delicatefade

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Question for you people: I have an opportunity to do a funded (about $4000 total) research elective with one of our biochemistry professors this summer. I would be working on resistance of E.Coli to methotrexate and other folate analogs, and I would have the opportunity to learn some cool techniques like cloning and PCR.

Obviously this could potentially look good on future residency applications (not sure what I want to go into yet), and I've been told that any research looks good even if it is unrelated to the field you end up shooting for (well, this may not apply to neurosurg but I'm not going there...)

Here's my deal: the closer we get to the summer, the less I actually want to do the research. If I didn't do research I could potentially be making 3-4x as much money working PRN as a physical therapist. The money is starting to look REALLY good right now.

So, any of you who are further along in medical school who can give me advice, I'm all ears. Is research a must for residency. I am in the Army so I will be applying for military as well as civilian spots. As far as what I want to go into, here are some things that interest me right now in order from most to least interesting (I know it's broad):
PM&R, anesthesia, rads, internal medicine.
 

redwings54

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Here is what I am thinking. Research is great, but it can be really boring. Your background in the army and as a PT will have given you enough clinical and life experience that you wont need the lab stuff. I did chemistry research and got a publication out of it but I was miserable. So my suggestion is to work with the PT, make the money and maybe try to get a part time job in a lab or TA a lab to get the experience. But than again, I am not in med school yet so I may be completely wrong. Just my $0.02. Take it for what its worth.
 

kaikai128

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Can you possibly do the PRN PT thing, and just volunteer or take an hourly wage part time to get a little experience with the research? I personally probably would not do the research, and would go for working for the first half of the summer and enjoy some time off before school starts. :)
 
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delicatefade

delicatefade

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Well, I suppose I could do an hourly research thing to get experience, but what I was shooting for with the reserach elective was working long enough on a project to get some results and have a poster presentation somewhere next year. I'm just not sure if it's THAT worth it for residency applications. But I could be wrong...
 

Buckeye(OH)

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Just an FYI cloning and PCR aren't cool techniques, they are the most basic and you could pick them up AND be good at them in 2 weeks max. This means, you are going to be taking those techs and repeating them over and over all summer. The thing about research is that it often sounds 'reall interesting' and often ends up sucking fat balls.


Ive been in both 'really interesting' and actually interesting research labs so I have some experience.


I just read that you wanted opinions from people in med school, better just piss on my opinion then.
 

U4iA

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delicatefade said:
PM&R, anesthesia, rads, internal medicine.
unless you want to get in to really competitive programs you will be able to match in these fields if the rest of your application is strong. not to mention the fact that you can do a research elective later in medical school to build contacts in the field you are applying and have conversation material for residency interviews. given the fields that you are interested in, i would go for the summer position that you prefer and possibly get involved in research later if you need to differentiate your application..
 
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delicatefade

delicatefade

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Buckeye(OH) said:
Just an FYI cloning and PCR aren't cool techniques, they are the most basic and you could pick them up AND be good at them in 2 weeks max. This means, you are going to be taking those techs and repeating them over and over all summer. The thing about research is that it often sounds 'reall interesting' and often ends up sucking fat balls.


Ive been in both 'really interesting' and actually interesting research labs so I have some experience.


I just read that you wanted opinions from people in med school, better just piss on my opinion then.
Ha. I probably should have taken the "cool" part out of my post. I realized that it would be mind-grippingly interesting but I thought it might be somewhat interesting to do something other than sit on my butt and study embryo or physio. I also thought it might look good on a residency application someday. Thanks for your input.
 

Tubman

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delicate, I am actually in the exact same position as you are right now. I've been offered my old physical therapy job back for the summer, full time if I would like. However, at the same time I would like to participate in research. I would actually do both, as crazy as it sounds, but the job is back home which is about 8 hours away. At this point I'm leaning towards research, as I'm highly interested in many competitive specialties and I think having a published study could significantly enhance my application. The money I could make by working full time would be nice, but when you look at the big picture, it's actually nothing compared to the debt I'll be in when I'm done.
 

docmz

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just some input, but i will be attending school in the fall and have spent the past YEAR cloning and doing PCR. to put it gently, they are extremely boring and tedious jobs. the previous advice that says you can master them in 2 weeks is true.

just some info.

Tubman said:
delicate, I am actually in the exact same position as you are right now. I've been offered my old physical therapy job back for the summer, full time if I would like. However, at the same time I would like to participate in research. I would actually do both, as crazy as it sounds, but the job is back home which is about 8 hours away. At this point I'm leaning towards research, as I'm highly interested in many competitive specialties and I think having a published study could significantly enhance my application. The money I could make by working full time would be nice, but when you look at the big picture, it's actually nothing compared to the debt I'll be in when I'm done.
 
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delicatefade

delicatefade

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OK, well let me put it this way. Whether PCR and cloning are boring/tedious are besides the point. I wasn't really going into this thinking that it was going to be the awesomest experience of my life. I initially was interested because a biochemistry professor is willing to let me work under her grant on a project of my choice that is related to her research. The whole point of doing it was the possibility of getting results, a name on a publication, or a poster presentation which would potentially look good on a future residency application.

So, back to my initial question. Regardless of whether it will be FUN, is it important that I take advantage of this opportunity now for some payoff on my residency applications later. (for this question I really would prefer 3rd/4th year medical students or residents.)
 

BamaAlum

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Find out if the PI anticipates your work leading to a publication. If it does, then I would do the research. You never know what you may be interested in doing after MSIII and a publication always looks good on your CV. The money is great but it is not going to help you secure a competitive residency.