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Grizzly B.

2+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2016
9
3
Status
Medical Student
I know I'm inquiring rather early since I have yet to actually begin my first year as a med student, but I did have a question come to mind regarding research and the possibilities of joining a program that is not affiliated with your home institution. I know that there are opportunities available at my med school, but I was curious as to potentially doing research at another school or program during my summer breaks. The main reason I would consider this option is because I could possibly reduce my cost of living during the summer by staying with family and plus I could potentially get my foot in the door at another institution where I may want to do a couple of my electives. From what I've read as well, my school potentially awards research grants for both in state and out of state programs, which is good news if I can get in some where.

Would anyone mind sharing success stories? If so, how do you recommend "reaching out" to the department you're interested in and what may be a good time frame to do so?

Thanks for the input!
 

Goro

Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
60,317
90,601
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
My own students have done this. It's doable. Start networking now!
 
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ski89

7+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2013
591
642
Status
Medical Student
Yes this is definitely possible. I am currently involved in research at a neighboring school. It is a bit easier in my situation since the other institution is just 10 min from my school, so it's easy to schedule meetings, shadow, get involved in the department, etc. Are you currently residing in the location where the other school is? If so you may want to start sending emails so that you can set up opportunities while you are still in town. Otherwise it is much more difficult since the faculty member may want to meet with you in person before deciding whether to collaborate with you on a project.

If you are in the area I would recommend picking a hand full of faculty that are doing research in areas that parallel your interests - you should be able to get this from their bio/faculty page on the school website. Send emails to these people (often their email is listed on the website) and introduce yourself, tell them you are an incoming first year med student with interest in their field. Ask if you can shadow them. If someone gives you a yes you can talk to them about the possibility of working on a research project while you are shadowing since I think that this a better conversation to have in person.

If you cant meet in person than I suspect that you will have a much more difficult time. You could always wing it and start reaching out near the end of your first year but this is obviously more risky since you may end up with nothing when you could have easily set something up at your own school.
 
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Grizzly B.

2+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2016
9
3
Status
Medical Student
Thanks for the replies! Yes, the institutions would be out of state if I tried to branch out. We do travel there relatively often, so if needed I may be able to meet in person. I will send out a few feeler emails I guess and see if I have any luck.
 
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HelpPleaseMD

7+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2011
1,061
238
Status
Resident [Any Field]
its much harder for sure especially if you want to get something productive out of it. Its very hard to do anything meaningful at an outside institution in the 1-2 months you have off for a publication
 
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Grizzly B.

2+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2016
9
3
Status
Medical Student
Would it be ill-advised to email multiple PI's at the same institution? I wouldn't send a generic copy/paste email to everyone, but if there are two-three research programs I'm interested in do you think that would be fine? I guess my concern would be the potential of appearing not as interested in one program over the other.
 
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