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Research for Residency

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by realruby2000, Feb 26, 2002.

  1. realruby2000

    realruby2000 Senior Member
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    I've just been recently accepted to med school and as an undergrad, I've never done any research. I've been reading that in order to get a good residency (like EM) research experience is necessary. With medschool being hectic enough, how and when do most med students get a chance to do research? Is doing research really that necessary? If I do some research before the summer of med school, would that type of experience suffice? If anyone can provide any type of info regarding this, I'd really appreciate it.

    Thanks
     
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  3. realruby2000

    realruby2000 Senior Member
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  4. Voxel

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Research experience is not necessary for EM. Get to know your local EM attendings by volunteering in the ED as med student. You will learn many practical things not taught in basic science textbooks. It will give you a leg up on the wards and be able to make connections with EM attendings. It will also give you a chance to see if you really like EM.
     
  5. dr.evil

    dr.evil Senior Member
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    I've never done a lick of research. Wait a minute, I did have to complete some little project before graduating undergrad but it consisted of about 2 days of data collecting so no much.

    It looks great and it fills up a spot on your ERAS application but necessary it is not (even in the most competitive of fields). If you do want to do some though, the summer between 1st and 2nd year seems to be the most common time to get involved with research.
     
  6. neutropeniaboy

    neutropeniaboy Blasted ENT Attending
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    Research is not a prerequisite for any residency. It can, however, aid you in gaining a specific residency.

    I think there's a problem with doing research. For the more "competitive" residencies (dermatology, radiology, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, urology, or ortho), doing research may significantly improve your chances of getting in. However, the research has to be directed. Doing research in childhood vaccination isn't going to help you get into radiology. Moreover, in order to do something significant, you have to start the research early in medical school. So, you have to have some idea of what you want to do as a career early in medical school -- the time when you haven't been exposed to any clinical rotations. Kind of a Catch-22.

    In the long run, doing research won't hurt you. It may not improve your situation, however, if you decide to go into an unrelated field.

    If you want to go into primary care, forget about research -- you don't need it. If you think you want to go into a subspecialty, think about some project that can cross over. (I did research that involved MRI, sleep apnea, and pulmonary medicine -- covered multiple specialties.)

    Above all, don't worry about not having done research. Concentrate on learning the material and doing well on your boards; that impresses people more than research experience.
    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by realruby2000:
    <strong>I've just been recently accepted to med school and as an undergrad, I've never done any research. I've been reading that in order to get a good residency (like EM) research experience is necessary. With medschool being hectic enough, how and when do most med students get a chance to do research? Is doing research really that necessary? If I do some research before the summer of med school, would that type of experience suffice? If anyone can provide any type of info regarding this, I'd really appreciate it.

    Thanks</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  7. Sandpaper

    Sandpaper Member
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    EM research? Now there's an oxymoron....heheh.
    In my experience, the most important determinant of your qualification for any residency position is your Step 1 score. Research lags somewhere behind clerkship grades and the ability to kiss hairy asses.
    A strong score (say 250?) and let us see anyone try to deny you an interview in any competitive specialty. A ton of research and a ****ty Step 1 and you'll be hard pressed to match into a crappy non-competitive field, like, say, anesthesia. Heheh.
     
  8. neutropeniaboy

    neutropeniaboy Blasted ENT Attending
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Sandpaper:
    <strong>
    A strong score (say 250?) and let us see anyone try to deny you an interview in any competitive specialty. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">It's quite common to deny an applicant an interview with a score like that...unfortunately.
     
  9. Sandpaper

    Sandpaper Member
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    Sure, I'm not saying that a 250 will guarantee you an interview everywhere you apply, but it's the most important determinant; it gets the proverbial foot in the door. Research can not do that for you. My school does many of us slackers an injustice by downplaying the signifance of Step 1, often by repeating the mantra "don't worry, everybody passes." Well ****, everybody does passes, but how high? Your Step 1 practically determines what specialties you can enter. Below 200, you can almost forget derm and ortho and various other competitive specialties. Above a 250 and you can almost guarantee yourself a spot in any specialties. Period. Yeah sure, some places will reject your ass even if you got a 270, but on the overall scale, you can write a nice little ticket to your choice residency. Btw, a friend of mine with a 241 got rejected from UC Irvine while getting interviews at Stanford, UCSF, UCSD, Brighams, MGH, and Northwestern for anesthesia. So I do understand this no guarantee business.

    But for you green-horn first years out there, start studying for the Step 1 now. Don't say I didn't tell ya so. Research is low yield and not worth the effort, unless you like that sort of thing, you masochist.
     
  10. navs

    navs Member
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    I would have to totally agree with Sandpaper about board scores being the NO. 1 most important aspect of ur application to get INTERVIEWS in any field no matter how competitive.

    I think the reason is simply that when programs get applications they weed them out to get to a smaller interview list, and probably 90% of programs do this with cut-offs on board scores.

    Then, when u interview the rest of ur application
    (research, rec. letter, individual honors, etc.) and ur personality will get u the residency spot.

    Now it is also important to keep 2 things in mind concerning research:
    1. It helps A LOT in these really comp. fields like ENT, derm, etc. If for no other reason many of the other applicants will have it on their resume.
    2. It helps in all fields in getting closer to getting into the more research driven programs,
    a la the "big gun" instituitions.

    Hope this helped.

    Good luck.
     
  11. Chris_Topher

    Chris_Topher SeƱor Member
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    Doing research in your field of interest is a good way to get some face time with attendings, work in the environment where you want to specialize (will you like this specialty?), and possibly earn a letter of recommendation. Indirect benefits may be the greatest reason to pursue research.
     
  12. arthur v

    arthur v Member
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    I disagree. Board scores are not the prime determinant of interview selection for the most competitive specialties, and they are only sometimes used as a cut-off. I interviewed in dermatology this year and was rejected from &gt; 2/3 of the places I applied to, and I had a score in the 260's. Classmates of mine applying to other competitive specialties - radiology, urology, ortho - received invitations from &gt; 2/3 of the places they applied and they had scores ranging from the mid 220's to the mid 230's. The moral: score as high as you can, but don't let average board scores disuade you from following your dream.

    This is not medical school admissions we're talking about, where numbers are king. You can get your foot in the door through numbers, connections (letters and phone calls from well-known faculty), research, medical school reputation, and just plain luck. There is no science to getting into specialties like derm, ENT, urology, and plastics. You just try to do the best you can in medical school, apply, and let the chips fall where they may. To say that you can "write your own ticket" in any of these specialties is naive.

    AV
     
  13. Sandpaper

    Sandpaper Member
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    Well, I don't wanna presume because I don't know you arthur v, but a 260 and you got rejected from &gt; 2/3 of the places means either you're from Southeastern Wyoming School of Medicine or you got something else wrong with your application. Anecdotal evidence will not convince me that a strong Step 1 isn't the prime marker for success with interviews and the chances of getting choice residency spots. For everyone of you I can cite 10 classmates who with nothing but a strong Step 1 have gotten interviews and acceptances at brand name residencies in competitive early match specialties. However, I agree that having the right connections is almost as important.

    But the original poster was curious about research's importance in relation to getting good residencies. Research in and of itself is not crucial. What's important, as someone else already pointed out, is getting that face time with people in the know.
     
  14. neutropeniaboy

    neutropeniaboy Blasted ENT Attending
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by arthur v:
    <strong>I disagree. Board scores are not the prime determinant of interview selection for the most competitive specialties, and they are only sometimes used as a cut-off. I interviewed in dermatology this year and was rejected from &gt; 2/3 of the places I applied to, and I had a score in the 260's. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Agreed. I can recall talking to people on the ENT interview trail. I learned that some of them had scores a full standard deviation below mine yet were getting interviews that I wasn't getting.

    So, I began realizing that board scores are not the number one factor at many places -- even within a specialty. I can only speculate as to what other factors made them more appealing as applicants than myself: medical school attended, the particular people writing recommendations, away rotations at these places, or motivating personal statements. (I leave out grades, AOA, and research since I had top grades, AOA, and 17 publications.)

    It's an interesting game. I'm not bitter -- I got into one of my top choices. Rather, I'm very, very curious as to what goes into the mix. Oh, to be a fly on a wall... :cool:
     
  15. durphy

    durphy Junior Member
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    neutropeniaboy,

    I'll be applying to ENT programs next yr and am doing all the research I can get in. What programs impressed you during your residency interviews, regardless of region? Thanks.
     
  16. neutropeniaboy

    neutropeniaboy Blasted ENT Attending
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by durphy:
    <strong>I'll be applying to ENT programs next yr and am doing all the research I can get in. What programs impressed you during your residency interviews, regardless of region? Thanks.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">In no particular order:

    Jefferson: a little inbreeding going on in the faculty, but Jefferson is a magnificent health center; the residents get great hands-on training with exceptional case numbers as primary surgeon; graduates get great private practice jobs and good fellowship placement; the residents have a great companionship; awesome sinus cases; the residents have great perks; PGY-1 year is decent.

    Boston Medical: long hours and the residents don't seem to have an incredible amount of harmony, but the residents get overwhelming otology and sinus experience (quasi-fellowship training); there are 3 plastic surgeons there; they rotate at Boston Children's Hospital; they have busy resident clinics; they get great private practice jobs; they don't have to compete with any ENT fellows.

    UVA: superlative. Outstanding academic physicians with good clinical experience. Absolutely fine resident character. New sinus facilities. Excellent area of the country. Old school faculty mixed with new school attendings.

    Ohio State: Wow. Unbelievable surgical experience.

    Michigan: ditto.

    Maryland: young and eager faculty; shock trauma experience is immense; good fellowships and private practice jobs post residency.

    Others that I liked, but am too lazy to comment about: Univ Ill, UCSF (despite low case numbers), and Penn (just for its name).

    Places I didn't like: Temple, Northwestern, Medical College of Virginia, NYEEI, and Penn (yes, it's a love-hate relationship).
     
  17. Dr Sardonicus

    Dr Sardonicus Junior Member
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    neutrophil--

    How do you have time for 17 publications in Med School??
     
  18. yaoming

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    yeh, 17 publications usually translate to the number of publications a phd has in his entire life. how did u do it?
     
  19. DuneHog

    DuneHog Senior Member
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    One interesting study to look at - especially if you are thinking about ENT: Calhoun et al. "The Resident Selection Process in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery." Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg Sept 1990 116:1041-43. The bottom line of this study:

    Excellent academic performance in medical school as represended by [1] medical school grade point average greater than 3.4, [2] High boards score, [3] class rank greater than 85th percentile [4] honors grades in medicine and surgery [5] AOA was significantly correlated with success in obtaining an ENT residency position. Research also had an important influence on match success.

    I guess this study doesn't tell us anything we didn't know already - but it's nice to see that someone has confirmed our suspicions.
     
  20. Airborne

    Airborne Senior Member
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    Two things...

    1) Perhaps Neutropeniaboy is including meeting abstracts as well - Often they are published in a Supplemental issue of a journal in a particular field (and are citable but considered preliminary communications). Although, in general, these do not show up on a Pubmed search, they can be indexed in other online tools, such as Web of Science.

    Neutropeniaboy has mentioned in previous posts that he has been keen on ENT for 6+ years, and could have been involved in research over this whole time period.

    Regardless, 17 publications/abstracts is fantastic, and probably helped immensly in matching in ENT.

    2) To continue with Dunehog, what about away rotations? I came across this article (that cites the Calhoun et al. 1990):

    IS THERE VALUE IN AUDITION EXTRAMURALS
    FABRI PJ, POWELL DL, CUPPS NB
    AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGERY
    169 (3): 338-340 MAR 1995

    Abstract:
    BACKGROUND: It has become common for fourth-year medical students interested in surgical careers to leave their parent university to take extramural elective rotations in surgery at other institutions. These ''audition extramurals,'' while of some educational value, are often repetitions of prior clerkships and may not broaden the student's educational horizons. Instead, they are intended to enhance a student's competitiveness in the match. While recent opinions and questionnaires have suggested that such extramural rotations are not valuable in general surgery, no study has formally evaluated the effect of extramural electives on the residency match.

    METHODS: Over a 6-year period, the authors reviewed the outcome in 99 students who took extramural elective rotations in surgery. Of the 99 students, 28 were from the authors' institution who left to, do extramural rotations elsewhere and 71 were outside students who came to the University, of South Florida for an elective. While the elective rotation increased the probability of an interview, it did not alter ranking or probability of matching.


    RESULTS: For general surgery students, the elective rotation may actually decrease competitiveness, while for specialty students, it appears necessary but not sufficient to improve match outcome. The elective might facilitate placement for students who did not match, but did not do so predictably.


    CONCLUSIONS: The authors conclude that extramural elective rotations should be taken for educational value only and not as auditions for residency.


    What do you all think?

    Airborne
     
  21. chef

    chef Senior Member
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    Hi,
    Could you describe in detail how I can start preparing for the boards as an M1? Please be as detailed as you can.
     
  22. yaoming

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    how do residencies obtain your class rank, and where do letters of recommendation come in (do they not matter)? what if you do your rotation at another university, perhaps even more renown?
     
  23. outforblood

    outforblood Junior Member
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    The best way to start studying for step 1 as an M1 is to do really
    well in your classes, and really absorb that information. Also, use board review materials as a supplement for your textbooks (for example, along with your physiology textbook, read the BRS/NMS/something of the sort phys review book). Aside from that, Medical school do a relatively good job getting you ready for the boards.

    Good luck
     

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