knope321

2+ Year Member
Feb 18, 2017
41
24
Status
Medical Student
Hi! I was wondering what people thought about taking a research year to help with applying to neuro. The field seems to value heavily value research and there are lots of MD/PhDs in the field.

I came into medical school straight from undegrad. During undergrad, I was in a heavily basic science lab, ending up switching projects, and did not end up publishing anything.

I'm worried that the fact neuro research seems to take so long to get good data + I have no leverage from undergrad will hurt me later on.
 

typhoonegator

Neurointensivist
Moderator
10+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2006
1,868
867
Boston
Status
Attending Physician
You don't "need" publications to match in neuro. As a field it is valued in some training programs and not in others. Even at Harvard, there are residents that have very little in the way of prior research publications. Research can help to punctuate an otherwise lackluster application, but for most people a paper or two will not make or break their desirability. I'm not talking about MD/PhDs who work in an HHMI lab.

I would only take a year of research if you're going to get paid, it's a project that holds real meaning to you, and you're willing to delay your matriculation into working society by yet another year on the back end. You can write up a case report or two during 3rd and 4th year, which could get you a poster or something and give you something to talk about on the interview trail.
 
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kchan99

15+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2004
307
86
Maryland
Status
Attending Physician
I matched into a top neurology program with some research experience but no publications. Even during interviews, I was asked if I were interested in research tracks in programs with T32s. USMLE scores, MSPE/grades, and letters matter more.

While programs with research emphasis would like residents to have research projects, they are still looking for candidates who can be trained into competent independent clinicians.
 
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