juelz721

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Hi! I am starting med school next year, and I have worked at a genetics/biochem lab for the past year. Now that I am starting med school, I feel that I should invest my time in research that is somehow related to a possible specialty I may want to pursue (which I am not sure about yet). What kind of lab should I look for next year? Should I maybe start doing clinical research instead of bench top?

Help! I feel that for the past few years I have invested my time and efforts into things that haven't necessarily helped me further my career.

Thanks!:idea::scared:
 

spospo

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wait until you start in the fall to decide if you really want to do research during the school year. i don't know if anyone in my class did. med school takes a little time to adjust to, so don't overload yourself too early. in terms of the type of research, i can't answer that for you. only you can. do you want to do clinical? are you tired of bench research or does it still really interest you? also, there is always the summer after M1 to really get involved in some.

on a final note, you shouldn't just be doing research to "further your career." you should do it because it really is of interest to you. if it feels like something you must do, if it feels like a chore, it won't be fullfilling no matter what type you do. don't do it simply because you want to pad your CV.
 

RxnMan

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...Now that I am starting med school, I feel that I should invest my time in research that is somehow related to a possible specialty I may want to pursue (which I am not sure about yet). What kind of lab should I look for next year? Should I maybe start doing clinical research instead of bench top?...
Please read the Research Forum FAQ (link in my signature). All your questions can be answered there.
 
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juelz721

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I know you shouldn't just do research to further your career. I love the lab I am at right now, but their topics, while interesting, are not at all related to anything I may want to do in the future. My basic question is that if I am not sure what I want to do yet, is it better to remain at the lab where I may have eventually publish something that doesn't really relate to any particular medical field, or to go to a lab that is somehow closer to my medical interests...(maybe surgery, maybe neuro...)?
 

SugPlum

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Research doesn't have to be done in a lab. There are students who work on clinical research that has nothing to do with a lab. Many students do research during the summer after the first year, the only summer you will have off in med school. When you start your first year, you may realize that you have no time for research.
 

TerpMD

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From what I hear most specialties don't care that the research is in that particular field but that you did something. I am doing clinical research in cardio and then decided I might want to do obgyn- trust me, my research is so far from applicable. I asked our clerkship director about it and she said they look for students who are pursuing things outside of school and that if I like what I am doing I should keep it up.

On a side note- clinical research is a million times more fun to me than bench. For one, I knew the hospital, charts, and all that good stuff before school started and I was comfortable sitting down talking to patients. I also got to know people and thus sit in on some pretty awesome surgeries.

Just my opinion...
 
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juelz721

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From what I hear most specialties don't care that the research is in that particular field but that you did something. I am doing clinical research in cardio and then decided I might want to do obgyn- trust me, my research is so far from applicable. I asked our clerkship director about it and she said they look for students who are pursuing things outside of school and that if I like what I am doing I should keep it up.

On a side note- clinical research is a million times more fun to me than bench. For one, I knew the hospital, charts, and all that good stuff before school started and I was comfortable sitting down talking to patients. I also got to know people and thus sit in on some pretty awesome surgeries.

Just my opinion...
Clinical research does sound interesting. How would I go about getting a clinical research oppurtunity? Is it feasable to do something like that over the year?
 

spospo

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as someone here said, wait until a few weeks into med school before you decide if you can handle doing research just yet. you may have been able to handle doing research and studying/nailing classes in undergrad, but med school is a whole new ball game. if after about a month or so, you decide that you can handle it, ask a dean of some sort about it. they'll be able to point you in the right direction.
 

TerpMD

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I actually found out about mine because my mentor was looking for students. One thing you can do is look on your med school website for faculty research profiles and see who has something interesting. If you email them, they might have something or know someone who does. The people on the faculty are at least more up on student life etc in my opinion and my mentor is great about me not getting things done during exam weeks etc.

I worked there two summers. I published an abstract with the other project and have a few more that we plan to write if I ever get time. So yes, it's very feasible. And if you like to write it's even better. I started the summer before med school and said that I couldn't promise anything after school started (as others have said, it's an adjustment) and they were fine with that. Hope this helps. Good luck!
 
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juelz721

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I actually found out about mine because my mentor was looking for students. One thing you can do is look on your med school website for faculty research profiles and see who has something interesting. If you email them, they might have something or know someone who does. The people on the faculty are at least more up on student life etc in my opinion and my mentor is great about me not getting things done during exam weeks etc.

I worked there two summers. I published an abstract with the other project and have a few more that we plan to write if I ever get time. So yes, it's very feasible. And if you like to write it's even better. I started the summer before med school and said that I couldn't promise anything after school started (as others have said, it's an adjustment) and they were fine with that. Hope this helps. Good luck!
Thanks for your response!
 

tbo

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Clinical research does sound interesting. How would I go about getting a clinical research oppurtunity? Is it feasable to do something like that over the year?
I've been doing clinical research for a while now and am getting into med school next year. I'd say there's kind of a tiered approach to finding available trials/PIs.
  • Best place is just to ask the doctors you're involved with already in med school - professors or through clerkship. The ones that are more clinical will have more stuff going in general (not necessarily your profs or school administrators).
  • Second place is to look for a local Clinical Trials Center. Most med schools used to have what is known as GCRCs or General Clinical Research Centers. It's an old infrastructure, but nearly all of the clinical research that a hospital/med school conducted went through this organization.
  • Third is to look at your affiliate hospital's human resource listing and look for Clinical Research Associate or Coordinator job postings. There's essentially always an opening related to clinical research. You'll clearly not be looking for a job, but at least that will help you identify which PIs have active studies going on and which are looking for help

There's definitely far more clinical research going on than is often advertised and out there, and it's almost always well-understaffed. So with some ingenuity, I'm sure you can easily find a few opportunities out there.