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Research experience for academic/desirable location neurology or IM residency?

docren004

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Feb 1, 2020
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About how many publications should I shoot for to be a viable candidate for a neurology or 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. Any thoughts?
 
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Hank Rearden

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A lot of the big name academic neurology programs essentially don't take any DO's because they see it as bringing down their reputation. Personally I think this is silly, as some of the best residents in our program over the years have been DO's, but it is what it is. The only way one of these big programs would probably interview you was if you were a DO/PhD with significant pubs. Many residencies have lists of their current residents online, including their titles and where they went to med school. If you see that none are DOs or FMGs you probably shouldn't even apply.

I'm not trying to discourage you with the above info, just give you the reality of the situation. There are still some very solid upper tier programs that take DOs. The fact that you already have some review articles under your belt is good. If you can get an original research article published in some form, regardless of the tier of the journal that would be better. If you're shooting for an academic program you really need to try to stand out among your piers on your clinical rotations as well and get high scores on the board exam (though I hear USMLE is moving toward pass/fail?). Oh, and if you are applying to MD heavy programs, make sure most of your LORs are from MDs.
 
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docren004

Full Member
Feb 1, 2020
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3
26
  1. Medical Student
A lot of the big name academic neurology programs essentially don't take any DO's because they see it as bringing down their reputation. Personally I think this is silly, as some of the best residents in our program over the years have been DO's, but it is what it is. The only way one of these big programs would probably interview you was if you were a DO/PhD with significant pubs. Many residencies have lists of their current residents online, including their titles and where they went to med school. If you see that none are DOs or FMGs you probably shouldn't even apply.

I'm not trying to discourage you with the above info, just give you the reality of the situation. There are still some very solid upper tier programs that take DOs. The fact that you already have some review articles under your belt is good. If you can get an original research article published in some form, regardless of the tier of the journal that would be better. If you're shooting for an academic program you really need to try to stand out among your piers on your clinical rotations as well and get high scores on the board exam (though I hear USMLE is moving toward pass/fail?). Oh, and if you are applying to MD heavy programs, make sure most of your LORs are from MDs.

Thank you for the advice.

Yes, Step 1 is moving to P/F. I'm hoping to compensate as well as I can by scoring well on COMLEX 1 and USMLE Step 2 CK.

How do you stand out on clinical rotations? What's stood out to you?
 
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Thama

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Apr 13, 2009
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About how many publications should I shoot for to be a viable candidate for a neurology or 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. Any thoughts?
As the poster above said, sometimes it's not about publications. My program de facto did not consider DOs, none had ever matched there, and the one DO/PhD that interviewed during my residency wasn't really taken seriously. That said, they also had a similar reaction to low tier MD schools. Getting an extra publication in probably won't help you that much at places like that. But there are plenty of good quality programs that do routinely take DOs, just not some of the most famous ones.

What big fancy programs want to see is a trajectory. They want to produce good clinicians, but not just good clinicians. They want to see a pathway to clinician/scientist, clinician/educator, clinician/administrator, etc. If you are going all in on being a funded scientist, then pubs are important. If you want to show that you're going to be a force in community outreach, then showing dedicated longitudinal experience there is important and a paper on cell cultures doesn't get you anywhere.
 
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