physiologyguy

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Earned PhD in basic science before medical school.
Around middle of class in pre-clin years at "top" medical school.
1st author on a few papers (including 2 review articles) in my field.
Still researching actively.

What matters if I wish to match in research track program? Should i cut back on the research/writing and get into the top quartile of my class? It's mainly a time issue.

Also President of student body and plan on staying involved in academic med/research/teaching.

Thanks.
 
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The advise I've gotten from MD/PhD MS4's who just matched research track along with a talk from a bunch of PD's is that they look for exactly what you'd expect, good clinical grades, good step 1, good relevant letters, activities demonstrating your interest and commitment to the field of (academic) medicine, and demonstration of your scientific capabilities. You also have to be a nice person in interview (of course).

Interestingly enough, the PD's consistently said that it wasn't so much the specific topic of your research as it is the demonstration of your ability to be productive and creative in a scientific field and your passion for research. It sounds like your PhD covers that pretty well already. I'd imagine it's pretty important to get the grades, scores, and clinical performance that will get the letters you need to make it to an interview at competitive programs in the first place. Not saying drop research altogether, but maybe shift your priorities a little? But really, I'm just an MS1 relaying what I heard from others, so take my input with a grain of salt. Find some MD/PhD or MD students at your school who matched into research track programs and ask them. They'll have the scoop first-hand.

Good luck! :)
 
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I'm one of the MS4's who just matched into a research track in IM (I'm planning on doing Hem/Onc). It sounds like you have a track record of being successful in research, that will help you enormously. But to get interviews at good IM programs you must be competitive with the other applicants, and this means a good Step 1 score (if not, this can be helped somewhat if you take Step 2 early), good clinical grades, an honors in medicine and/or SubI, activities, etc. Just having a PhD will not get you an interview at the UCSFs and Hopkins of the world, you have to have the whole package.
 

Neuronix

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What matters if I wish to match in research track program? Should i cut back on the research/writing and get into the top quartile of my class? It's mainly a time issue.
It's a difficult balance. I'd say generally that it will be best to maximize your class rank and step 1 score. You have a lot of research experience now, and can pick up some more in fourth year if needed. What PDs are going to care about varies by specialty, but for competitive specialties even a research track program isn't all about the research. They also want AOA (or close to it) and very high step 1 (how high depends on specialty).

I disagree with Build about the specific topic of your research. For Rads or Rad Onc, the two specialties I'm considering, it helps you tremendously to have done research in those specialties. Research outside those areas is not nearly as helpful. If you decide on a specialty that you haven't done research in previously, you may want to get involved in research in that specialty during your elective time.
 

physiologyguy

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Thanks for the input. I think AOA is out, simply because I've been average all this year (in part because I flew to Holland for a speaking engagement, then to another conference to speak). Also am 1st author on a Physiology text coming out in the fall. So I guess my best bet is a good step 1 and clinical grades.

Thanks.
 

Friendly

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Thanks for the input. I think AOA is out, simply because I've been average all this year (in part because I flew to Holland for a speaking engagement, then to another conference to speak). Also am 1st author on a Physiology text coming out in the fall. So I guess my best bet is a good step 1 and clinical grades.

Thanks.
Best advice I can give is don't make excuses (two activities out of four years won't keep you out of AOA), and don't take anything for granted. Top programs don't like that.

For what it's worth research productivity and continued interest in an academic career matter more than board scores. Yes, even for the top IM programs. Been there, done that.....

Bottom line: do your best in every area from this point onwards, but realize there is more to it that class rank and board scores.
 

physiologyguy

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No excuses, but if I continute speaking at conferences, etc...then I for sure wont be AOA. So thanks for the advice - I am weighing how much I can continue my research/academic career while doing decent in school.

Thanks.
 

Neuronix

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I am weighing how much I can continue my research/academic career while doing decent in school.
I've talked about this a lot in some of my other threads. It's not about being *decent*. At least for the competitive specialties, it's about doing very well. We're talking say 1 standard deviation above the national average on step 1 and somewhere around the top 25th percentile of your class.

But again, it all depends on what specialty you end up wanting to do. If you apply in say Pathology, what I'm talking about won't matter that much.
 

physiologyguy

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right, but there is a trade off between continuing a research career and learning what needs to be learned (225-245 step 1) and giving up research line to just study, be AOA, etc. And we are talking about a research track position, not just applying to Derm or Ortho or anything alone...So I would think there would be some concern with my commitment to research, especially if I am still working on the same line of exps.

So I guess I need to just consult with others that are down the road on that path.
 

Neuronix

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225-245 step 1
Based on my conversations with applicants in previous years, you'd be hard pressed to even get interviews for Radiology research positions with a 225 step 1. Shoot for at least 240. If you go into a specialty that doesn't have students with super high stats to begin with, then this doesn't matter and you can do what you want.

and giving up research line to just study, be AOA, etc. And we are talking about a research track position, not just applying to Derm or Ortho or anything alone...So I would think there would be some concern with my commitment to research, especially if I am still working on the same line of exps.

So I guess I need to just consult with others that are down the road on that path.
I am down the road on your path, and I'm telling you that your research experience is already quite strong. You already have a PhD. Applying to Derm "alone" is similar to applying for a research residency spot in Derm when it comes to stats. Both a research and a clinical position want high stats, and the research position is looking for research in addition to high stats, as well as research experience specifically in Derm or whichever specialty you choose. Thus, my advice is to focus on stats for now. Since you already have a PhD and significant research experience, there will be no concern as to your commitment to research. Again, you can resume doing research as a 4th year if desired. AOA will be extremely important for you--far more important than another manuscript or more presentations. Residency positions are decided mostly by clinical people who look at clinical things.

You can do what you want, I'm just trying to inform you of how I found it out there as a student with extensive molecular imaging experience. Without high stats, I can't get the residency positions to continue doing the research I've been doing for years. That's the way it is.
 
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right, but there is a trade off between continuing a research career and learning what needs to be learned (225-245 step 1) and giving up research line to just study, be AOA, etc. And we are talking about a research track position, not just applying to Derm or Ortho or anything alone...So I would think there would be some concern with my commitment to research, especially if I am still working on the same line of exps.

So I guess I need to just consult with others that are down the road on that path.
When you say "research track," in what specialty? Internal medicine, pediatrics, radiology? That will largely guide the scores you need.
 

physiologyguy

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Great advice - thank you. As to specialty, I really do not know now. I would assume it would be medicine (seeing as my interest is hem/onc) for now, but I could see other things being interesting too.

Thanks again.