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When to do research with publication in mind?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Hednej, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Hednej

    Hednej ***** Level 60
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    It seems that the majority of med students do research between first and second year.
    However, if you want to go into a competitive specialty, it seems very important that you get published and it just seems that 10 weeks isn't enough time (well at least in most cases).

    So people who do publish, when do they do their research? Just the summer between first and second year or during the school year? The latter sounds impossible.
     
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  3. SupergreenMnM

    SupergreenMnM Peanut, not chocolate
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    I did mine during grad school :) No really, I think summer of M1 is pretty common, though even if you do it later can't you just put sumbitted for pub?
     
  4. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    I did it during second year, tiring but worth it. Submitted means a lot less than in print.
     
  5. Hednej

    Hednej ***** Level 60
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    Lol, well that sucks for me then :)

    But does putting it as submitted have the same weight as an actual publication?
     
  6. Hednej

    Hednej ***** Level 60
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    Yeah second year sounds like a good candidate because you're already more familiar with the institution, faculty, and medicine in general.

    A lot of these summer programs are very structured with certain mentors who have volunteered. How would one go about setting it up during the second year as far as finding a mentor and getting funding go ?
     
  7. SupergreenMnM

    SupergreenMnM Peanut, not chocolate
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    True true. Another thing too is to maybe try to present it at a national conference if you can't get it pub'd, a lot of people think that they don't get a pub they can't do anything with it and thats not so.
     
  8. MattD

    MattD Curmudgeon
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    Also, clinical research is usually less time consuming than basic science. Think retrospective chart studies and such. Not glamorous, but it counts.
     
  9. Hednej

    Hednej ***** Level 60
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    Hmm, sounds like something that can be managed during second year.
    I guess to get a project you just have to go and beat down on someone's door until he throws you a bone?
     
  10. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    I met my research mentor at one of those research meet and greet dealies for medical students. I would take advantage of any such events at your school. I think your best bet is to find which PI's medical students have worked with in the past and get a project.
     
  11. Long Dong

    Long Dong My middle name is Duc.
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    I did one research project during summer between 1st and 2nd year and another during summer between 3rd and 4th year. In hind sight I should of started with research in my field from day one of med school and carried it threw out years 1-4. The ones who did that at my school matched really well and had a ton of interviews while I only had 4. More interviews would've meant alot less stress and feelings of inadequacy during the application season.
     
  12. 8o8o8o8

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    Does it make more sense to stick with research in one field (once you have a few publications) even if you probably don't want to go into it, or to switch an do reaserch in your future field??
     
  13. Hednej

    Hednej ***** Level 60
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    The question is how do you start from day 1?

    And then I think your question 8o8o, what if the research you end up doing comes to be not as relevant to the field you fall in love with?
     
  14. Long Dong

    Long Dong My middle name is Duc.
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    1. Start by emailing the chair of the department. During year 1 I emailed the chair of path about doing some research, he then referred me to someone who would mentor me. During year 3 I emailed the chair of derm and told him about my interest in derm and path. He then referred me to someone who was doing dermpath research.

    2. Even if your research is not relevant to the field you end up applying to, research in general and especially pubs helps your app alot. I'd pick to do research in the field that is the hardest to get into and try to publish in it. If you change your mind to a different field at least you did research/published and covered that base for that more competitive field. If you want plastics/derm/rad onc research is important, cause almost everyone well have it on their app, and your app will be defecient w/o it. Research is also key to getting to know the right people. But if you choose FP the research in the other field wouldn't hurt.
     
  15. Hednej

    Hednej ***** Level 60
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    That's some good advice right there.

    BTW, I'm just curious how you got dragged into derm from path cuz I'm mostly leaning towards path right now.
     
  16. Critical Mass

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    This, my friends, is what a medical student publication is. Follow somebody around for a couple of weeks and get your name listed fifth on a couple of case studies. :thumbup:

    To be fair, the scope of applications that Long submitted were probably a lot different than the average American medical student.
     
  17. V05

    V05
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    The importance of research is getting to know the attendings and obtaining good letters of rec from them. You should, of course, always complete your work and publish if you can. However, publishing a paper in a good journal is much more difficult than most people think. Oftentimes attendings are very busy and doing research with you may be the last thing on their mind, especially if you require a lot of guidance.

    If you want to publish, I agree with the above posts. It is best to focus on clinical material and:
    1) Get abstracts or posters at national coferences or
    2) Write up case reports or case series

    Once you have done the above, you will be in a better position to tackle larger projects. You can work on #1 and #2 any time.
     
  18. Hednej

    Hednej ***** Level 60
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    So is it less desirable to work with a PhD because the rec letter won't count as much as a MD in his or her field? (or this seems to be my understanding).

    Also, what are case reports or series? (sorry, I'm a noob)
     
  19. mizzoudude

    mizzoudude Guest
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    I would agree with the V05 that getting a paper published in a good journal is super tough!!

    It would be incredibly hard to finish a publish worthy project in the 10 weeks of summer break...

    I am working on my masters and I will probably publish a paper..but that is about 8 months of work....but it has great detail..and will probably be in a good journal (not bragging...just what my mentor said).

    Unless you know your lab techniques and project specific techniques..then it is tough to get a project done super fast.

    What is the clinical paper you guys are talking about?? A case history? Do they just present a case history and then diagnose and such?? What kind of journals are these published in? Sorry for being dumb...
     
  20. vtucci

    vtucci Attending in Emergency Medicine
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    A case report is often a discussion of an interesting case (may be an unusual presentation of a common illness or a zebra) with a discussion of the literature (a mini-lit review). A case series involves the histories of more than one patient followed by the literature review and discussion.

    Case reports and case series are published in journals. However, the specific journal will depend on the elements of the case (i.e., is it infectious disease, cardiology, hematology etc).
     
  21. mizzoudude

    mizzoudude Guest
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    Thanks Veronica!
     
  22. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    I would agree with this. Working with an MD or MD/PhD especially in your specialty of interest allows you to get a very strong letter of rec come application time and is highly recommended. Remember when you're applying to residency you'll be allowed only a few letters of rec and a PhD mentor probably won't provide you a useful letter.
     
  23. SupergreenMnM

    SupergreenMnM Peanut, not chocolate
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    No comment on the letter part; but...clinical research is easier to publish, as well as easier for a medical student to do compaired to basic science research.
     
  24. Hednej

    Hednej ***** Level 60
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    Agreed. But as a M1, everything will sound greek to me (and a lot of it is probably greek :laugh: ). But would it really be possible for a M1 to start doing clinical research and case reports and etc?
     
  25. MattD

    MattD Curmudgeon
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    You have to start sometime.
     
  26. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    Long Dong, since you've been through the match and all i was wondering what you think of the relative value of basic science versus clinical publications.
     
  27. Hednej

    Hednej ***** Level 60
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    The way it seems to me( and I am no expert, so please jump in and correct me) is this:

    Basic science in the field you're trying to match into
    Basic science in some other field
    Clinical in the field you're trying to match into
    Clinical in some other field
    Case studies/case series
     
  28. tkatchev

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    You would think that, and correct me if I'm wrong, with all of us being future doctors and not research scientists (unless you're MD/PhD) that clinical research should rank right up there with basic science research and not be trumped by it.
     
  29. soeagerun2or

    soeagerun2or Membership Revoked
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    It's an interesting question. Basic science is generally more rigorous and programs are most interested in someone who can do basic science and bring in external grant money. Clinical science is closer to practice.

    The next generation of doctor will not only practice but also conduct significant research.
     
  30. Gabujabu

    Gabujabu Senior Member
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    What about publications you had in undergrad. Do those count for anything at all?
     
  31. Long Dong

    Long Dong My middle name is Duc.
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    Can't really say which is better, but can say publishing in a reputable journal is very helpful, and publishing at all is still helpful. Not just for publishing but for the contacts and the LORs.

    It actually depends on the institution and field. Say derm alot of places give students the oohs and aahs for publishing in basic sci journals. Ex. like ucla the chair is the top basic sci researcher in derm so if you pubed in basic sci it would get his attention. But other places say like Mayo is big on clinical research and if you pubed in a clinical journal it would catch their eye more then say basic sci. But all in all publishing is good period, it shows the academic places that you can do it and that you would be able to do it while w/them w/o much hand holding.

    This is all IMHO and only in my limited experience so take w/grain of salt.
     
  32. premeddick

    premeddick Junior Member
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    Are we talking about "first author" or "any author" publications?
     
  33. Hednej

    Hednej ***** Level 60
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    Well obviously first author publication is preferable to all other ones. And then after that you have 2nd author, 3rd, etc.
     
  34. Hednej

    Hednej ***** Level 60
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    Not really and I don't think you should mention it unless you got published in Nature or Science, but if you do mention it, it does show commitment to research.

    It's kind of like the transition from HS to college. It's OK the freshman year if you have HS stuff on your resume, but after that it's kinda lame.
     
  35. Twitch

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    What would be the expectation in residency as to the amount of research? I'm thinking if you want radonc/derm/neuro they're not expecting you to sit in a lab and do basic reseach while you're on the clock during residency, right? Or is the idea you do 80-120 hours + writeup + research on your own?
     
  36. premeddick

    premeddick Junior Member
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    I disagree. I do not think that making a novel contribution to our understanding of science is lame. These are the types of things that stay on your CV forever. A PI that I know still puts publications that he got as a PhD student on his CV since they are the basis for the research that he currently does and he is now an associate professor. After high school, I think the standard changes.
     
  37. V05

    V05
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    Any publication you have should be listed on your CV/resume- including abstracts, posters, and presentations. It shows you have some interest in research and you are capable of performing research.

    Residencies may require you to do research and they will allow you time/money to go present at national meetings. Why? When their residents are engaged in academic activites, it make them look good! Therefore, research activities are generally desireable and anything you have done should be made known to others.

    I still believe the #1 goal of doing research is to get LOR/connections, but the above also plays a role.
     
  38. vtucci

    vtucci Attending in Emergency Medicine
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    All publications and research activity should be listed on a CV. It demonstrates commitment to lifelong learning and to making scholarly contributions.

    As far as which is better clinical v. basic science publications, this will depend largely on the field of medicine that you are interested in pursuing. Some fields with a more clinical/diagnostic bent will be more impressed with clinical research rather than whether you isolated the 1900 amino acid for a particular mouse peptide or insert equally esoteric item. Others will appreciate the longer term commitment that often goes into a basic science project.

    For those of you who would rather die than do basic science research, find a good clinical research mentor, establish a good working relationship with them and then do a series of papers with them. That also shows dedication.
     
  39. Hednej

    Hednej ***** Level 60
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    Question regarding finding a mentor:

    During undergrad, I haven't had too many positive experiences finding responsive/caring/good PIs for research. When finding a mentor in med school, what characteristics should you look for so that you don't end up getting a mentor that's always blowing you off?
     
  40. khadija

    khadija Member
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    how should one go about finding a research mentor? just email/call a bunch of faculty to see which one has the time?
     
  41. Hednej

    Hednej ***** Level 60
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    I guess initially you have to be interested in their project and specific field. But I don't know how you would go about setting anything up.
     

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