Research - do what I like or what's good for my CV?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by plshelpvanxious, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. plshelpvanxious

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    If I'm currently not interested in any highly competitive specialties, is there really any benefit to choosing clinical research over bench work?

    I'm looking for a summer research job, and if I go back to my old lab I know it'll take much longer to publish a paper/get significant results than if I find someone to do clinical research with.

    In the end, will it really matter if I choose bench work over clinical work? Should I just pick what I think I'll enjoy?
     
  2. thegreengreatdragon

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  3. evilbooyaa

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    Publications are the most important thing unless you see yourself doing bench research as an attending. In terms of benefit for residency applications, publications take precedence nearly always.
     
  4. thegreengreatdragon

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    Firstly, where in your life are you right now? Your status says pre-med. If you're a pre-med, then bench research is fine and publication number is not as important. If you're a pre-med, you should also be posting in the pre-med forum.

    If you're a med student who hasn't gotten around to changing your status, then know that publications/presentations always take precedence for residency apps, as mentioned above. However, you've admitted that you're not interested in a highly competitive specialty, so you might be ok, especially since even though you might not be able to publish a paper, you could potentially get some presentations in with that work, which also qualify for residency apps.

    Regardless, there's way more gradation to research in the medical field than just "bench work" and "clinical work." You will definitely be able to find work that's both high-yield and personally satisfying in medical school.
     
  5. OP
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    plshelpvanxious

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    Oops sorry, didn't know my status still said pre-med, I'm an M1. Thanks for the advice!
     
    #5 plshelpvanxious, Dec 6, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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  6. Frogger27

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    If this helps, I was talking to the PD of a competitive specialty at my school. He said for research they give you a score of 1-5.
    1- No field specific reearch
    2- abstracts, posters, presentations in the field. Nothing actually published
    3- case reports, letters, etc (smaller pubs in the field). Showed effort to get research in the field
    4- Significant research history, including publications in the field
    5- 3+ publications or 1+ first author publication in the field

    Above is not a concrete rule but is generally how it goes; still a case-by-case basis

    You have to understand that they are rating 250+ apps for 30 interview spots. There has to be some sort of quick, systematic rating of applicants

    They would not read any of these unless they were specifically interested in something you published (which could be a big plus)
     
    #6 Frogger27, Dec 6, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  7. FroYoOreo

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    Just curious does the publications have to be related to the field (e.g. genetic research if I want to do oncology)? I asked my attending mentor, and she said that it is the number of publications that matters the most but not the content. Is that true?
     
  8. Frogger27

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    So this was for Urology, which is a very small field. They care a lot about research in the field, but understand that people may not decide until late. I am guessing that if you had a lot of pubs in other fields, and then decided Urology late 3rd year and were able to get out a case report in Urology you would get a "4" above.

    #of pubs is most important for sure, but it is also field specific. In your example above, I'm sure genetic research would be fine for Onc (any research is probably fine as a med student for onc as it is a fellowship through IM; rad onc wants field specific)
     
  9. afib123

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    How important does this person rate research to be? I started research in my 3rd year for neurosurgery and I am currently working on a case report and retrospective chart review. It's taking time to be written up and I am worried if I will be able to publish it before September. Is starting research and having it in the process of publication OK? My step score is 250+, I am getting honors and decent evaluations for my rotations, but I am worried about research part of my application.
     
  10. sovereign0

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    Do what's good for your CV. I made the mistake of pursuing what I thought was interesting as an M1 and now regret it. Admittedly, I did decide on going into a competitive specialty so I have a reason to regret it, as I'm playing catch-up. Might not apply to you. But you'll get the feeling of missing out when you're still grinding away at a dead-end or slow project while you could have been presenting at conferences and building your CV.

    My logic is that right now my career is oriented towards matching. Once I'm an attending I can develop a niche of interest. However, I also know that the pressure to produce as an attending isn't going anywhere either.
     
  11. evilbooyaa

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    Ideally, for the most competitive specialties, your research should be somehow applicable to the field you're applying for.

    However, it doesn't have to be direct - with your example, if you're doing genetic research on known cancer genetic predisposers (BRCA, HNPCC, etc.) and something related to them, and can tie it into oncology on discussion, then that's fine.

    Other examples I've seen are somebody who wasn't sure between ortho and NSG do spine surgical research, somebody undecided between ENT and medical/radiation oncology doing stuff on head and neck cancer, etc.
     
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  12. FroYoOreo

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    Thanks! Also another question, does it matter that I have lots of research experience in psychiatry from undergrad and gap year but wants to pursue oncology after med school? Does my psych research experience add anything to my oncology residency app?
     
  13. evilbooyaa

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    Pubs in any field are worth something, so your undergrad research will help if published. However, research experiences without publication won't help and unless directly related probably doesn't won't add to your residency app.
     
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  14. bonemann

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    learn to like clinical research
     
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  15. SuaveCardigans

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    how valuable are systematic review publications for an application into a competitive field? I am currently looking into summer research opportunities and honestly my first priority is to look good on CV in case I apply to something competitive down the road
     
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  16. evilbooyaa

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    They're good if you're going to be first or second author, but they, ideally, should be related to the field you're going into, even more so than other research. Systematic review is just a fancy phrase for "we searched pubmed with these keywords and gave a summary of everything we saw here". Doing original research, despite the field, shows that you can participate in a study and be involved with seeing a project from start to finish, and be able to write a cohesive manuscript.
     
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