2+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2017
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
Very interested in plastics after my surgery rotation. Do I have enough research experience in plastics to show my commitment or should I take a research year? I have 2 research experiences in OBGYN, 6 in plastics, 6 in ENT, 1 in EM. Also am graduating from a new MD school so feel like I need to prove my worth/stand out. Don't have my step score as we take it after clinicals at our school. Any thoughts and suggestions appreciated! Thanks! (Edit: 1 pub in ENT, 1 in plastics)


5+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2015
  1. Medical Student
Really just depends on your Step score. If you're 250+ I don't think you have to as long as you do well on rotations and get good letters. If you're 240-249 or below, I'd probably take a research year unless you just have good connections
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7+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2012
  1. Resident [Any Field]
You have enough research that I don't think it matters. Pubs that are pending and even research projects count, don't discount those. I don't think research would be your area of weakness if you didn't match.
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Membership Revoked
Mar 24, 2020
  1. Non-Student
The question of whether one should take off for a year in research is not as simple as it sounds. You have to look at your entire app. ( Step scores, clinical, AOA, commitment to plastics, etc.), and then decide. What the two prior responses failed to address is that, a year-long fellowship shows a strong commitment to plastics and the fact that you will have exposure to some of the big names in academics(Letters if you do well), provided you go to a well-known program. Sure, a lot of people with great scores can match, but will those score be enough to match at a top 20?

At the end of the day, research can only help, certainly not hinder your chances at a big time program. If you want to enter academics, you will likely want to do a 1-2 year fellowship, ideally between MS3-4.
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