

Goro

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To me (who's school offers zero research) it seems virtually impossible to get "needed" research.

Why would a PI just let me work in his lab and give me authorship? The only researchers I could find who would let me work with them told me A) publication wouldn't be for years, and B) I would not be getting author credit. They said that "you can't just join in a research group and expect them to let you be an author, you need to work your way up to that and pay your dues."

What I want is a research project I can get my name on, but I've been told NOT to tell PIs this, for, because it shows I'm "in it for the wrong reasons." Even if I'm interested in the subject matter, I always get told "expecting to get your name on a paper is unrealistic."... but if I don't say this, I'll get set up with a long-term project that won't help me at all and waste everyone's time.

I can't keep cold-emailing (most PIs in the area say they only take kids from their school, and a few say they don't work with DOs). I have no family/friend connections.

Also, TBH, when I hint that I'm looking for clinical research that i may be able to publish, I feel like a tremendous a**hole.

On top of that, if I decide I want to do, say, ortho, I'll need this research to be in orthopedic surgery, making it exponentially more difficult.

Please tell me there's some secret trick I'm missing.
Peach, I re-read your OP 2x and my #1 advice is to lose the entitlement attitude. See bolded above. PIs don't give a rats ass that you need a paper for a competitive residency. A paper may be important to you, but as to researchers, their own time and reagents are more important to them.

And forget about wet lab research. Nobody is going to have a project ready for you to walk into and have a paper go out in five months.

What you need to do is start networking. You need to contact your clinical Faculty, and see if they know of any [fill in your favorite specialty here] people who would take you on as a mentee. Then you can get into the clinical end of a project. Case reports are a possibility, but according to the wise @SouthernSurgeon, these are very rare nowadays, at least for surgical journals. But I see them in decent arthritis journals, at the minimum.

Also contact your grads. IF you're an OMSII or III, ask some of your senior fellow students.

You're in Manhattan, right? That's a big town for research. One of my own students did a research rotation at a Big Name school in the Southeast. It's doable.
 

Neopolymath

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Hopefully it's ok if I piggyback off this topic and ask if anyone has any tips regarding getting my foot in the door with no prior research background?

I'm guessing with clinical research this matters much less? I have a good grasp on statistics. I know that I don't want to do bench work and I swear to god most of my class has some bs masters program background so I would not be competitive with them in a web lab anyways. I'm pretty certain I will be attempting to leverage some clinical contacts outside of school to even have a chance to get a project done because my school has very little research going on that would work as a medical student.
 

Goro

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Hopefully it's ok if I piggyback off this topic and ask if anyone has any tips regarding getting my foot in the door with no prior research background?

I'm guessing with clinical research this matters much less? I have a good grasp on statistics. I know that I don't want to do bench work and I swear to god most of my class has some bs masters program background so I would not be competitive with them in a web lab anyways. I'm pretty certain I will be attempting to leverage some clinical contacts outside of school to even have a chance to get a project done because my school has very little research going on that would work as a medical student.
Every year I ask my own med students if they're interested in doing summer research. I can't take th eons that don't have any lab skills. From hard experience, they just spend the summer learning how to pipette.

Your best bet is in clinical research, especially numbers crunching. Stats experience is always useful.
 

Neopolymath

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Every year I ask my own med students if they're interested in doing summer research. I can't take th eons that don't have any lab skills. From hard experience, they just spend the summer learning how to pipette.

Your best bet is in clinical research, especially numbers crunching. Stats experience is always useful.
That's what I figured and I'm completely ok with that. That said, it is really, really hard to fathom how people don't learn lab skills quickly/easily. I could rebuild your entire engine in a weekend or other complicated tasks. I'm sure I could watch youtube to learn how to pipette lol.

Do I need to go ahead and learn R or something?
 

FistLength

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That's what I figured and I'm completely ok with that. That said, it is really, really hard to fathom how people don't learn lab skills quickly/easily. I could rebuild your entire engine in a weekend or other complicated tasks. I'm sure I could watch youtube to learn how to pipette lol.

Do I need to go ahead and learn R or something?
R will make you look like a boss if you become a wizard at it, if you have a knack for those things by all means. You don't need to understand that much stats to get started in clinical research, so your answer is no, you don't need to learn R, but I could see how it can make you a great help to a lot of physician scientists.
 

FistLength

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Peach, I re-read your OP 2x and my #1 advice is to lose the entitlement attitude. See bolded above. PIs don't give a rats ass that you need a paper for a competitive residency. A paper may be important to you, but as to researchers, their own time and reagents are more important to them.

And forget about wet lab research. Nobody is going to have a project ready for you to walk into and have a paper go out in five months.

What you need to do is start networking. You need to contact your clinical Faculty, and see if they know of any [fill in your favorite specialty here] people who would take you on as a mentee. Then you can get into the clinical end of a project. Case reports are a possibility, but according to the wise @SouthernSurgeon, these are very rare nowadays, at least for surgical journals. But I see them in decent arthritis journals, at the minimum.

Also contact your grads. IF you're an OMSII or III, ask some of your senior fellow students.

You're in Manhattan, right? That's a big town for research. One of my own students did a research rotation at a Big Name school in the Southeast. It's doable.
case reports are rare for proper journals. However unknown journals often send physicians a chance to publish in their journal for free(usually open access and crappy). It's an ok opportunity to get a med students feet wet, if someone really needs to pad their resume with a case report then go ahead, otherwise a proper poster at a national conference is better.
 
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I'm not sure what year you're in, but if you're in your first year then you've got a lot of time.

If you're in your first year I suggest: No basic, wet-lab research. Looks good but takes way too long. Do some kind of clinical volunteer work in the field you're interested in. This exposure, in terms of clinical research, makes a big difference and makes your interest seem more genuine. Start looking into summer research programs. There are a lot. I applied to around 30 programs and got accepted into 2 (I want to do oncology so if this is a field that interests you specifically, PM me and I can give you advice on applying and the program I got into).

If you're a second year: Again, apply to summer research programs. There are honestly a lot of mini camps that you can do (only lasting a week or 2). Most of them set you up with a mentor after the program and you can do continued research. Even if it's in a field you're not really interested in, try it out anyway. There's so much medicine that we haven't been exposed to, so you may end up liking it. If not, then just quit.

Third year: Try to ask docs to do case studies.

4th year: Prepare to do a research year.

Good luck! Research is definitely hard to get into, especially if you're a DO competing with others who have heavy research backgrounds. Don't get discouraged, even after my summer experience I still had to cold e-mail professors. Most didn't even have enough time to give me a response. Hope this helps!
 

AnatomyGrey12

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They said that "you can't just join in a research group and expect them to let you be an author, you need to work your way up to that and pay your dues."
Yeah, if they are saying this then you are talking to the wrong people.

Peach, I re-read your OP 2x and my #1 advice is to lose the entitlement attitude. See bolded above. PIs don't give a rats ass that you need a paper for a competitive residency. A paper may be important to you, but as to researchers, their own time and reagents are more important to them.
I agree for PhDs that they probably don't care, but you have to play the game to win the game and for residency pubs is the name of the research game. It's not an entitlement issue, it's just the nature of the beast.


Peach forget the lab research, that takes absolutely forever to do anything. One thing I'm a little surprised that no one has mentioned is to reach out to the many residency programs near you in NY. Per ACGME requirements there has to be a certain research output so every program will have at least a few residents with projects going, and I'm sure there is at least one resident out there busy enough to consider having s local medical student help out with something. Obviously the big academic programs will likely not want a DO, but one of the community programs might.
 
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If you're at a DO school, good luck finding research. It is basically impossible.
I'd say it's school dependent, and if you come in with a solid research background, that'll open doors as well. Like I certainly don't think it's impossible at all to find a lab to do research in here at State.
 
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68PGunner

I'm not going to do research bc the fields that I'm interested in aren't competitive. However, if you're going to spend your time doing research, you need to make sure that you will published. So, be upfront about your weekly time commitment, timeline to be published, and your contributory role and credit as noted at the end. We're not in undergrad anymore. Our times are important as well.
 

TheaterOfTheme

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I'm not going to do research bc the fields that I'm interested in aren't competitive. However, if you're going to spend your time doing research, you need to make sure that you will published. So, be upfront about your weekly time commitment, timeline to be published, and your contributory role and credit as noted at the end. We're not in undergrad anymore. Our times are important as well.
but you a gunner...

Yeah, if they are saying this then you are talking to the wrong people.


Peach forget the lab research, that takes absolutely forever to do anything. One thing I'm a little surprised that no one has mentioned is to reach out to the many residency programs near you in NY. Per ACGME requirements there has to be a certain research output so every program will have at least a few residents with projects going, and I'm sure there is at least one resident out there busy enough to consider having s local medical student help out with something. Obviously the big academic programs will likely not want a DO, but one of the community programs might.
This, I am actually trying to accomplish right now in my field of interest. It seems like it should work, but who knows.
 

Azete

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I'm just gonna throw this out there, any project you can't complete over summer break isn't worth doing. You're far better off using that time to add 5-10 points to your Step 1 score. Sounds silly, but a 240 with no research will open more doors than a 230 with research.

If you decide on a specialty that requires it, do it 3rd year. There's more free time than you think.
 
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Peach Newport

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Yeah, I think you have to just get used to being mistreated. I think it is perfectly reasonable to establish that you want to get published, anyone who says otherwise has their head up their butt. That's why everyone does research including those PI's. So my thought is it only takes one to say yes and your gonna have to spam to find that one. I might try previous grads in competitive residency's who are probably publishing.[/QUOTE
I'm just gonna throw this out there, any project you can't complete over summer break isn't worth doing. You're far better off using that time to add 5-10 points to your Step 1 score. Sounds silly, but a 240 with no research will open more doors than a 230 with research.

If you decide on a specialty that requires it, do it 3rd year. There's more free time than you think.
A few days ago there was a guy saying that for some fields (I think he mentioned radonc), a 230 with excellent research beats 250+ and no research. He was saying that this is why even a DO with a 230 can match radonc *IF* his research is good, but so few DOs match because of lack of research.
 

Azete

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A few days ago there was a guy saying that for some fields (I think he mentioned radonc), a 230 with excellent research beats 250+ and no research. He was saying that this is why even a DO with a 230 can match radonc *IF* his research is good, but so few DOs match because of lack of research.
Maybe in theory, but when PDs get 900 applications for 3 spots they usually just filter out anything less than X board score to cut it down to ~150 for time reasons. So while they may like the 230 guy better, the reality is his app probably isn't getting read.
 
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Goro

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I agree for PhDs that they probably don't care, but you have to play the game to win the game and for residency pubs is the name of the research game. It's not an entitlement issue, it's just the nature of the beast..
Fully understand that, 100%. But it's not germane to PIs.
 
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68PGunner

I'm just gonna throw this out there, any project you can't complete over summer break isn't worth doing. You're far better off using that time to add 5-10 points to your Step 1 score. Sounds silly, but a 240 with no research will open more doors than a 230 with research.

If you decide on a specialty that requires it, do it 3rd year. There's more free time than you think.
Hey boss. Can you elucidate on research opportunities during 3rd year? For example, I hear from some people like you that you will get some downtime. However, I then hear from some people that you're in the hospital working from 6 AM to 6PM w/o any time left. I'm assuming that these people are being truthful in some ways. Can you clarify the situation? Thanks.
 
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68PGunner

but you a gunner...
There's a diff between gunning hard for a purpose and being stupid and wasting your time w/o any return. Researching w/o pubs is called being stupid and wasting precious time. You're going to be a physician, so you better value your time. Every hr wasted researching w/o pubs mean less time to study for Step 1, resulting in an overall negative return. When you're a physician who's gunning for that super competitive fellowship, any hr spent researching w/o a solid chance of pubs means $200-300 of cash for one hr of work as an attending. Learn to value yourself and your time.
 

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A few days ago there was a guy saying that for some fields (I think he mentioned radonc), a 230 with excellent research beats 250+ and no research. He was saying that this is why even a DO with a 230 can match radonc *IF* his research is good, but so few DOs match because of lack of research.
Maybe in theory, but when PDs get 900 applications for 3 spots they usually just filter out anything less than X board score to cut it down to ~150 for time reasons. So while they may like the 230 guy better, the reality is his app probably isn't getting read.
There is truth to both of this and it is program specific. The other nuanced aspect of this is who you get your LOR from, if you are researching with a big name, it goes a very long way, especially if they make calls on your behalf. That is another reason why research is helpful, the connections can be invaluable.
 
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Azete

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There is truth to both of this and it is program specific. The other nuanced aspect of this is who you get your LOR from, if you are researching with a big name, it goes a very long way, especially if they make calls on your behalf. That is another reason why research is helpful, the connections can be invaluable.
High quality research with a big name will always go a long way. Unfortunately, at DO schools, these opportunities rarely exist. OP is better off controlling what he can (Step 1 score) rather than deluding himself into thinking random bench work in an unrelated field, with a PhD nobody has ever heard of, will somehow help match a competitive specialty.

Hey boss. Can you elucidate on research opportunities during 3rd year? For example, I hear from some people like you that you will get some downtime. However, I then hear from some people that you're in the hospital working from 6 AM to 6PM w/o any time left. I'm assuming that these people are being truthful in some ways. Can you clarify the situation? Thanks.
It's very rotation specific. My current rotation is about 4-5 hours a day, M-F; plenty of free time, obviously. My next rotation (surgery) will be a lot closer to the 6-6 that you're referring to. Our school also offers one "blank" 6 week rotation that we can use any way we choose -- extra audition, research, cruising the Caribbean, really anything we want.

Opportunities are also a lot easier to come by, in my opinion. You're networking with a whole new set of MDs/DOs every few weeks and a lot of them would love extra help with case studies (I've got two I'm helping with right now that publish annually). Finding bench work is basically impossible, but beggars can't be choosers.
 
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Maybe in theory, but when PDs get 900 applications for 3 spots they usually just filter out anything less than X board score to cut it down to ~150 for time reasons. So while they may like the 230 guy better, the reality is his app probably isn't getting read.
No I'm telling you guys that this matters a hell of a whole lot more than people on SDN want to believe. There are too many examples for it not to be true: derm with a 240, NS ~245, rad onc with a 230, optho with a 230, integrated CT with low 240s. plastics at penn? Don't know his Step score but he got the spot because of research and making connections with the department. They all had good research and pubs. Those fields are a lot less about boards once you get to a certain point. It's how you get someone with a 270 who can't match MD ortho, because they have 0 research (example from SDN).

rather than deluding himself into thinking random bench work in an unrelated field, with a PhD nobody has ever heard of, will somehow help match a competitive specialty.
Completely agree. Bench work as a med student is more than worthless, it's a time waster.
 
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I think it is perfectly reasonable to establish that you want to get published, anyone who says otherwise has their head up their butt. That's why everyone does research including those PI's. So my thought is it only takes one to say yes and your gonna have to spam to find that one. I might try previous grads in competitive residency's who are probably publishing.
Agree. I have never worked for a PI that doesn't tells me there is a publishable project and that anything I do that is part of the paper means I get authorship.

Always make clear what you want.
 

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Hey! So I got to TCOM, which has a plethora of basic science opportunities for first and second years and a clinical pediatric subspecialty research rotation for rising second years at Cook's.

In general research is what you make it. My passion is for basic science and that's what I've done so far, my last productive experience being the summer before first year in a reputable lab that resulted in a Nature pub. Unfortunately I'm at a point where the benefits for basic science research don't exceed the cost of time away from studying for boards.

The best thing to do in your situation, that I'm doing now, is network. My school is lucky in having adjunct faculty and physicians from around DFW come to our school for lunch talks, seminars, and even as course directors. Many of them, esp for our last renal and neuro blocks, are incredibly productive and have published in journals like NEJM. All you have to do is ask them about their current clinical research endeavors and show interest in any of their projects. Getting involved is not difficult if you show initiative, competency, and interest.

Cold emailing is how I've gotten most of my experiences. It's also how many of my classmates are getting experiences. And the value is not in being necessarily productive in the 4-5 weeks you're there during a summer but in maintaining that connection after, maintaining interest in the project, and contributing from afar with data mining and in silica work. One of my classmates worked in a Mayo Clinic lab last summer, another went to MD Anderson, several went to UTSW, JPS, Cook Children's, and Baylor Dallas. I volunteered in a radonc lab at MD Anderson and while I'm positive we won't get published for a year or so, I know we eventually will.

Having a mentor who can help you forge these connections is also crucial. My advice is to find national databases for medical student-mentor matching services (if you're school doesn't help with this). SIR is a great avenue for those interested in Rads, and I've found one through the ASCO mentorship database.

Lastly, have you considered applying for a national program like the Sarnoff, NIH Med Scholars Program, or HHMI? There are also departments (i.e. Penn Plastics, UCSD RadOnc) that offer one year research externships for students willing to take a year off. I haven't personally found a bias against DO applicants for these opportunities and honestly believe many DO students self select themselves out of even applying. I'll be taking a year off next year to return to MD Anderson, for example, to the same lab I previously published in.

Hope any of that helps!
 
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Hkhan

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Hey! So I got to TCOM, which has a plethora of basic science opportunities for first and second years and a clinical pediatric subspecialty research rotation for rising second years at Cook's.

In general research is what you make it. My passion is for basic science and that's what I've done so far, my last productive experience being the summer before first year in a reputable lab that resulted in a Nature pub. Unfortunately I'm at a point where the benefits for basic science research don't exceed the cost of time away from studying for boards.

The best thing to do in your situation, that I'm doing now, is network. My school is lucky in having adjunct faculty and physicians from around DFW come to our school for lunch talks, seminars, and even as course directors. Many of them, esp for our last renal and neuro blocks, are incredibly productive and have published in journals like NEJM. All you have to do is ask them about their current clinical research endeavors and show interest in any of their projects. Getting involved is not difficult if you show initiative, competency, and interest.

Cold emailing is how I've gotten most of my experiences. It's also how many of my classmates are getting experiences. And the value is not in being necessarily productive in the 4-5 weeks you're there during a summer but in maintaining that connection after, maintaining interest in the project, and contributing from afar with data mining and in silica work. One of my classmates worked in a Mayo Clinic lab last summer, another went to MD Anderson, several went to UTSW, JPS, Cook Children's, and Baylor Dallas. I volunteered in a radonc lab at MD Anderson and while I'm positive we won't get published for a year or so, I know we eventually will.

Having a mentor who can help you forge these connections is also crucial. My advice is to find national databases for medical student-mentor matching services (if you're school doesn't help with this). SIR is a great avenue for those interested in Rads, and I've found one through the ASCO mentorship database.

Lastly, have you considered applying for a national program like the Sarnoff, NIH Med Scholars Program, or HHMI? There are also departments (i.e. Penn Plastics, UCSD RadOnc) that offer one year research externships for students willing to take a year off. I haven't personally found a bias against DO applicants for these opportunities and honestly believe many DO students self select themselves out of even applying. I'll be taking a year off next year to return to MD Anderson, for example, to the same lab I previously published in.

Hope any of that helps!
Didn't TCOM have that person that matched neurosurg @ mayo?
So are they an exception for DO schools or is the cold emailing something that works throughout all DO schools (just wondering)?

The other strats are good & smart ideas IMHO.


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navigator

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Didn't TCOM have that person that matched neurosurg @ mayo?
So are they an exception for DO schools or is the cold emailing something that works throughout all DO schools (just wondering)?

The other strats are good & smart ideas IMHO.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yeah Dr Ebot! He's a cool guy and someone you should reach out to if you're a DO interested in that field.

My classmate is actually interested in ortho and cold emailed a bunch of PIs at Mayo. We have a '14 TCOM grad in their ortho program so they knew our students would be productive and he had an awesome time there from what I hear.

I wouldn't say my school is the exception. Show initiative, read up on their current grants so you have a general idea of what they're researching and seem competent, and reach out with a short professional email to as many PIs as possible. Also find a mentor to help you forge connections. All of these things are dependent on the student not the school.
 
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Robotfishbrain

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I'm non-trad that was an RA for 4 years and a lab manager 2 years. If someone came in saying they strictly just want a pub I wouldn't hire them as an RA. I need to know that you're here to work in a field you have interest in because the reality of research is that publication for any given project is NEVER guaranteed. This is true for the PI, graduate students and anyone on payroll involved in the project. The beauty (and stressful) part of research is no one knows what's going to happen. Sometimes you work on something for years and no publications come of it.

That's why you don't say you strictly want the publication. Because they simply can't guarantee that there will be one, especially after 2-3 months. Even though my school is a full-university, I promise you PIs will turn away med students that come in the door with your attitude.

Let this be a heads up for future DO apps. Board scores are largely individual, but research opportunities offered to the students is universal. OUHCOM has no shortage of projects and opportunities and it's one of the reasons I chose it.
 

navigator

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^ I respectfully disagree. They should know that while you are interested in the research, you are equally invested in matching into your field of interest and that publications are a means to that end.

Were you in a basic science lab? I see that attitude often in basic science labs but most medical students should be working on clinical projects anyway, which take less time and are far easier to publish.
 
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rrxr

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I think it's a fair point that publication often takes years. But I do not think the situation in the OP is fair, to say that the student can't have authorship IF there is a paper unless they "work themselves up". Wtf? Most students aren't paid for research like a tech is, they shouldn't accept not getting authorship on any papers they help with. I've accepted several projects with low chance of pub but I would never do it if I could never get authorship if by chance there was one. A good mentor wouldn't do that to a student.
 
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Robotfishbrain

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I think it's a fair point that publication often takes years. But I do not think the situation in the OP is fair, to say that the student can't have authorship IF there is a paper unless they "work themselves up". Wtf? Most students aren't paid for research like a tech is, they shouldn't accept not getting authorship on any papers they help with. I've accepted several projects with low chance of pub but I would never do it if I could never get authorship if by chance there was one. A good mentor wouldn't do that to a student.
I can agree with this but I'm willing to bet something was lost in translation in OPs situation. Most PIs (if not all) will give authorship to whoever worked on the project in the order of level of contribution (the one who contributed the most gets first author, etc). If someone came in asking to be first author on a project they didn't do the most work on, I wouldn't consider them off the bat.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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OUHCOM has no shortage of projects and opportunities and it's one of the reasons I chose it.
Yeah I think the state schools have a large leg up in this regard.
 
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I'm going to be frank here: if this is really what's going on, you absolutely do not want any of these individuals as your PI. I'm not merely saying this to make you feel better for venting, I'm being completely candid based off of personal experience. Finding a good PI is everything in terms of getting published as well as not having mental breakdowns. I have seen a few peers work under a particular professor who was known for not liking medical students, but chose him specifically for his topic of research. He knows most med students were just wanting research for better residency applications instead of having a strong desire to go into research for a living. Long story short: it's a very bad idea to work under those who already expressed contempt towards your desire to be published. One rather humorous aspect of biological research is that many PIs are known for putting practically everyone involved on there. I think Jorge Cham of PhD comics even made fun of this specifically. As an example, I was published in my first paper for nothing other than making the PBSx1 buffer for slide washing. In comparison, a peer of mine was never published after putting two years of heavy work into training rats and subsequently them- all because of the PI they worked under. I also suggest communicating with PhDs outside of your school personally about your situation and continue to send emails. I know that's the last thing you want to hear since you've been doing that for some time already, but you may be able to conduct research from a distance if it's an observational study (the impact of social media, etc). I'm sorry you're dealing with this.
 

Anti-PD1

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Don't work with PhDs unless you have 1+ year and you're a Leprechaun.

Follow these steps:

1) PubMed. You have to be a private eye as a med student to find research. PubMed search "Ortho*[Affiliation] AND 'your city/state[Affiliation]' and you'll find anyone who's putting out peer-reviewed ortho research in your area (I used the wildcard Ortho* because those fake Brit Orthopaedic douches are out there, but I still love them.)

2) Methodology. Did they use RNAseq or PCR or CRISPR or some fancy ish? Ignore. “Ain't nobody got time for that!" - Sweet Brown. Is the methodology retrospective, chart review, big database etc? Money. (This goes without saying to anyone. Please learn your stats. Seriously. Get SPSS, even Minitab if you have to, learn your basic stats.) Read up on the review. Come up with ideas that would be the next logical step. I.e. they studied whether chemotherapy improved survival in gliomatosis cerebri. You can say you're interested in seeing if radiation therapy makes a difference (real answer, no one knows for GC but they're working on it).

3) IRB approval and stuff. To make your cold email even more legit, already look into the process of how to get onto an IRB for a retrospective clinical study. I.e. say in your email I contacted Breanna Whatsherface in the IRB office and have started my training, I should be able to look through patient records in 2 weeks.

Basically, make 'Yes' an inevitable answer. And if you do get the gig, turn things around fast. Always offer to write sections or the whole paper. And write well. You wanna be the guy or gal they can trust to get their project done in a week.

Always provide your CV in the email.

Do this until you succeed.
 

Robotfishbrain

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^ I respectfully disagree. They should know that while you are interested in the research, you are equally invested in matching into your field of interest and that publications are a means to that end.

Were you in a basic science lab? I see that attitude often in basic science labs but most medical students should be working on clinical projects anyway, which take less time and are far easier to publish.

I was not. I was in a brain imaging lab that had no shortage of applicants looking for a spot. We all know that the end game is publications, but it simply isn't something we can guarantee anyone. We ended up hiring those who had already demonstrated interest in the field and had a relevant skill in their work/research experience in their undergrad years.
 
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navigator

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Don't work with PhDs unless you have 1+ year and you're a Leprechaun.

Follow these steps:

1) PubMed. You have to be a private eye as a med student to find research. PubMed search "Ortho*[Affiliation] AND 'your city/state[Affiliation]' and you'll find anyone who's putting out peer-reviewed ortho research in your area (I used the wildcard Ortho* because those fake Brit Orthopaedic douches are out there, but I still love them.)

2) Methodology. Did they use RNAseq or PCR or CRISPR or some fancy ish? Ignore. “Ain't nobody got time for that!" - Sweet Brown. Is the methodology retrospective, chart review, big database etc? Money. (This goes without saying to anyone. Please learn your stats. Seriously. Get SPSS, even Minitab if you have to, learn your basic stats.) Read up on the review. Come up with ideas that would be the next logical step. I.e. they studied whether chemotherapy improved survival in gliomatosis cerebri. You can say you're interested in seeing if radiation therapy makes a difference (real answer, no one knows for GC but they're working on it).

3) IRB approval and stuff. To make your cold email even more legit, already look into the process of how to get onto an IRB for a retrospective clinical study. I.e. say in your email I contacted Breanna Whatsherface in the IRB office and have started my training, I should be able to look through patient records in 2 weeks.

Basically, make 'Yes' an inevitable answer. And if you do get the gig, turn things around fast. Always offer to write sections or the whole paper. And write well. You wanna be the guy or gal they can trust to get their project done in a week.

Always provide your CV in the email.

Do this until you succeed.
Legit
 
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navigator

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Brief update on this- I applied for and am grateful to have received an HHMI Med Fellows program offer. Hadn’t experienced any DO bias at all during the application process. I was surprised to find out they haven’t accepted DO applicants in several years- the reason being that they simply don’t get enough applications from DO students.

If you have a moderate research background, this could be an incredible opportunity for you to pursue your research interests in some of the best labs in the country. I hope more DO students will apply in the future.
 

FistLength

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Brief update on this- I applied for and am grateful to have received an HHMI Med Fellows program offer. Hadn’t experienced any DO bias at all during the application process. I was surprised to find out they haven’t accepted DO applicants in several years- the reason being that they simply don’t get enough applications from DO students.

If you have a moderate research background, this could be an incredible opportunity for you to pursue your research interests in some of the best labs in the country. I hope more DO students will apply in the future.
Dude that is huge!! congratulations! Really proud of you!
 
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SLC

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Maybe what you’re looking for is the wrong type of project? It should be in a field you’re interested in, but it doesn’t need to be the type of stuff that’s going in NEJM. If it’s taking years to wrap up, or the PI is protective of authorship, it’s totally the wrong project for a med student.

I took a premed under my project this year and put him in as second author. We had it wrapped up in like 2 months, and he got a pub out of it.
 
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