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Research during summer after M1

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2050vlsb

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Hi all,

I'm going to be an incoming M1 this fall, and had a quick question about research the summer after the first year.

I'm currently a research assistant at a nonprofit research org that does a lot of work in cancer epidemiology, surveillance, prevention etc. I've had some really great hands-on experience with public health and epi research. While I'm going to be leaving in August, my supervisor has left the option open for me to come back next summer if I'm still interested.

So my question is ... does it matter that this research isn't more bench or biomedical in nature? Is there a preference in terms of the type of research experience you'd be expected to have? Also, I won't be doing this at my school .. would that be a problem?

Thanks for your help!
 

Gheorgia

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Hi all,

I'm going to be an incoming M1 this fall, and had a quick question about research the summer after the first year.

I'm currently a research assistant at a nonprofit research org that does a lot of work in cancer epidemiology, surveillance, prevention etc. I've had some really great hands-on experience with public health and epi research. While I'm going to be leaving in August, my supervisor has left the option open for me to come back next summer if I'm still interested.

So my question is ... does it matter that this research isn't more bench or biomedical in nature? Is there a preference in terms of the type of research experience you'd be expected to have? Also, I won't be doing this at my school .. would that be a problem?

Thanks for your help!

If you don't have a particular specialty in mind or have something non-competitive in mind (FM, IM) - it's not a problem. Do whatever you like for the summer. Go and take the sumnmer off even.

If you have a competitive specialty in mind that is research heavy (i.e. Neurosurgery, Radiation oncology, Dermatology), it is strongly recommended that you try to find a project related to that particular field and spend a summer or even a year off to get a publication and letters of recommendations.
 

UAAWolf

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Schools have spoon fed research positions for med students.

Landed fairly easy research in anesthesia and ortho this summer. All I did was ask my prof about it and I had many offers from docs the next day. They really do a great job of taking care of us here
 

MedicalBeast

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if you are interested in and enjoying the work you are doing, i would say stick with it.

my school has a research requirement but it doesn't have to be biomedical/bench they are very flexible. it also doesn't have to be on campus.
 

ArcGurren

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I'd also branch out and look at some of the "programs" around... I know the NIH has one for medical students. Incidentally I actually worked at the NIH for a few months and found the working environment to be atrociously awful but everyone prob has a different experience.
 

obgyny

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I'm not set on any specialty yet, but I'm considering Neurology or maybe even Neurosurgery. Like the OP, I've been working in a research lab as a lab tech for the past few years and now I'll be an incoming M1 this fall. It's Neurobiology bench research studying molecular mechanisms of memory. It's obviously related to Neurology, but would this help for Neurosurgery? We do "neurosurgery" in rodent brains, but it's mostly behavior & molecular related.

But really, I haven't decided which specialty yet and I want to keep my options open throughout med school (and I'm interested in a lot of the specialties). What happens if I do neuro-related research and choose a completely different specialty? How important is it exactly to have research in the field you will be entering?

Although I would like to try out clinical research, I like the research I do now. My PI knows me very well and would be glad to have me continue research next summer. I wouldn't have to waste time training to do the procedures, since I've done them all before. And my PI is determined to try and put me on some upcoming publications and for next summer as well.

Or would it be better to get involved in clinical research? I've heard it's easier to get multiple publications. I've also heard for medical school admissions, adcoms gave bench research publications more weight than clinical research publications, since it usually takes a lot longer to get a bench research publication. I don't know how true that is, but is this true for residency?

I'd appreciate any advice! :)
 
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Food

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I think doing research is probably the best thing to do during the summer, especially if you go to a big research school. At my school, there is enough NIH funding for 2/3 of the class to get paid for a summer fellowship. That is roughly the # of students who end up participating in one. And we get paid a fair amount of money for about "10 weeks of full-time work"; but since the professor isn't the one paying you, they tend to give you a fair amount of autonomy over your work schedule. You will probably still have enough time left over to take a 2 week vacation in Europe, which you could pay for with your grant money. That way, you've worked on research for most of the summer, done some networking, given yourself minor visibility among faculty, possibly secured a publication, and learned more about a specific specialty of medicine, and funded a 2 week vacation in a foreign country. That sounds like a damn good deal to me.

I went straight for a simple project that requires no bench work. In fact its simply clinical data analysis. It won't be much fun to sit at a computer all day (though I do that already) when I could have actual clinical interaction or learn to draw blood, but the study I picked to work on is far more publishable. Plus I'll get a chance to relearn some programming/coding and statistics as well. That'll make me far more versatile and interesting as a residency applicant. Docs with good technical skills are pretty high demand these days. Anyway, that is just my ego-centric bit, but my real message here is that options are always good. Some paths give you more options than other paths.
 

CatFactorial

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I think doing research is probably the best thing to do during the summer, especially if you go to a big research school. At my school, there is enough NIH funding for 2/3 of the class to get paid for a summer fellowship. That is roughly the # of students who end up participating in one. And we get paid a fair amount of money for about "10 weeks of full-time work"; but since the professor isn't the one paying you, they tend to give you a fair amount of autonomy over your work schedule. You will probably still have enough time left over to take a 2 week vacation in Europe, which you could pay for with your grant money. That way, you've worked on research for most of the summer, done some networking, given yourself minor visibility among faculty, possibly secured a publication, and learned more about a specific specialty of medicine, and funded a 2 week vacation in a foreign country. That sounds like a damn good deal to me.

I went straight for a simple project that requires no bench work. In fact its simply clinical data analysis. It won't be much fun to sit at a computer all day (though I do that already) when I could have actual clinical interaction or learn to draw blood, but the study I picked to work on is far more publishable. Plus I'll get a chance to relearn some programming/coding and statistics as well. That'll make me far more versatile and interesting as a residency applicant. Docs with good technical skills are pretty high demand these days. Anyway, that is just my ego-centric bit, but my real message here is that options are always good. Some paths give you more options than other paths.

Bahahahaha
 

ArcGurren

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By the same token it's not absolutely necessary to do research in the M1 summer even for some of the "more competitive" fields or even lifestyle fields. Half the people this past year in my school who matched Anesthesiology did absolutely no research, and for fields like urology, ortho, etc it's relatively simple to pick up a project during 3rd or 4th year. The docs know that you need creds to match into good programs and they do try to help you out (usually).
 

osumc2014

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I think doing research is probably the best thing to do during the summer, especially if you go to a big research school. At my school, there is enough NIH funding for 2/3 of the class to get paid for a summer fellowship. That is roughly the # of students who end up participating in one. And we get paid a fair amount of money for about "10 weeks of full-time work"; but since the professor isn't the one paying you, they tend to give you a fair amount of autonomy over your work schedule. You will probably still have enough time left over to take a 2 week vacation in Europe, which you could pay for with your grant money. That way, you've worked on research for most of the summer, done some networking, given yourself minor visibility among faculty, possibly secured a publication, and learned more about a specific specialty of medicine, and funded a 2 week vacation in a foreign country. That sounds like a damn good deal to me.

I went straight for a simple project that requires no bench work. In fact its simply clinical data analysis. It won't be much fun to sit at a computer all day (though I do that already) when I could have actual clinical interaction or learn to draw blood, but the study I picked to work on is far more publishable. Plus I'll get a chance to relearn some programming/coding and statistics as well. That'll make me far more versatile and interesting as a residency applicant. Docs with good technical skills are pretty high demand these days. Anyway, that is just my ego-centric bit, but my real message here is that options are always good. Some paths give you more options than other paths.

Long summer!
 

obgyny

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I'm not set on any specialty yet, but I'm considering Neurology or maybe even Neurosurgery. Like the OP, I've been working in a research lab as a lab tech for the past few years and now I'll be an incoming M1 this fall. It's Neurobiology bench research studying molecular mechanisms of memory. It's obviously related to Neurology, but would this help for Neurosurgery? We do "neurosurgery" in rodent brains, but it's mostly behavior & molecular related.

But really, I haven't decided which specialty yet and I want to keep my options open throughout med school (and I'm interested in a lot of the specialties). What happens if I do neuro-related research and choose a completely different specialty? How important is it exactly to have research in the field you will be entering?

Although I would like to try out clinical research, I like the research I do now. My PI knows me very well and would be glad to have me continue research next summer. I wouldn't have to waste time training to do the procedures, since I've done them all before. And my PI is determined to try and put me on some upcoming publications and for next summer as well.

Or would it be better to get involved in clinical research? I've heard it's easier to get multiple publications. I've also heard for medical school admissions, adcoms gave bench research publications more weight than clinical research publications, since it usually takes a lot longer to get a bench research publication. I don't know how true that is, but is this true for residency?

I'd appreciate any advice! :)

bump :)

I know I still have time to decide, but I'm torn between returning to my old lab or trying out clinical research.
 
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