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Which Research to Pursue During M1?

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MedPR

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Once I get my self acclimated to the workload, I hope to find a research project I can work on during M1 to improve my chances of having multiple projects and a publication(s) for my residency CV.

Going in, I am interested in ortho, IR, and neurosurg and am wondering what type of research (of those three) I should pursue? I understand that researching in the same field as your residency choice is the best option, but I don't know what I'll end up choosing so I'd like to do the one that is most beneficial to matching a different field.. if that even makes sense.
 

evilbooyaa

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You could do a combination of topics.(do some spine related research that can apply to ortho and neurosurg)

As for incorporating IR, it's hard, but if there are any relevant things on IR procedures improving outcomes compared to a different technique in relation to spinal issues etc. etc.

Those would be my best guesses. If you had to pick one specialty to not necessarily prep for w/ research, I'd probably pick IR. Ortho and NSG research isn't necessarily required, but based off everyone I know applying to those 2 fields, everyone has something either published or presented in the field.
 

MedPR

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You could do a combination of topics.(do some spine related research that can apply to ortho and neurosurg)

As for incorporating IR, it's hard, but if there are any relevant things on IR procedures improving outcomes compared to a different technique in relation to spinal issues etc. etc.

Those would be my best guesses. If you had to pick one specialty to not necessarily prep for w/ research, I'd probably pick IR. Ortho and NSG research isn't necessarily required, but based off everyone I know applying to those 2 fields, everyone has something either published or presented in the field.


Cool, thanks for the advice. The main reason I'm considering neurosurg is because of my interest in spine and the possibility that it would be better to do a neurosurg residency -> spine fellowship than an ortho residency -> spine fellowship.
 

MD22412

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Cool, thanks for the advice. The main reason I'm considering neurosurg is because of my interest in spine and the possibility that it would be better to do a neurosurg residency -> spine fellowship than an ortho residency -> spine fellowship.

.... Lol
 

Stellar Clouds

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Cool, thanks for the advice. The main reason I'm considering neurosurg is because of my interest in spine and the possibility that it would be better to do a neurosurg residency -> spine fellowship than an ortho residency -> spine fellowship.

What would possibly make you say that a neurosurgery residency + fellowship would be better than orthopedic surgery + fellowship?
 

DoctorLacrosse

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Just as a question, as an M1 is it possible to start research during your first year, and still get your winter and summer breaks off? Or will you have to do work during those because you're now a part of a lab? Obviously I believe it'd depend on the school and specific lab, but just wondering in general.
 

Stellar Clouds

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Just as a question, as an M1 is it possible to start research during your first year, and still get your winter and summer breaks off? Or will you have to do work during those because you're now a part of a lab? Obviously I believe it'd depend on the school and specific lab, but just wondering in general.

It would certainly depend on where you are working, but don't forget that research in medical school doesn't have to be bench work. There are plenty of opportunities for chart reviews and other clinically based research that can be done in your free time (but not take ALL of your free time).
 

MedPR

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What would possibly make you say that a neurosurgery residency + fellowship would be better than orthopedic surgery + fellowship?

In terms of competitiveness for fellowship and exposure to spine surgery. I know neurosurg lifestyle is way worse than ortho lifestyle.

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DoctorLacrosse

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It would certainly depend on where you are working, but don't forget that research in medical school doesn't have to be bench work. There are plenty of opportunities for chart reviews and other clinically based research that can be done in your free time (but not take ALL of your free time).

This sounds perfect for me. I do clinical research now during undergrad and really enjoy it compared to my very short time trying out bench research, which I despised. I plan to stay clinical in med school (someday :))
 

NickNaylor

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Just do a project you're interested in. I wouldn't worry so much about trying to do something that's in your potential field of interest or whatever. It would be much better to pursue a project that will be productive and net you something useful rather than a project that's in a particular field.

(sent from my phone)
 

Guero

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Just do a project you're interested in. I wouldn't worry so much about trying to do something that's in your potential field of interest or whatever. It would be much better to pursue a project that will be productive and net you something useful rather than a project that's in a particular field.

(sent from my phone)
+1

But just remember, when doing clinical research, it's more time consuming on the front end due to drafting all of the IRB proposals, especially if you intend to do anything with human participants aside from retrospective work or chart reviews. That's definitely a plus to bench work: You usually piggy-back off of someone else's grant.
 

evilbooyaa

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Clinical research for a med student means doing chart reviews which need minor IRB approval...

No med student is going to be involved in some well known randomized trial since most of those require some minimum time for followup, usually in the years.

Clinical research to me = chart review, usually retrospective.
 

Guero

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Clinical research for a med student means doing chart reviews which need minor IRB approval...

No med student is going to be involved in some well known randomized trial since most of those require some minimum time for followup, usually in the years.

Clinical research to me = chart review, usually retrospective.
I wasn't talking about a large scale RCT--that'd be F'ing crazy. I meant something more along the lines of my latest project, which is doable as a med student. It only involved about 50 participants. It was mostly a retrospective study evaluating the efficacy of using pre-op FIESTA and FSPGR sequenced MRIs to visualize the vasculature and locus of compression in pts c/o Trigeminal Neuralgia in order to predict surgical outcome. We were able to do so with statistically significant results based on whether or not we saw obvious compression, especially if the locus of compression was at the DREZ. We had to seek IRB approval for the reviews and follow-up phone calls to administer the BPI Facial survey. It was an expedited process that took a little longer than your typical retrospective chart review. It's doable; but I wanted to warn people about the above average time commitment if they're considering something like this.
 

JJMrK

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I'd choose the most competitive thing you're interested in and do research in that field. If your school has a famous lab in any of those areas that's worth considering as well, as letters from big names can go a long way if they are in your field of interest.

I disagree with what's been said about choosing a lab based solely on what you're interested in. You need to be interested for sure, but if you are torn between two things it often makes sense to do somewhat less interesting work but in the more competitive field, IMO. Also, in some fields an outstanding letter of rec from a famous PI is worth more than a pub in a journal with an IF of 2 or 3.
 

Brachyury

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I feel like you asked this question before, and we answered it, but I'll give it another go

In general, if you're interested in multiple specialties, do research in the one that is most competitive. In this case, ortho is slightly more competitive than rads/NS

Here's some general advice: when you start med school, give yourself time to adjust. It might take one, two, or even three months to learn how to study for med school tests, let alone taking time to acclimate to a new city/school. Once you feel comfortable, start approaching potential PIs/attendings. If I were you, I would start shadowing before choosing a project/field to work in. Why? Because you may not have a good idea of what it means to be an orthopod/neurosurgeon/interventional radiologist, and the only way you're going to learn this is through shadowing. Besides, you might attend a med school that doesn't have a lot of research going on in their interventional rads department, or the attendings in neurosurgery don't like having first year students on any of their research projects. My point is don't put the cart before the ox. Another thing to consider is that after a month in anatomy lab, you may not want to go into NS. I cannot even begin to tell you the number of people who wanted to go into NS . . . until they had to tediously dissect nerves on their cadaver. Point is, keep an open mind, and as long as you are proactive (not necessarily from day 1), you should be in good shape
 

Stellar Clouds

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I feel like you asked this question before, and we answered it, but I'll give it another go

In general, if you're interested in multiple specialties, do research in the one that is most competitive. In this case, ortho is slightly more competitive than rads/NS

Here's some general advice: when you start med school, give yourself time to adjust. It might take one, two, or even three months to learn how to study for med school tests, let alone taking time to acclimate to a new city/school. Once you feel comfortable, start approaching potential PIs/attendings. If I were you, I would start shadowing before choosing a project/field to work in. Why? Because you may not have a good idea of what it means to be an orthopod/neurosurgeon/interventional radiologist, and the only way you're going to learn this is through shadowing. Besides, you might attend a med school that doesn't have a lot of research going on in their interventional rads department, or the attendings in neurosurgery don't like having first year students on any of their research projects. My point is don't put the cart before the ox. Another thing to consider is that after a month in anatomy lab, you may not want to go into NS. I cannot even begin to tell you the number of people who wanted to go into NS . . . until they had to tediously dissect nerves on their cadaver. Point is, keep an open mind, and as long as you are proactive (not necessarily from day 1), you should be in good shape

Or until they learned that 100 hours per week for 7 years was less than ideal
 
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