SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

summer plans

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Pop, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Pop

    Pop 5+ Year Member

    Aug 26, 2006
    So I have 7 weeks left of summer between ms1 and ms2 and no idea what counts as a good opportunity so I am looking for some help. I have never done research at all. I have an opportunity to work in an orthopeadics lab doing random work like looking up articles and learning how the lab works, and whatever else I have the motivation to learn about (the key is my motivation, I am definitely dead weight in the lab, so I am swimming against the current). I can probably get my name on a couple basic science papers about shoulders. I am somewhat interested in orthopedics. It is a cool lab and a place I could return to if I have any free time my remaining 3 years for research.

    Is this a good opportunity? What is it normally like when you start out in a lab? I feel like I missed the whole boat as far as research goes.

    Any advice is appreciated.
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. Abilene85

    Abilene85 2+ Year Member

    May 30, 2007
    My first lab experience was 10 weeks in a summer program. I was taught some techniques, helped out some grad students with experiments, and then had 1-2 weeks to do a mini independent project (really didn't produce anything useful and would have been repeated several times before being included in a paper).

    I will say, based on my experience, I find it hard to believe that you could get your name on a few basic science papers by hanging out for a few weeks, which is really just enough time to get adjusted to the place if you have never had experience in a research lab before. If it is clinical research, though, you might get your name on something. I don't think that's the most important thing, though. I wish all med students had experience in a research lab, because it gives you an appreciation for the work that goes into each paper. Even if you're not interested in doing research, it's nice to know what it is like. And if you spend the summer reading a bunch of papers, you will get more comfortable with it and start to look for the qualities of a good vs. bad article.

    Or you could just spend these last few weeks relaxing and hanging out by the pool. That sounds nice too.
  4. SomeDoc

    SomeDoc 10+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    If you are expecting to get your name on a paper doing lab work as a student over the summer doing the type of work you have just described, I should let you know that that will be highly unlikely. In such a scenario, at most, you may get acknowledged in the acknowledgement section of a publication, if the project is accepted for publication by a journal to begin with.

    Projects (for the most part, depending on the type of research), take time. If you are hoping to be published in a paper/papers by the end of msIV by devoting three years to labwork in addition to schoolwork, then there is a possibility, but again, nothing is guaranteed.
  5. Pop

    Pop 5+ Year Member

    Aug 26, 2006
    Ok this is good to know, I don't expect to get my name on a paper anymore. Is it worthwhile to spend time in a lab reading articles and learning some of the basics of the lab? What should I expect from this initial time in a lab?

  6. Agreed.

    I started doing research projects (clinical) in the summer after my MS-I year but it took a couple years to collect and analyze the data, and finally write the papers...they were finally published in journals during my MS-IV year.

    So yes, it takes a long commitment.
  7. Pop

    Pop 5+ Year Member

    Aug 26, 2006
    I'm not sure what the next 3 years will bring, but what more should I expect from spending a summer in a lab?
  8. Well do you have any other opportunities this summer?

    If not, then why not take this lab opportunity? Sounds like you'd at least learn something (but with most of these things, you only get out as much as you put in).

Share This Page