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New Member
2+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2020
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Hi everyone! Would love some advice!
For context, I am an M1 at a top 50 medical school in the US. I am very interested in cardiology (so internal medicine). But I just recently developed an interest in dermatology too. I have been trying to decide what would be best for my upcoming summer so would love some advice!
I was accepted to the Vanderbilt Summer Research Training Program in Kidney Disease to do hypertension research for the summer. I'm not sure how selective this experience is but it sounds really fun to be in Nashville and experience something new. I know we get a guaranteed poster out of the experience, but it doesn't seem that students publish much (which I know is important for residencies).
However, I also have the option of doing research at my home institution with an NIH stipend. I have already talked to a couple potential mentors at my home institution- one in dermatology and one in cardiology. They both are from very productive labs and have their students publish a lot. They want all of their students to be first authors on at least a couple papers, if not more, to get the experience. All of their students are on multiple publications.
Given that I am interested in these two very different specialities, I am not sure what would be the most worthwhile use of my summer: research at Vanderbilt through this fellowship or research at my home institution where I could build connections longitudinally and have guaranteed manuscript writing experience and publications.
Would love the advice! Thank you!

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Full Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2015
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I would do the research at your home program since it's more applicable to what you want to go into and has a higher chance of getting a publication. Also, it means you wouldn't have to move over the summer which is stressful in itself. But make sure you talk to students that are currently in the labs or recently passed through the labs to see if the PI would be a good research mentor for you. During my M1 summer, I had the PI pull a bait and switch on me and had me work on a dead-end project that went nowhere, even though he promised "many publications". I'd also prioritize dermatology research, as it's difficult to match dermatology without specialty-specific research. You can always do cardiology research during residency when the time comes.