samsoccer7

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Hey everyone, sorry to post again, but...

I'm interested in getting some research done as I'm almost done with medicine, leaving family and peds left, giving me ample time to work. Problem is my home institution is lacking heavily in that category. I'm planning on taking a research month right after my rads elective here, but I'm wondering if maybe that would be better served elsewhere?

So basically, how can I get involved in a project OUTSIDE my institution? Is it feasible? Would I then be able to do a research month somewhere else as well?
 

samsoccer7

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Somebody has to have some input. Let me add another question:

Is it imperative to do a rad rotation at your home school, even if it's a subpar residency program, and even if it means not getting to a bigger-named place early enough to get a letter (July-August, so letter can be in by late September, at the latest)?

I have no interest at staying at my school, no ties to the area, etc. However, I can still get a letter from the PD, albeit generic, even if I don't do an elective. Opinions?
 

Kalel

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Regarding the research question, in all specialties, many students do research away from their home institution. You can oftentimes even get fourth year elective credit for doing this research, but even if you can't, I don't think elective credit really matters all that much to tell the truth. Setting up a research project should be done just by e-mailing faculty members of different schools with active ongoing research projects, through word of mouth, and by searching school websites. You may have to contact a number of faculty members before you receive a positive response. You can write up a generic e-mail (eg I read about your research... I'd like to get involved...etc) and change the name of each of your e-mails to personalize it.
 
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bosky

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I face similar problems at my home institution, but having got a PhD I know different. The radiology department here is largely oblivious to the fact that we have one of the most well-known MRI research programs in the country. I don't want to be more specific than that, but if you'll take my word for it, I'll give you an example;

I asked a full professor in the radiology department (a PhD) which radiologist MD was doing research so that I could get some experience doing clinical research before graduating - he said there were few people interested in research and the junior faculty that were - that bascially I would be mentoring them! Initiating your own clinical research is certainly a possibility, but this is very time-consuming and one may not have the power to pull it off.

Anyway, we publish animal radiology research all the time, sometimes in clinical journals about important radiology questions, yet still very little interest from the radiology department!

So, maybe you should look closely at basic scientists at your home institution as well? Maybe there are animal magnets and work being done there that you overlooked? At several schools there are separate "institutions"/buildings away from the radiology department that do a lot of radiology research. These projects sometimes work much more quickly, so that if you helped out, you might get your name on an abstract before you interviewed. Of course if you're doing this largely for a letter of recommendation, I'm not sure one from a PhD will help (someone else would know better than I!).

Alternatively, maybe there are clinical radiology faculty at your home institution in a radiology area outside your interests, that have good research and would serve as good mentors (even though their subject is something you don't see yourself ever doing again!). The other sad fact, that personally concerns me for radiology's future, is that at many places, neurology and pyschiatry are often doing more interesting MRI research than radiology!

However, your impressions about your home department may be right. Here, I'm personally thinking of trying to do an externship at MGH, NIH and maybe go abroad for another different perspective. Of course, I'm gungho research. If you're a straight MD student the latter 2 options might be hard to arrange without contacts, but your first option (as you stated in your original post) might work.

Hope this helps!
 

samsoccer7

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As far as I know I'm pretty accurate. We have 6(?) radiologists that I regularly see in the reading room. I emailed one, he said he has absolutely nothing going. I emailed the chairman and he forwarded me to another guy who's published 4 articles in the last 4 yrs, and they're all outside of radiology. I'm kinda screwed b/c I want to get involved with something but we don't do much. I'll check the PhD's and see, but I doubt they have much more work. Thanks for the post though.
 

Whisker Barrel Cortex

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Unfortunately, part of the problem with Radiologists doing research is the overwhelming increase in imaging and the flight of radiologists from academics to private practice. Except for a few institutions (of which mine is one luckily) the attendings simply do not have the time to do research. They are working like dogs with 2-3 less staff than they would need in order have meaningful academic time.
 

bosky

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I totally agree with you WBC, but this is one of the things that concerns me (personally) about ultimately doing a radiology residency. I know this may appear to be a common question, but in your experience, what programs have a similar situtation to yours (i.e. where radiologists actually do meaningful research)?

- I've been thinking academic radiology would be immune to outsourcing issues (and maybe better because of it!), but I've been very discouraged as of late because of this apparent research gap and have started to think about doing something besides radiology because of this problem.
 

samsoccer7

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Well it looks like I might have found something. An attending said he's working on some projects with residents and potentially has a couple case reports just waiting to be written up. It took like 2 weeks to write back to me so I dropped another email saying I was really interested and wanted to start something soon if possible. Looks like it did the trick. I'm lucky in that the people interested in rads my year apparently don't care about research.

On another note, I would say that academics still has a lot of research going on, in general. Any of the top 50 programs I'm sure has a good amount of research. In fact, it may go beyond the top 50.
 

fat free milk

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how common (uncommon) is it to get funding for research at an outside institution, during the summer? i'd like to do some rads research but don't like the idea of working for free again.
 
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