Frazier

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If you want to be a primary care physician why do you need research... wouldn't your time be better spent volunteering as an ER Tech or something?...
If you want to be a primary care physician you don't need it. However, I am sure that there are more than just a couple primary care physicians that do research to some extent...

You don't need to even go to a top-100 school. In fact, believe it or not you don't need to even be a MD but could be a DO -- or (gasp) a NP.

If your shooting for primary care don't stress it. Just do good work in the classroom [and community] in order to get into A school.

Research is nearest to "required" at the top-20 schools.
 
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You're a doctor, it's important to have some firsthand knowledge of how that knowledge is generated. And maybe be able to participate in that process as well.

Although it's not required universally, I think it's close to becoming as required as clinical experiences even at the 'lower-tier' schools. Certainly, according to MSAR, the % of accepted applicants who have research has been steadily going up.
 

loveoforganic

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You're a doctor, it's important to have some firsthand knowledge of how that knowledge is generated. And maybe be able to participate in that process as well.
And knowledge of how to critically review that research you base your practice on
 

fish89

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why would you think research NOT important? that is what makes no sense.

everyone knows that all medicine is EVIDENCE-BASED. that means every prescription, every treatment, every decision is made based on painstakingly and rigorously tested principles and concepts via... guess what? research! without research, all medicine would cease to exist. without research, we would be making aimless guesses at how to treat incomprehensible symptoms.

if you will just open an issue of JAMA you will see - drug trials, case reports, etc - why are these published? oh, maybe so doctors can read them? so if you're treating X disease you'll be like, well, in 2009, there was this study that said this awesome new drug Sunitinib is great for clear cell renal carcinoma and i think i should try this on my patient because blahblahblah reason - it had good outcomes and is PROVEN.

now, in a alternate world where research didnt exist, said doctor would be thinking, "well, i GUESS i can try this... i don't really know if it works (not having any research)..."

research is there so that as a medical professional you not only know how to treat disease ,but also how to think about disease, and how to advance the field of medicine through asking the right questions.

like i said, without research, medicine would cease to exist and progress.
 

MilkmanAl

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I'm going to go against the grain, here, and say that doing research is just another of those hoops med schools want you to jump through and, unless you want to do some research while you practice, is essentially useless to you. You'll get plenty of practice critically evaluating documents during your college courses, so there's no need to get knee-deep in a research project seeking that experience.
 

Krak

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Yeah, research really isn't all that important just like shadowing and/or volunteering. It's just one of those things you do cause everybody else does it and it's used to distinguish you etc etc. Also to the guy that says you need research to read and critically evaluate papers ... not exactly true. Med schools have classes on evidence based medicine to teach you how to think about these things. Doctors are going to be busy and there are going to be A LOT of conflicting papers out there published by biased and unbiased parties. You simply DO NOT have the time to go through all of them to see what drug happens to work for your all your patients. There's actually a website that compiles all of the research papers together as a meta analysis so you basically have to just go to their site and get the overall on many papers. I feel that most kids that get into med school are bright enough to read a paper and be able to tell whether or not it's full of BS or not. If you like research good but honestly a lot of kids find it boring and useless.
 

Mace1370

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why would you think research NOT important? that is what makes no sense.

everyone knows that all medicine is EVIDENCE-BASED. that means every prescription, every treatment, every decision is made based on painstakingly and rigorously tested principles and concepts via... guess what? research! without research, all medicine would cease to exist. without research, we would be making aimless guesses at how to treat incomprehensible symptoms.

if you will just open an issue of JAMA you will see - drug trials, case reports, etc - why are these published? oh, maybe so doctors can read them? so if you're treating X disease you'll be like, well, in 2009, there was this study that said this awesome new drug Sunitinib is great for clear cell renal carcinoma and i think i should try this on my patient because blahblahblah reason - it had good outcomes and is PROVEN.

now, in a alternate world where research didnt exist, said doctor would be thinking, "well, i GUESS i can try this... i don't really know if it works (not having any research)..."

research is there so that as a medical professional you not only know how to treat disease ,but also how to think about disease, and how to advance the field of medicine through asking the right questions.

like i said, without research, medicine would cease to exist and progress.
A lot of modern medicine would be impossible without CT scanners, but we don't expect doctors to know how to build them. Research, like so many other things, is a big hurdle you get to jump through on the way to the M.D.
 
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A lot of modern medicine would be impossible without CT scanners, but we don't expect doctors to know how to build them. Research, like so many other things, is a big hurdle you get to jump through on the way to the M.D.
:D

u only need to know how to critically evaluate research papers, and even then you only need to learn to do it AFTER med school in residency and beyond. in med school, you read stuff like... 1st aid to step 1 lol. so research exp is by no means an indicator of how well you will do in med school.
 

CoolWhipp

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M.D.'s stand on the shoulders of PhD's.
 

loveoforganic

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Obviously, I'm not in a place to contend what those with more experience have said, but I barely feel qualified to really analyze the quality of research, having done a fair bit myself.
 
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I find that the people who find research "useless" are the same people who complain that their volunteer experiences are "meaningless".

I for one love doing research.
 

orthomyxo

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I'm going to go against the grain, here, and say that doing research is just another of those hoops med schools want you to jump through and, unless you want to do some research while you practice, is essentially useless to you. You'll get plenty of practice critically evaluating documents during your college courses, so there's no need to get knee-deep in a research project seeking that experience.
:thumbup:

IMO that's pretty much how this whole process goes. You do a bunch of crap you most likely otherwise wouldn't do, in order to build up a good resume. At times it just seems so formulaic. Shadow for XYZ hours, get a few years clinical experience, research with pubs if possible, leadership role, 30+ MCAT, blah blah blah.
 
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I find that the people who find research "useless" are the same people who complain that their volunteer experiences are "meaningless".

I for one love doing research.
Agree :thumbup::thumbup:

If someone doesn't like research, there's no need to torture oneself. Just like there is no need to "volunteer" or "shadow" in the traditional sense if you don't want to.

I did shadowing while I was vacationing in other cities...

I volunteered by being an usher at a local theatre... while I was watching shows that I liked.

So... don't torture yourself.
 
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:thumbup:

IMO that's pretty much how this whole process goes. You do a bunch of crap you most likely otherwise wouldn't do, in order to build up a good resume. At times it just seems so formulaic. Shadow for XYZ hours, get a few years clinical experience, research with pubs if possible, leadership role, 30+ MCAT, blah blah blah.
It's true that there is a soft formula, but being too formulaic will make you into an applicant clone. Don't be a clone.

It helps if you think outside the box. Apparently creativity is associated with sleeping in and staying up :laugh:

So go ahead and enjoy yourself a little :cool:


Interestingly, I got this link from a researcher friend...

What Your Sleep Personality Says About Your Waking Life


http://health.msn.com/mind-body-connection/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=100243591&imageindex=1
 
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I feel that most kids that get into med school are bright enough to read a paper and be able to tell whether or not it's full of BS or not.


It takes a lot of familiarity and practice to properly analyze a study. You don't necessarily have to have done research, but you can't jump in and critically evaluate a study without a lot of practice and guidance and knowledge.
 
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I'm shadowing a doctor right now who forwards me studies from time to time to see if its valid. Back when he went to school, they didn't have or didn't stress critical analysis of scientific papers and he doesn't have the research background that other people have. He's very intelligent, but he simply doesn't have the familiarity with the practice of research.
 
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It takes a lot of familiarity and practice to properly analyze a study. You don't necessarily have to have done research, but you can't jump in and critically evaluate a study without a lot of practice and guidance and knowledge.

Haha i love that picture, made me laugh. I agree though, analyzing papers and studies doesn't just require intelligence. There's a good amount of skill involved in knowing what to look for and what types of questions to ask when reading something, such as method, etc.
 
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It takes a lot of familiarity and practice to properly analyze a study. You don't necessarily have to have done research, but you can't jump in and critically evaluate a study without a lot of practice and guidance and knowledge.
that knowledge doesnt come from doing research in undergrad. at least not for the most part. i.e undergrad research still useless for those who doesn't intended to do it in their future career

and no one gives a **** about analyzing studies in med school save the few gunners of the class, you learn out of first aid. analyzing studies isn't important until residency and beyond
 
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that knowledge doesnt come from doing research in undergrad. at least not for the most part. i.e undergrad research still useless for those who doesn't intended to do it in their future career

and no one gives a **** about analyzing studies in med school save the few gunners of the class, you learn out of first aid. analyzing studies isn't important until residency and beyond
Are you forgetting that you may have to do research during your med school career?

Rationalize it all you want- the fact is, you need research in some form or another
 

gravitywave

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Are you forgetting that you may have to do research during your med school career?

Rationalize it all you want- the fact is, you need research in some form or another
dude, chill.

no one has to do research in med school outside of a few programs, and the people who are in those programs know that already.

knowing how to read an article critically isn't important to the first two years, it might be important sometimes for third year (haven't gotten there yet), but i doubt it.

judging by the number of doctors out there who don't know how to parse an article in the way Ivy describes, I'd say it's a pretty optional skill. That's why people like the AHA put out things like the Guidelines for CPR and ECC: they chew up all the literature and spit it out in a form that every physician can understand and use to inform their practice.

they gave an internal med forum here the other day and all the docs (every one of whom had an academic practice) straight up agreed that we never had to do research again if we didn't want to. you should have heard the audible sigh of relief that came out of the audience...
 
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Yea, I don't think it's necessary - the doctor I shadowed got by for 30 years without it. He told me he wishes he had taken a class that taught him, or done more research but he doesn't have time to spend to learn it now.

But for those who do not wish it or do not want it, you can read meta analysis and/or other large reviews to inform your practice. However, the skill becomes more important if you're in academic medicine or if you're in certain fields which produce a lot of research vomit (e.g, oncology) where you have to sift through a lot of studies to get at some reliable data.

Other than that, if you're going to be a full time clinician only, you need some appreciation for research (e.g, so you won't be an anti-vaccine woo peddler) but you don't have to know it in depth.

For me, I wouldn't do medicine if I couldn't do research, so for me it's vital to know. Of course, that's why I'm doing MD/PhD and so I would decline an MD only acceptance.
 

circulus vitios

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Research is important in the same way that making beds and filling the coffee machine in the emergency department for 100 hours is important.

(It's not. Just another hoop to jump through.)
 

mvenus929

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Are you forgetting that you may have to do research during your med school career?

Rationalize it all you want- the fact is, you need research in some form or another
I didn't do any research in undergrad.

I was considering doing research over the summer between first and second year (because I'd get some sort of pay for it), and ultimately decided that spending the summer in Italy would be far better for my mental health.

I *might* do a chart review or something fourth year, but... I doubt it.

So no, you don't need research. Not unless you want to go into a field that's research heavy.
 

Charles_Carmichael

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Ideally, physicians should get involved in at least a little bit of research. I honestly think it'd be hard to really critically analyze literature without going through that experience of developing a hypothesis, designing experiments, interpreting results, and communicating them to other scientists. It's completely different reading about science in a book and actually undertaking the scientific method yourself in the lab.

Critical reading of literature is not something you can just pick up after a stats/epidemiology class.
 

Krak

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Ideally, physicians should get involved in at least a little bit of research. I honestly think it'd be hard to really critically analyze literature without going through that experience of developing a hypothesis, designing experiments, interpreting results, and communicating them to other scientists. It's completely different reading about science in a book and actually undertaking the scientific method yourself in the lab.

Critical reading of literature is not something you can just pick up after a stats/epidemiology class.
Yeah, cause forming a diagnosis isn't like the scientific method at all.

Hmm, patient has X,Y,Z symptoms that could possibly be A,B,C disease. I wonder how to test that? Oh yeah, let's order some diagnostic tests and rule out pertinent negatives and positives. Oh look test results came back positive for T,U and V but negative for R, L. That must be B disease, I'm going to talk to my colleague and see what he thinks. :rolleyes: