rocketbooster

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Is it common to start research during your M1 year? Or do ppl just get through classes the first 2 years and then start on research (if they want to help their residency apps) during their 3rd year?
 

rocketbooster

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Is there any point to doing basic science research in medical school?

In undergrad I did basic science but I hear post-undergrad it's only beneficial for like PhD students. For MD, you want to do clinical research. You also want research in the field you want to specialize in order to be more competitive when applying for residency. Is this true?
 

justdoit31

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I know people who have done both. The basic sciences still get you experience with the research process and look good on a resume. Obviously clinical might be more relevent.

As for when to do it- I know very few people who research during the actual first year of classes- if they do they usually wait til the 2nd semester. You never know how you will do so you want to give you some time to adjust.

It is more common to do research in the summer between MSI and MSII- that is what I am doing.
 

mmmcdowe

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Is there any point to doing basic science research in medical school?

In undergrad I did basic science but I hear post-undergrad it's only beneficial for like PhD students. For MD, you want to do clinical research. You also want research in the field you want to specialize in order to be more competitive when applying for residency. Is this true?
Some people do research in their first year, I have, but I definitely echo that you should wait a while and get your balance before starting. Either type of research is good, and honestly I would say basic science is maybe a little more impressive because of the larger commitment it often requires (but then again, it also takes longer to publish so its a trade off). A mix of both is often possible, and if you take a fifth year a lot of the pull out programs want basic science. If you are interested in a competitive field, it is probably a good to try and get some research experience in it. Research in any field, however, is going to be useful.
 

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Either type of research is good, and honestly I would say basic science is maybe a little more impressive because of the larger commitment it often requires (but then again, it also takes longer to publish so its a trade off).
I think you are reverting a bit to a pre-med mentality by thinking that something is more impressive because it takes more of a time commitment (back to the "how many hours of X should i do" questions).

Basically the goal for any research you do in med school should be to have something to show for it at the end....a poster/oral presentation or a paper... that's how your research will be judged.... publishing your clinical research as a first/second authorship in a well respected peer-reviewed journal is probably going to catch someone's eye more than slaving away in a lab on a project that didn't quite work out.

Also, unless you are a MD/PhD student, you are going to be a clinician and will likely never do basic science research again so might as well get some experience doing something that'll come in handy later on in your career.
 

drizzt3117

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I think translational is sort of the sweet spot for med students, because you'll work with both basic scientists and clinicians and also work with projects that are usually mature enough to publish on. It's also very field dependent.

Neurosurgery/neuroscience tends to be very basic science philic, along with the other surgical fields to a somewhat lesser degree. I think ortho and to a lesser degree plastics value clinical research a bit more.

IM can go either way but some of the subspecialties are super basic science oriented.

In my field of interest, rads, all kinds of research would be useful, but basic science/translational carries a little more cachet.

Ultimately you can't go wrong with basic science for most disciplines, even if they aren't necessary relevant to what you end up going into, but it's very easy to work on a basic science project for a long time without publishing.

As far as how much to do, Ive spent 10-30 hours a week in lab during my preclinical years, which is on the high side, but gotten nice results from it (8 accepted abstracts, 4 accepted pubs with 4 pending) You can do as much research as you want in med school, it's just all about balancing your time.
 

drizzt3117

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It really depends on the type of research. A simple case report can be put together and submitted in weeks, while a basic science paper with a lot of experiments will take years. Ultimately you want your research to be published but going after the low hanging fruit isn't necessarily the best way to go for each field. Talking with well-respected people in your field of interest (like the pd for your school) is probably your best bet.

I think you are reverting a bit to a pre-med mentality by thinking that something is more impressive because it takes more of a time commitment (back to the "how many hours of X should i do" questions).

Basically the goal for any research you do in med school should be to have something to show for it at the end....a poster/oral presentation or a paper... that's how your research will be judged.... publishing your clinical research as a first/second authorship in a well respected peer-reviewed journal is probably going to catch someone's eye more than slaving away in a lab on a project that didn't quite work out.

Also, unless you are a MD/PhD student, you are going to be a clinician and will likely never do basic science research again so might as well get some experience doing something that'll come in handy later on in your career.
 

MeatTornado

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It really depends on the type of research. A simple case report can be put together and submitted in weeks, while a basic science paper with a lot of experiments will take years. Ultimately you want your research to be published but going after the low hanging fruit isn't necessarily the best way to go for each field. Talking with well-respected people in your field of interest (like the pd for your school) is probably your best bet.
a case report isn't research

clinical research = conducting and/or analyzing data from an observational study or randomized trial

congrats on all those pubs though, that's impressive. however i think the vast majority of MS1/MS2 students would not be able to spend 10-30 hours in a lab, pass med school and have a fulfilling social life so it's important to realize that this is the exception and not the rule.
 

drizzt3117

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a case report isn't research

clinical research = conducting and/or analyzing data from an observational study or randomized trial

congrats on all those pubs though, that's impressive. however i think the vast majority of MS1/MS2 students would not be able to spend 10-30 hours in a lab, pass med school and have a fulfilling social life so it's important to realize that this is the exception and not the rule.
thanks, it's going to be a busy next 3 months as I have presentations at 3 Natl/intl meetings, exams, and board prep to do.

Case reports are published as clinical research all the time, but I agree that a big chart review can be reasonably time consuming.

Yeah I spend a lot more time on research than most med students, balancing your time between spending time with friends, studying, and research is challenging and requires good time mgmt skills.
 

URHere

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From what I've seen at my school, students who choose to do research during their MS1 year are generally just continuing their research from before medical school (they are from the area, have PIs at the hospital, etc). Most people who are going to do research start it during the summer between MS1/MS2. Some of them continue that research into MS2 year, but most do not.

I would encourage you to figure out how much time you will have to devote to a lab before you sign on for research. If you can only show up irregularly or put in a few hours a week you will not be of much use to most labs (note: I am speaking of basic science labs, clinical research labs generally require less time). In that case, it would be better to wait until the summer when you will actually have enough time to be helpful.
 

mmmcdowe

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I think you are reverting a bit to a pre-med mentality by thinking that something is more impressive because it takes more of a time commitment (back to the "how many hours of X should i do" questions).

Basically the goal for any research you do in med school should be to have something to show for it at the end....a poster/oral presentation or a paper... that's how your research will be judged.... publishing your clinical research as a first/second authorship in a well respected peer-reviewed journal is probably going to catch someone's eye more than slaving away in a lab on a project that didn't quite work out.

Also, unless you are a MD/PhD student, you are going to be a clinician and will likely never do basic science research again so might as well get some experience doing something that'll come in handy later on in your career.
I don't think there's anything pre-med about it. Maybe I have been clearer, but a project that you work on for an entire year is more valuable than a five hour write up you did with a surgeon, but not because of the number of hours so much as the fact that it is likely to be much more detailed and much more valuable to the scientific community. If basic science research was such a bust, why do most of the year long fellowships like Doris Duke heavily favor them, if not require them outright?

I think you underestimate how many clinicians participate in basic science research. My lab is run by a proliferative MD only clinician, for example. I do agree that its all about what you get out of it, but I would argue that what you get out of it also includes the impact of your work. Basic science research, especially if it is part of a lab that also does translational or clinical research like mine does, has the chance to be much more useful in the long run and, because of the internal loop effect, is much more likely to be cited in further studies that take what you did all the way to the bedside. I'm not bashing clinical research, which is actually what I'm involved in, but don't underestimate the value of basic science research.
 

rocketbooster

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the reason I asked this question is because I did basic science research in undergrad and it didn't amount to anything. the research topic was very interesting but the lab PI basically just took all the credit. he/she would just use the undergrads to do the grunt work and he would do the write-up him/herself. the undergrads would get like an honorable mention and that was it. no 1st, 2nd, or 3rd author.

last year, I spent 6 months in a neurobio lab, 10-15 hrs/week, and got nothing to show for it but lab experience. it looked good on my resume for applying to med school, but for residency you need actual showable results, like a publication. they don't care if you have lab experience without any publications. compare this to my friend who started basic science research in a psych lab for 3-4 hrs/week and got a publication out in a few months and another one a few months later.

I think the takeaway msg from all the replies is basic science is very high risk. it takes a long, long time and is really hit or miss. you may get in with a good PI who lets you do a lot and pushes you to get published or you might get shafted. because of the high demand of time med school requires of you, I doubt I will be willing to put in 10-15 hrs of research/week on basic science.

I think I'm just going to study and adjust the first year and try clinical research for the summer in between M1 and M2 years. Maybe I'll try spending sometime in a clinical research lab in the spring of M1 year so I can get into a good program for the summer...

thanks for all your help!
 

thesauce

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Also, unless you are a MD/PhD student, you are going to be a clinician and will likely never do basic science research again so might as well get some experience doing something that'll come in handy later on in your career.
I'm not sure where you got this idea. There are far more MD-only physician-scientists than MD/PhDs.
 

drizzt3117

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In general, I think med students have a slightly different role than undergrads when it comes to research. At many schools, they have formalized summer research programs in which you get a 8-12 week period of time in which you do a research project. You're right in that you're more likely to not get results when doing basic science research, but at least, in general anyways, you get taken more seriously as a med student than as a undergrad.

the reason I asked this question is because I did basic science research in undergrad and it didn't amount to anything. the research topic was very interesting but the lab PI basically just took all the credit. he/she would just use the undergrads to do the grunt work and he would do the write-up him/herself. the undergrads would get like an honorable mention and that was it. no 1st, 2nd, or 3rd author.

last year, I spent 6 months in a neurobio lab, 10-15 hrs/week, and got nothing to show for it but lab experience. it looked good on my resume for applying to med school, but for residency you need actual showable results, like a publication. they don't care if you have lab experience without any publications. compare this to my friend who started basic science research in a psych lab for 3-4 hrs/week and got a publication out in a few months and another one a few months later.

I think the takeaway msg from all the replies is basic science is very high risk. it takes a long, long time and is really hit or miss. you may get in with a good PI who lets you do a lot and pushes you to get published or you might get shafted. because of the high demand of time med school requires of you, I doubt I will be willing to put in 10-15 hrs of research/week on basic science.

I think I'm just going to study and adjust the first year and try clinical research for the summer in between M1 and M2 years. Maybe I'll try spending sometime in a clinical research lab in the spring of M1 year so I can get into a good program for the summer...

thanks for all your help!
 

Law2Doc

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...Most people who are going to do research start it during the summer between MS1/MS2. Some of them continue that research into MS2 year, but most do not...
This.

FWIW, if you are going into a field that requires research, you might find some time to do it during a light elective in 3rd or 4th year, and maybe even take the year off between 3rd and 4th year if you really need to improve your credentials with some publications. But most do the summer after first year, and maybe continue in some minor fashion into second year, and that's it. (obviously the PhD students do more, and have more time to work with.).