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Research Questions

Discussion in 'Student Research and Publishing' started by zeloc, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. zeloc

    zeloc Senior Member Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2003
    I very much appreciate anyone's reply. My situation is:

    I have 2 weeks available during which I can do research. I would like to make a meaningful contribution to the literature, but I realize that with basic science research, which I think is most prestigious, the chances are not likely with only 2 weeks. My plan is to do clinical research with someone in my area so that not only can I devote time before my 2 weeks to thinking about the project and then putting in a great deal of time and effort during these 2 weeks, but I have my two easiest M3 rotations after the 2 weeks during which I can devote additional effort to the project. Someone mentioned impact factors in another post and I noticed there are possibilities for high-impact clinical research. What is my plan for getting such a publication? Should I restrict myself to working with people who have numerous publications versus someone who has a single publication in a low-impact journal (that I could find on Pubmed) but who I feel could give me the freedom to design my own project? Is it appropriate to e-mail the research coordinator at a hospital and inquire as to researchers that have a lot of publications? I would like to do research in Internal Medicine or Nephrology but I am unsure how to go about finding a researcher to work with. My two goals are making an outstanding contribution to medicine and publication. Thanks for any advice!
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  3. Circumflex

    Circumflex Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    First, I think it is great that you are enthusiastic about doing some research. As a first step, I would get on the internet and look at the faculty profiles of people in the Nephrology section or others in the Internal Medicine Department. If you cannot find someone doing interesting work this way, try emailing an administrative faculty member in the department, like the Nephrology section chief or the Internal Medicine Residency Director (you can find this info out online) and let them know that you are a medical student interested in getting some research experience, asking them who they suggest.

    You don't need to worry about journal impact factor or the publication records of faculty members (although someone with more ongoing research might be better). There is no way that you can design a project and/or get a first-author publication when the majority of your time spent on the project is within a 2 week period. There may be some kind of chart review project or a case report that you could do, but even then, by the time you collect data, analyze it, write a paper (with multiple revisions) and submit it for peer review, you are looking at a significant amount of time. But, it could be done if you have spare time here and there.

    All clinical projects (even chart reviews) have to be pre-approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), which also takes time. So, you should find a faculty with some ongoing projects. It would be easier to do some data collection to get your name on a paper, but a first-author paper is not out of the question if you have some time (beyond 2 weeks) to devote. Good luck!

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