M.Furfur

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This is almost one of those what are my chances thread. I am wondering how important is research experience (I have none) in order to match in a University general surgery program. I do have a good board score, but also few strikes against me.
Do all university programs care about research?
 

MojoRisin

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I would want to know a little more about the 'strikes' first. They will possibly be more of a roadblock than no research IMO. I had 0 research and was only asked on 2 interviews about research (one had a mandatory research year) and basically the PD asked if I would have any problems doing research if I matched there.

At some big-time research schools I could see this being an issue, I however did not interview at many big research schools.
 

thedrjojo

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my only research was in undergrad and produced no papers. I only interviewed at University Programs (8 of 8 applyed to, including all 4 of the university ones in Manhatten) and no one mentioned anything negative about my research... especially since I kept asking about research opportunities because I want to do research in residency (partially to get into Surg Onc fellowship, partially because I would be interested in doing research as an academic surgeon in the future).

I think your strikes won't hurt you in getting an interview (unless you have visa problems being born overseas/being an international student) but may hurt you more on your interviews than not having research...
 
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M.Furfur

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my only research was in undergrad and produced no papers. I only interviewed at University Programs (8 of 8 applyed to, including all 4 of the university ones in Manhatten) and no one mentioned anything negative about my research... especially since I kept asking about research opportunities because I want to do research in residency (partially to get into Surg Onc fellowship, partially because I would be interested in doing research as an academic surgeon in the future).

I think your strikes won't hurt you in getting an interview (unless you have visa problems being born overseas/being an international student) but may hurt you more on your interviews than not having research...
Even for programs like mayo/cleveland clinic and other upper tier?
 

FrostNJ

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I don't know the answer to your question MF, but on a similar note if I want to do G Surg and am looking for potential labs to do research in, how much does:
- Working with a surgeon vs. non surgeon (cardiologist, pulmonologist) matter? I know for clinical rotation LOR they basically HAVE to be from surgeons, but what about your PI?
 

thedrjojo

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Even for programs like mayo/cleveland clinic and other upper tier?

Cornell, Columbia, Mt. Sinai, NYU (any or all of them) not upper tier?
 
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M.Furfur

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Cornell, Columbia, Mt. Sinai, NYU (any or all of them) not upper tier?
Buddy I don't know where u interviewed if that's what you are hinting at. Do you know what's the board score cutoff for such programs?
 

Guile

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Cornell, Columbia, Mt. Sinai, NYU (any or all of them) not upper tier?
Did you match at one of them? Not trying to be rude but I would consider that a better metric than interviewing. Programs interview a lot of people (maybe ~10x the number of spots) and so I think people matching there without research is probably more relevant.
 

SLUser11

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Did you match at one of them? Not trying to be rude but I would consider that a better metric than interviewing. Programs interview a lot of people (maybe ~10x the number of spots) and so I think people matching there without research is probably more relevant.
You don't need research experience to interview or match at a university program, whether it's "upper tier" or State U. Just like any other aspect of your application, it can be a strength at some places, but it is definitely not mandatory.

Most medical student research is complete crap. Let's face it.

Also, whether or not jojo is at one of those places is irrelevant, because he interviewed at all of them, and matched his #1.....at a university program.
 

surg

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It's not mandatory, but in a place where they are looking for researchers, they are naturally going to favor people who show an aptitude or at least an interest in it. This is particularly true for those programs that have mandatory research years. No sense in stranding someone for 1-2 years if they are going to be unproductive.

I have seen great people with otherwise great applications get into top tier institutions with no research. I have seen people with great research get not ranked in mid-tier institutions. There is no one thing that makes or breaks an application (short of something that makes them unlicensable). It truly is a package deal.

If you spend your spare time doing something you love, it'll show. It you just do research to "check the box" but don't really have any interest in it, that will also show, and likely be a negative in my book as you've proven to me that you don't like research, if that's what I'm looking for in my residents.

Finally, keep in mind that there is a wide spectrum of "university" programs spanning from super-academic, to basically a community program with a University sign on the building in terms of research interest. If you aren't interested in it, but still want a University setting, find one that fits that mold.
 

Guile

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You don't need research experience to interview or match at a university program, whether it's "upper tier" or State U. Just like any other aspect of your application, it can be a strength at some places, but it is definitely not mandatory.

Most medical student research is complete crap. Let's face it.

Also, whether or not jojo is at one of those places is irrelevant, because he interviewed at all of them, and matched his #1.....at a university program.
Just to echo surg's thoughts, no one is arguing it's mandatory, but it surely helps. Not only because "research" looks good but because it shows that you can work with people, develop a good mentor relationship, etc. A strong letter from a research mentor goes far. When you're trying to match at top institutions, you need everything you can to set yourself apart from others. Most of the applicants will have some sort of research experience so it's important to have something, as long as you're not just checking the box. I would even say that at top schools, not having research will be a negative on your application.
 

SLUser11

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When you're trying to match at top institutions, you need everything you can to set yourself apart from others. Most of the applicants will have some sort of research experience so it's important to have something, as long as you're not just checking the box. I would even say that at top schools, not having research will be a negative on your application.
The OP asked if research was necessary for a university program, and asked "do all university programs care about research?" We responded correctly that it is not necessary. Much like a good letter, or an honors in surgery, it is nice to have, but not mandatory. You are now sort of changing the question so your answer is more right.....

I guess a clearer way of saying it is that research is less important than most other aspects of your application. Board scores, grades, LORs, interviewing skills, etc all seem to be more important. Research weighs in there slightly above the color of your tie and how many beers you order at the pre-interview social.

Obviously, I'm exaggerating a little, but I'm really trying to drive this point home. There are other things you can do to "set you apart from the others" that will have more success. That being said, we all play the game and get some crappy research on our residency application, myself included.
 

Guile

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The OP asked if research was necessary for a university program, and asked "do all university programs care about research?" We responded correctly that it is not necessary. Much like a good letter, or an honors in surgery, it is nice to have, but not mandatory. You are now sort of changing the question so your answer is more right.....

I guess a clearer way of saying it is that research is less important than most other aspects of your application. Board scores, grades, LORs, interviewing skills, etc all seem to be more important. Research weighs in there slightly above the color of your tie and how many beers you order at the pre-interview social.

Obviously, I'm exaggerating a little, but I'm really trying to drive this point home. There are other things you can do to "set you apart from the others" that will have more success. That being said, we all play the game and get some crappy research on our residency application, myself included.
Agreed (with the bold). It certainly ranks lower than board scores, grades, letters, and your interview. Definitely not necessary but important. Another bonus is it also gives you something good to talk about in your interview. However, I would say that yes, while not mandatory (like it would be rad-onc or derm), university programs care about research. That's the point I want to drive home. To the OP, if you have the chance to do some research, I would say go for it. It will only help you. As you point out, most students make an effort to have some sort of research on their application.
 
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M.Furfur

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It's not mandatory, but in a place where they are looking for researchers, they are naturally going to favor people who show an aptitude or at least an interest in it. This is particularly true for those programs that have mandatory research years. No sense in stranding someone for 1-2 years if they are going to be unproductive.

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Thanks for your reply (everyone). I won't be even applying to any of those programs that require you to do research for one or two years. I was specifically wondering about programs like Mayo and Cleveland clinics that actually allow you to finish in 5 years. The reason I am interested in a university program is because I would like to work at an academic centre. I really like teaching .

I am currently working on a case report, I have done a public health poster, and presented twice to the surgery interest club. I hope that will be enough to match somewhere.