MD Research at a cancer foundation vs at a university - what is better?

Research volunteer at a cancer foundation vs a university - which is better?

  • Cancer foundation

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    3
Aug 9, 2017
8
3
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MD/PhD Student
Hi everyone, I've been confused with the following - is it better to be a research volunteer at a prestigious cancer foundation or with a University? Pros and Cons of each? I'm trying to strengthen my application for next years match!

Thanks in advance!
 

bashwell

5+ Year Member
Mar 20, 2013
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Hi everyone, I've been confused with the following - is it better to be a research volunteer at a prestigious cancer foundation or with a University? Pros and Cons of each? I'm trying to strengthen my application for next years match!

Thanks in advance!
In order for people to better help you, you might want to let people know the answers to questions like:
-Which specialty are you aiming for (e.g., IM -- are you also aiming for hem/onc eventually)?
-Are you a US MD, DO, IMG, US-IMG?
-Did you already try to match last year?
-What are your USMLE Step 1/2 scores?
-Do you already have some research or other degrees (e.g., PhD)?
-Etc.

For example, if you are an IMG hoping to match into IM, then you could try to do research for the Dept of IM at a place that accepts a lot of IMGs and a place where you can get to know the PD, aPDs, and others who can help you. However, if you have already finished your IM residency, and are trying to match into hem/onc, then it would be good to get to know hem/onc PDs and others who can write you a strong LOR and whom you can publish research with so researching at a cancer center might make sense.
 
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OP
X
Aug 9, 2017
8
3
Status
MD/PhD Student
In order for people to better help you, you might want to let people know the answers to questions like:
-Which specialty are you aiming for (e.g., IM -- are you also aiming for hem/onc eventually)?
-Are you a US MD, DO, IMG, US-IMG?
-Did you already try to match last year?
-What are your USMLE Step 1/2 scores?
-Do you already have some research or other degrees (e.g., PhD)?
-Etc.

For example, if you are an IMG hoping to match into IM, then you could try to do research for the Dept of IM at a place that accepts a lot of IMGs and a place where you can get to know the PD, aPDs, and others who can help you. However, if you have already finished your IM residency, and are trying to match into hem/onc, then it would be good to get to know hem/onc PDs and others who can write you a strong LOR and whom you can publish research with so researching at a cancer center might make sense.

Yes, thank you for your reply - I am new to this whole "forum" World..

To clarify - I am a non-US IMG, aiming for IM ---> hem/onc or endo. Planning on applying for the 2019 Match (which would be my first time applying).
3 previous research experiences as first author, 2 poster presentations, 2 oral presentation and 1 peer reviewed publication (US Journal).
Step 1 - 221 , Step 2CS - pass (first attempt), Step2 CK soon-ish.

I'm just trying to figure a way to strengthen my application and do something useful while I wait for next year's match. I've always been interested in Research and figured it would be a good idea to go down that route.. So far i've gotten a response from a cancer foundation - which is pretty awesome. But I was wondering, what matters more - the "quality" of the research project or "where" it is was actually done? I guess what i am asking - should i go after this solely for the experience gained or the possible networking platform it will provide? I'd love to find a position that balances both but so far I haven't been that lucky.
 

bashwell

5+ Year Member
Mar 20, 2013
1,934
1,951
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Yes, thank you for your reply - I am new to this whole "forum" World..

To clarify - I am a non-US IMG, aiming for IM ---> hem/onc or endo. Planning on applying for the 2019 Match (which would be my first time applying).
3 previous research experiences as first author, 2 poster presentations, 2 oral presentation and 1 peer reviewed publication (US Journal).
Step 1 - 221 , Step 2CS - pass (first attempt), Step2 CK soon-ish.

I'm just trying to figure a way to strengthen my application and do something useful while I wait for next year's match. I've always been interested in Research and figured it would be a good idea to go down that route.. So far i've gotten a response from a cancer foundation - which is pretty awesome. But I was wondering, what matters more - the "quality" of the research project or "where" it is was actually done? I guess what i am asking - should i go after this solely for the experience gained or the possible networking platform it will provide? I'd love to find a position that balances both but so far I haven't been that lucky.
If you can only choose one, not both, then at this point I think networking is the clear winner. The most important issue is you need people who are in a position to help you match into an IM program. That could be PDs, aPDs, or other faculty who have a role in admissions. So if I were you, I would try to find a place where you can meet PDs and other faculty. A cancer foundation might be good if IM faculty have any roles or other interactions there. However, if it's a place that trains heme/onc fellows, but has no say in IM, then it won't be very helpful for you at this point, since you would need to match into IM before heme/onc (or endo). Besides, you already have some research, presumably heme/onc research, so research and publishing shouldn't be a top priority for you. Again, your top priority should be matching into an IM residency somewhere. And I wouldn't necessarily aim for brand name programs unless you know someone who can write LORs or make phone calls for you, but rather a place that tends to accept IMGs because that's what you most need. Just my opinion. Good luck!
 
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