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Go with the project you're more interested in. I think you're leaning towards the cell biology project. Ditch the chair; he won't take it personally since he's a very busy person and probably is spending about 10 seconds on a given day (at most) thinking about you. And if you're honest with him, he will probably agree with your decision. Why wouldn't he have your best career interest in mind?

So what if you'll get a letter of recommendation from this chair? Chairs are busy and unless you really stand out on a a BIG project, the letter you get from him will probably be just a letter and it won't be glowing. On the other hand, if you go with the cell biology PI, it seems that you'll be working on a project in his lab that is important to him. That means you will have lots of contact with him and if you shine and kick ass in his lab (and there's nothing wrong with working in the lab part time during M2 year!), then you'll get a much better letter out of the experience. Cell biology rules anyway, but I'm biased ;) .

I think publications are important, at least from my experience over the last two months. But they are not the end-all-be-all which means that if you don't have publications, no big deal. But if you DO have a publication, it can only help. Having a first-author publication in PNAS will help even more!

BTW, if the project is sexy, go for JCB or NCB first and then go for PNAS :) . Aim high! Just be prepared for a dogfight! Seriously though, if you submit to PNAS, you can probably get it published much quicker than if you went the JCB/NCB route.
 

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I'd do the second option. It sounds more interesting and more rewarding.

In general, I don't think PIs, for the most part, take these things personally... they'll just someone else to do the work. Also, unless you are geographically restricted when you look at residency programs, I would be reasonably confident that the program you are concerned about ticking off is not the only excellent Pathology Residency Program that will be available to you.
 

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I say life is short, do what you're most interested in! Just be diplomatic and polite when you tell the chair and you should be fine. I completely agree with Andy that your learning experience will be better if you are a) enjoying yourself and b) able to spend in-depth time with the PI. Regarding first-author papers, they're never going to hurt you, and they'll help you with the more research-oriented residency programs which do favor people with publications...first-author publications no doubt make them salivate gleefully. However I don't think a lack of publication will completely shut you out from those same programs if you are a good candidate in other ways.

One caveat though...it sorta depends what the other field is. Some fields, like ophtho, virtually require a letter of rec from your dept chair, so spending time in the chair's lab is pretty much what you do if you want that letter. I'd advise you to ask around among people in the other field you're interested in, to find out how aggressive you need to be, in order to keep the door open in case you decide path isn't for you.
 

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I agree with previous posters. However, a word of caution: I find your attitude somewhat presumptive. You've already decided on the author-ranking and journal (or journal type/ranking), before you've even committed yourself, let alone begun, the project. Also, being first author means that you'll have to write the damn thing. And trust me, that's not as easy as it seems, if you haven't done it before.

In addition, I find it somewhat curious that the PI should give you a iron-clad offer to be "co-first author at the worst", unless (s)he:
A) Have worked with you before.
B) Knows that you have previous lab and writing experience.
C) Knows that you can provide expertise not otherwise available.

Obviously, I don't know your background. But in my experience, it's fairly uncommon that an M1/M2 is first or co-first author in publications like PNAS (or JCB/NCB for that matter) on a comprehensive lab study.

I wholeheartedly agree that you should do what interest you the most. But be a little bit humble and don't bite off more than you can chew.

And on the subject of "weak" research topics, it's my personal experience that in hindsight, some of the projects I turned down as "weak" actually could have been quite interesting to do. Never forget that research projects are by their nature highly unpredictable!

A final note: I have heard of projects that had a 99.99% chance of being completed. I have NEVER heard of a project significant enough to warrant publication in a international journal with a predicted 99.99% SUCCES rate! (especially a prediction made before the study was even initiated).
 

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PathOne said:
I agree with previous posters. However, a word of caution: I find your attitude somewhat presumptive. You've already decided on the author-ranking and journal (or journal type/ranking), before you've even committed yourself, let alone begun, the project. Also, being first author means that you'll have to write the damn thing. And trust me, that's not as easy as it seems, if you haven't done it before.

In addition, I find it somewhat curious that the PI should give you a iron-clad offer to be "co-first author at the worst", unless (s)he:
A) Have worked with you before.
B) Knows that you have previous lab and writing experience.
C) Knows that you can provide expertise not otherwise available.

Obviously, I don't know your background. But in my experience, it's fairly uncommon that an M1/M2 is first or co-first author in publications like PNAS (or JCB/NCB for that matter) on a comprehensive lab study.

I wholeheartedly agree that you should do what interest you the most. But be a little bit humble and don't bite off more than you can chew.

And on the subject of "weak" research topics, it's my personal experience that in hindsight, some of the projects I turned down as "weak" actually could have been quite interesting to do. Never forget that research projects are by their nature highly unpredictable!

A final note: I have heard of projects that had a 99.99% chance of being completed. I have NEVER heard of a project significant enough to warrant publication in a international journal with a predicted 99.99% SUCCES rate! (especially a prediction made before the study was even initiated).

What is a PI?
 

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PathOne said:
I agree with previous posters. However, a word of caution: I find your attitude somewhat presumptive. You've already decided on the author-ranking and journal (or journal type/ranking), before you've even committed yourself, let alone begun, the project. Also, being first author means that you'll have to write the damn thing. And trust me, that's not as easy as it seems, if you haven't done it before.

In addition, I find it somewhat curious that the PI should give you a iron-clad offer to be "co-first author at the worst", unless (s)he:
A) Have worked with you before.
B) Knows that you have previous lab and writing experience.
C) Knows that you can provide expertise not otherwise available.

Obviously, I don't know your background. But in my experience, it's fairly uncommon that an M1/M2 is first or co-first author in publications like PNAS (or JCB/NCB for that matter) on a comprehensive lab study.

I wholeheartedly agree that you should do what interest you the most. But be a little bit humble and don't bite off more than you can chew.

And on the subject of "weak" research topics, it's my personal experience that in hindsight, some of the projects I turned down as "weak" actually could have been quite interesting to do. Never forget that research projects are by their nature highly unpredictable!

A final note: I have heard of projects that had a 99.99% chance of being completed. I have NEVER heard of a project significant enough to warrant publication in a international journal with a predicted 99.99% SUCCES rate! (especially a prediction made before the study was even initiated).
I agree with this too PathOne as you introduce the big picture here. Research is a very opportunisitc proposition nevertheless and if this PI has guaranteed a successful project and a publication, I think the OP should jump at this opportunity. This will be my next task at hand in a few years when I look for a postdoc position. My goal will be to work on a project that is not only interesting but also HOT.
 

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Yes, agree. However, I've seen PI's make lots of rosy promises to lots of people and not following through. Equally obvious, many PI's are genuinely interested in helping out students. However, I think it's important to get to understand WHY a PI is proposing (no pun intended) to you. By all means grab any lucky chance you get. But also remember, that sometimes promises can be and are too good to be true.

You are, for instance, probably in a different situation from the OP, because you DO have lab and publishing experience. And with experience comes the ability to tackle HOT and Golden projects. But everyone needs to be able to crawl before they can walk, and walk before they can fly.

BTW: PI is actually NIH lingo for "Principal Investigator": The person responsible for a project receiving NIH funding.
 

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PathOne said:
I agree with previous posters. However, a word of caution: I find your attitude somewhat presumptive. You've already decided on the author-ranking and journal (or journal type/ranking), before you've even committed yourself, let alone begun, the project. Also, being first author means that you'll have to write the damn thing. And trust me, that's not as easy as it seems, if you haven't done it before.

In addition, I find it somewhat curious that the PI should give you a iron-clad offer to be "co-first author at the worst", unless (s)he:
A) Have worked with you before.
B) Knows that you have previous lab and writing experience.
C) Knows that you can provide expertise not otherwise available.

Obviously, I don't know your background. But in my experience, it's fairly uncommon that an M1/M2 is first or co-first author in publications like PNAS (or JCB/NCB for that matter) on a comprehensive lab study.

I wholeheartedly agree that you should do what interest you the most. But be a little bit humble and don't bite off more than you can chew.

And on the subject of "weak" research topics, it's my personal experience that in hindsight, some of the projects I turned down as "weak" actually could have been quite interesting to do. Never forget that research projects are by their nature highly unpredictable!

A final note: I have heard of projects that had a 99.99% chance of being completed. I have NEVER heard of a project significant enough to warrant publication in a international journal with a predicted 99.99% SUCCES rate! (especially a prediction made before the study was even initiated).
Very well put, PathOne. You said what I was thinking but didn't have the heart to say. I too was wooed by promises of first-author publication that didn't materialize...ah, how we learn.
 

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PathOne said:
You are, for instance, probably in a different situation from the OP, because you DO have lab and publishing experience. And with experience comes the ability to tackle HOT and Golden projects. But everyone needs to be able to crawl before they can walk, and walk before they can fly.
Still the ability to tackle hot and golden projects, IMHO, depends a lot on luck and serendipity. Hard work and experience is not always rewarded. :(
 

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Still the ability to tackle hot and golden projects, IMHO, depends a lot on luck and serendipity. Hard work and experience is not always rewarded. :(
It also really depends on the PI. Some advisers will scrap a project if it isn't interesting enough in the end - some of my friends in grad school worked on projects for over a year that the adviser refused to publish. My adviser was awesome - she always finds the new point in a project and pushes to get it published. Of course, if you just didn't try or you did some crap work, she wouldn't let you publish. But if I worked hard and there was something novel, she let me publish it.

As for enhancing your residency application, I don't think it matters terribly whether your publications are in a journal with an impact factor of 12 or one of 6. Clearly, if you get into a big journal that will help a lot, but any first-author article will set you a notch above the other applicants. At least, I hope so :rolleyes:

I assume that the 99.99% success prediction is based on either a high degree of enthusiasm or some degree of naivety. I would echo what other people have said (especially PO) and say - be very careful of such promises. If you have no established relationship with this PI or he/she has no vested interest in you, it could be very disappointing for you. Personally, I think it would be tough to turn 40 hrs/wk in a summer into a first-author paper in a high impact journal. Of course, it's impossible to say without knowing the specifics of your situation - you may have mad cell biology and interpersonal skills. :)

Is it possible to do both? Can you make the cell biology project your primary focus, and work on the chairman's project on the side? I can't imagine that the latter would take more than 20 hrs/week. Most people in research keep multiple projects going, since you never know what will work. It's always good to have at least one exciting project and one safe project. You'll have to work hard so neither person thinks you're slacking, but such is life. If they both work, your application will be that much stronger.
 

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perplexed2 said:
Given that I didn't want to make the original post too long I left some things out. So I can continue to get responses until I decide to delete this post I'll expound to keep the topic from being diverted.

To answer PathOne: I have 5 years of experience in an area of research that is about as hot as it gets in biology. I am an expert in the area and am highly sought after by groups interested in doing the research as it is not easy. For instance, I was jetted around the country by groups responding to my "cold call" CV seeking work after I graduated. 12 CV's sent out, 10 job offers by groups not advertising for jobs at the time (3 at NIH). I've been published multiple times with a first author manuscript being submitted soon. Yes, this with only a BS.

The PI would intend that I be the primary researcher working on the project, hence first author. If I could spend the whole summer on it, with my experience and his experience, we could generate enough data to put out a very, very good paper. The 99.99% figure is mine, and, again is based on my experience and ability to make the call. It truly is so easy that the only limiting factor would be the hard-to-do stuff which is not hard for me to do. The particular finding, which would be extremely significant for the field, is limited only by homology considerations (hence the 99.99% figure) and the timeline of putting a paper out would only be limited by the type and quantity of analyses that we would choose to undertake, the journal we choose to submit to, and then the process of revision.

Yes, I suppose the PI could yank the first authorship after I begin M2 but anyone with experience in the research world knows there are things you can do to help ensure your authorship rank. Also, I don't think that people really want to get a bad rep so I don't see it happening as long as its agreed to beforehand.



This is my point. I would like to know how path programs look at an applicant with this.

I cant...hold back....the laughter....any longer.... :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Yes dude Im sure you are the second coming of Linus Pauling and John Nash.

Dont worry, Im 100% completely and utterly positive your research will mean nothing in pathology so stick with science. Do a post doc then get a research track position in a pathology dept if you so desire. There is absolutely NO point to doing a path residency for someone like you. It will only cool your blazin "hotness."

PS-Its likely you possess skillz you dont mention, like bo staff fighting skillz or Rex Quon Do stuff. Its also possible you are in fact a talking magical liger, which of course people are jetting you around the world because as you are a huge circus attraction. Food for thought.

In all serious, no one in pathology will give a cloned monkey's rear end you found a new protein involved in the sexual ritual of C. elegans, regardless of how "hot" your PI makes it out to be.

Sorry to burst your bubble bro.
 

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Well obviously there will be pathology programs that will be impressed with your publication record. There are also some programs that are not as research-oriented and probably won't care as much; nevertheless, in their eyes, you will still stand out. Again, as I said before, research experience with a publication can only help your application and it seems like you're well on your way with that.

And then there is the deal with authorship. Authorship is dependent on many things especially how fickle your boss is and the political skillz of your co-authors. For instance, take this hypothetical scenario (and since your time in the lab is limited, this may be of some relevance):

Someone in the lab does some solid work to warrant preparation of a manuscript. Manuscript gets submitted. Manuscript gets rejected. Manuscript gets reworked as the boss recruits another person to work on adding new data. Manuscript gets resubmitted. Manuscript is accepted pending many revisions. That "another" person does even more work to enhance the recently added data and hence adds more new figures. The boss now decides to make the original person a second author whereas this new person who has now contributed a lot of new data now becomes the first author. Point being...first authorship is never guaranteed either :) I don't mean to argue against you, but I have seen this happen first hand (4 years ago, I was that "another" person).

As PathOne and others alluded to earlier...science is very unpredictable in many ways. At this point, your task is to set up your schedule. Then your next task is to do the work. Then worry about the publications, the residency applications, etc.
 

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AndyMilonakis said:
Well obviously there will be pathology programs that will be impressed with your publication record.
You missed a point Ive brought up several times, getting into a good pathology residency is the easy part! Getting a well-paying job is the important thing, and there you might as well spent your time playing World of Warcraft for as much basic science research will help ya.

Also, this guy is claiming to be an "expert" as a medical student!! Hahhahahahaha I call SHENANIGANS on this poster!
 

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LADoc00 said:
You missed a point Ive brought up several times, getting into a good pathology residency is the easy part! Getting a well-paying job is the important thing, and there you might as well spent your time playing World of Warcraft for as much basic science research will help ya.
haha...dude, the OP will be applying to residencies in a few years. i was only talking about getting into a pathology residency. everything after that...well i can't offer much advice on as i haven't even frickin' matched yet! :laugh:

i have seen what WoW has done to a friend of mine. he literally runs (well drives really fast) home from the lab to play this game. and as he's finishing up, he starts to fidget and starts having the shakes from WoW withdrawal.
 

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I am an expert in the area and am highly sought after by groups
SHENANIGANS!! pure shenanigans.

Oh I am Bruce Alberts by the way and I pwn you all!
 

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and plus, why would i pick up this game now? you already got peoples with level 40 characters that would be just beggin' to ambush and give a mean wedgie to a level 1 HotSteamingTurd.
 

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AndyMilonakis said:
and plus, why would i pick up this game now? you already got peoples with level 40 characters that would be just beggin' to ambush and give a mean wedgie to a level 1 HotSteamingTurd.
Because you are immune to ganking in your noob areas, you noob.
 

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LADoc00 said:
SHENANIGANS!! pure shenanigans.

Oh I am Bruce Alberts by the way and I pwn you all!
Back when I was an undergrad, I did know a few "prodigies" with stories like this so I'm inclined to believe the claims the OP makes. I dunno if he's exaggerating certain aspects of this but that's not for me to judge (but I bet your troll-dar is going off as we speak, LADoc00). Regardless, his questions remain the same. Hopefully he's getting some good advice here.

LaDoc00 said:
Because you are immune to ganking in your noob areas, you noob.
You play warcraft III at all LaDoc00? You wanna start somethin'. Let's settle this on battlenet shall we? Azeroth server. JiN-FatAndyMil is the name. Channel clan xroc. :laugh:
 

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AndyMilonakis said:
Back when I was an undergrad, I did know a few "prodigies" with stories like this so I'm inclined to believe the claims the OP makes. I dunno if he's exaggerating certain aspects of this but that's not for me to judge (but I bet your troll-dar is going off as we speak, LADoc00). Regardless, his questions remain the same. Hopefully he's getting some good advice here.


You play warcraft III at all LaDoc00? You wanna start somethin'. Let's settle this on battlenet shall we? Azeroth server. JiN-FatAndyMil is the name. Channel clan xroc. :laugh:

Dude, come on, yes Im sure this guy is friggin John Nash talking time from valuable Presidential Advisory Committee meetings to post here asking for advice. At least I make it known Im only here to poke fun, laugh and amuse myself and dont make the claim Im an "expert."

Seriously, Pathology is a TRADE people, a trade. Your 30 publications, your 4-H pig raising award and your Boy Scout merit badges dont mean a thing in trade of pathology.

People who do basic science research only do 1 thing in a Pathology department, sign out autopsies!! You get mercilessly teased so much by surg path people, you will stop coming to meetings. Its an idiotic waste of time to do residency in path if you are a basic sci person, but Nooooo no one listens.

Do internal medicine or some crap, because honestly basic sci research fits more with that style of medicine.


And in conclusion, No I dont play WCIII, dude that so 5 years ago I almost pissed myself laughing you were calling me out on it! Why dont we play a online game of Age of Empires while we are at it?! Hahahaha
 

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LADoc00 said:
Do internal medicine or some crap, because honestly basic sci research fits more with that style of medicine.
I have heard this too many times. Unfortunately for me pathology >>>>>> internal medicine.
LADoc00 said:
And in conclusion, No I dont play WCIII, dude that so 5 years ago I almost pissed myself laughing you were calling me out on it! Why dont we play a online game of Age of Empires while we are at it?! Hahahaha
I was just messin with ya. I actually gave my disk and my account away to some noob many months ago when I quit the game. But I'm glad that I made you piss yourself. My job for the day is done.
 

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LADoc00 said:
Dude, come on, yes Im sure this guy is friggin John Nash talking time from valuable Presidential Advisory Committee meetings to post here asking for advice. At least I make it known Im only here to poke fun, laugh and amuse myself and dont make the claim Im an "expert."

Seriously, Pathology is a TRADE people, a trade. Your 30 publications, your 4-H pig raising award and your Boy Scout merit badges dont mean a thing in trade of pathology.
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :thumbup:
 

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perplexed2 said:
This is my point. I would like to know how path programs look at an applicant with this.
If you're as good as you say (no sarcasm intended), then this hardly seems a dliemma for you at all. If I were an expert in a hot topic and someone offered me the chance to get another paper, then of course I would take it - it is relatively little risk with a nice benefit. Publications are neither necessary nor sufficient to get good interviews for residency, but I think it helps a lot on the margin. Most of the people who interview at really competitive programs will have good board scores and letters. However, if you have good letters and board scores, publications will help push you to a stronger position at the competitve programs.

Of course, if you're as good as advertised, then this cell biology project should be a no-brainer for you. It should be no problem for you to do both projects over the summer. It may even strengthen your application a little to have research publications in multiple areas, very different from each other - shows that you are capable of more than just one technique or field, however hot it currently is.
 

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perplexed2 said:
One thing that was raised that I'd like to know more about is the appropriateness of research as a pathologist vs. other specialities...
Researchers tend to congregate around fields like internal medicine, pathology, and pediatrics. My boss has told me that he believes the best researchers are in internal medicine. However, he then proceeded to tell me that YOU will determine how good of a researcher you become and NOT the field you're in.

I think pathology and research are not just appropriately linked but very compatible. Think about it, pathology is defined as the "study of disease". And in pathology, you can do a variety of research ranging from very basic, mechanistic research to translational research to purely clinical research.

Finally, I think the skepticism raised on the thread is just a reflection of the fact that this is an "anonymous" forum. We ask questions, we give advice, and we receive advice. The validity of any claims made on these kinds of message boards are always subject to scrutiny. But personally, who really cares about the truth to such claims? Am I an MD/PhD? Am I even applying to pathology? Do I even live in the state of Michigan? For all you know, I could be some poser here. But who cares?
 

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perplexed2 said:
One thing that was raised that I'd like to know more about is the appropriateness of research as a pathologist vs. other specialities...
I think path is a good fit, but it is tough. To be honest, I think it is tough in any field to do both clinical work and research. If you want to do research as a physician, be prepared for an uphill fight. I have been flat-out told by one fairly prominent pathologist that there is no such thing as a physician-scientist. Whatever field you choose, you will have to fight your battles. Pick a residency based on what you like to do, or you could end up hating life later.

In my experience, pathologists who do basic science research do tend to either end up in autopsy or in clinical pathology - heme path and blood banking seems to fit pretty well with research, if that's your thing. There are other areas of AP path that fit better with research - the specialized areas, such as renal and neuro path.

There are only really a few places where you can have an active research program and still be involved in surg path. It is almost impossible, I think, to keep up an active basic science lab and do general surg path sign out at the vast majority of insitutions. I have seen 2 guys trying to do it, and both of them seemed on the verge of collapse - massively over-worked. In a place that has specialized sign-out, you may be better off, but it depends on how many people sign-out your areas with you, which determines how often you actually are required to sign-out. Specialty sign-out works best for research, because you don't have to keep up your surg path knowledge in every area, just your areas of expertise, which makes it much easier to do research.

Don't worry about the way this thread went - it happens a lot on this board. We are an easily distracted bunch :) For one reason or another, some people just seem to have visceral contempt for pathologists who want to do research, people from Cornell, women, and humanity in general.
 

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AndyMilonakis said:
Am I an MD/PhD? Am I even applying to pathology? Do I even live in the state of Michigan? For all you know, I could be some poser here. But who cares?
Did you really take the step 2 BS?
 

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geddy said:
I think path is a good fit, but it is tough. To be honest, I think it is tough in any field to do both clinical work and research. If you want to do research as a physician, be prepared for an uphill fight. I have been flat-out told by one fairly prominent pathologist that there is no such thing as a physician-scientist. Whatever field you choose, you will have to fight your battles. Pick a residency based on what you like to do, or you could end up hating life later.
I hear this a lot too. Why did I do an MD/PhD??? :laugh:
geddy said:
In my experience, pathologists who do basic science research do tend to either end up in autopsy or in clinical pathology - heme path and blood banking seems to fit pretty well with research, if that's your thing. There are other areas of AP path that fit better with research - the specialized areas, such as renal and neuro path.

There are only really a few places where you can have an active research program and still be involved in surg path. It is almost impossible, I think, to keep up an active basic science lab and do general surg path sign out at the vast majority of insitutions. I have seen 2 guys trying to do it, and both of them seemed on the verge of collapse - massively over-worked. In a place that has specialized sign-out, you may be better off, but it depends on how many people sign-out your areas with you, which determines how often you actually are required to sign-out. Specialty sign-out works best for research, because you don't have to keep up your surg path knowledge in every area, just your areas of expertise, which makes it much easier to do research.
At several of my interviews, I was told that if I am serious about doing research full time I would probably end up as an attending who just signed out autopsies. And since I'm not doing AP/CP or CP only, the clinical pathology isn't much of an option for me I guess. If I stayed in my current research field, I too would probably leans towards renal pathology and apply my research to glomerular pathology, which I think is quite fascinating.

geddy said:
Don't worry about the way this thread went - it happens a lot on this board. We are an easily distracted bunch :) For one reason or another, some people just seem to have visceral contempt for pathologists who want to do research, people from Cornell, women, and humanity in general.
I got your back if you got mine :laugh: Researchers unite!
 

geddy

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AndyMilonakis said:
I hear this a lot too. Why did I do an MD/PhD???
They told me that the chicks would love it.
Recruiters:1 geddy:0
 

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A cautionary real-life tale:
I once some time ago participated in a study which required me to read a TON of tissue microarrays. That's 12,000 tissue "dots" @ 0.8mm each, and do observer variance analysis on the stuff. Believe me, it's not something you do over a weekend.
In return, I was told I'd get co-first authorship on 5-7 papers. That's now been reduced to "a couple" of papers, and I really haven't heard anything more about that "co-first" status - let alone seen a manuscript.

As other posters have said, publications certainly help getting a good residency. But PD's doesn't really expect anyone to be a hard-core researcher when applying for a residency. Remember, that you're applying for a CLINICAL TRAINING program. It would be rather strange if a lot of people could flaunt prestigious 13-page first-author publications. If you can, all the more power to you.

But I also agree with LADoc00 that pathology IS first and foremost a trade. You're not going to be King of the Hill if you can't look down a scope and get the diagnosis right, regardless of how many publications you have. But you can live a nice and comfortable life without ever putting your name to anything more than your employment contract and a mortgage.
 

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geddy said:
I think path is a good fit, but it is tough. To be honest, I think it is tough in any field to do both clinical work and research. If you want to do research as a physician, be prepared for an uphill fight. I have been flat-out told by one fairly prominent pathologist that there is no such thing as a physician-scientist. Whatever field you choose, you will have to fight your battles. Pick a residency based on what you like to do, or you could end up hating life later.
I totally agree. I think that path is a good fit as well. I think that either being an outstanding researcher or an outstanding clinician are both such demanding careers, in terms of time, energy, passion, etc., that it would be nearly impossible to excel at both.
 

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beary said:
that either being an outstanding researcher or an outstanding clinician are both such demanding careers, in terms of time, energy, passion, etc., that it would be nearly impossible to excel at both.
Is that a challenge I hear? :D
 

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AndyMilonakis said:
nope. it's reality that you hear :)
cruel, cruel reality. But, people do it - it's just so tough. Any thought of eventually going into an administrative position so you can do research?
 

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geddy said:
cruel, cruel reality. But, people do it - it's just so tough. Any thought of eventually going into an administrative position so you can do research?
it's a possibility but as of now, that's not too high on my list. i really like surg path but as i have done more thinking, i'm not all that opposed to just signing out autopsies once or twice a month while running my lab.

but who knows? life is all about being opportunistic. certain opportunities will present themselves and hopefully we pursue the right ones.
 

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geddy said:
cruel, cruel reality. But, people do it - it's just so tough. Any thought of eventually going into an administrative position so you can do research?
I don't think that I really want to be an administrator much either. Right now I am leaning towards going the CP/research route. There are a few faculty pathologists here that do blood bank and seem to have lots of time to devote to lab. I haven't ever actually DONE surg path though, and it sounds like something I would like, but I'm not sure. I know I want to do a postdoc, but I am not sure if I want to do a CP-only research track or do combined AP/CP and then a postdoc.
 

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beary said:
I don't think that I really want to be an administrator much either. Right now I am leaning towards going the CP/research route. There are a few faculty pathologists here that do blood bank and seem to have lots of time to devote to lab. I haven't ever actually DONE surg path though, and it sounds like something I would like, but I'm not sure. I know I want to do a postdoc, but I am not sure if I want to do a CP-only research track or do combined AP/CP and then a postdoc.
If CP only is what you're going for, just pick a place/program and call them. Hardly anybody does CP only these days. CP only...now that's what I call a buyer's market! :thumbup:

Seriously, in a CP only residency you can even do postdoc research DURING your CP rotations (which are a joke to begin with). There's a resident who's doing exactly that at Hopkins.
 

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AndyMilonakis said:
If CP only is what you're going for, just pick a place/program and call them. Hardly anybody does CP only these days. CP only...now that's what I call a buyer's market! :thumbup:

Seriously, in a CP only residency you can even do postdoc research DURING your CP rotations (which are a joke to begin with). There's a resident who's doing exactly that at Hopkins.
Andy - how did you end up deciding to do AP only? Did you just really enjoy doing surg path and that was what you saw yourself doing?
 

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AndyMilonakis said:
If CP only is what you're going for, just pick a place/program and call them. Hardly anybody does CP only these days. CP only...now that's what I call a buyer's market! :thumbup:

Seriously, in a CP only residency you can even do postdoc research DURING your CP rotations (which are a joke to begin with). There's a resident who's doing exactly that at Hopkins.

Dude, you are SERIOUSLY misinformed. CP only is exceptionally hard to get into, vastly more so than AP only because its essentially a free ticket to the good life. AP residents are used as gimp laborers to cut crap in. I interviewed applicants for 5 years of my training and the CP only people were completely creme of the crop some with CVs so good I shat my pants readin em. Of course, this was at a very good program. But still...

AP only is bad bad idea, save for one track: Forensics. Nothing in pathology pertains much to forensics so might as fast track your way to fellowship and get a job. Even for the dermies, CP helps alot when looking for a job.
 

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LADoc00 said:
Dude, you are SERIOUSLY misinformed. CP only is exceptionally hard to get into, vastly more so than AP only because its essentially a free ticket to the good life. AP residents are used as gimp laborers to cut crap in. I interviewed applicants for 5 years of my training and the CP only people were completely creme of the crop some with CVs so good I shat my pants readin em. Of course, this was at a very good program. But still...

AP only is bad bad idea, save for one track: Forensics. Nothing in pathology pertains much to forensics so might as fast track your way to fellowship and get a job. Even for the dermies, CP helps alot when looking for a job.
That's interesting. I figured CP only was easy to get into in terms of residency because it was only a year ago where CP only slots at several top programs remained unfilled. That suggests to me that the number of slots exceeds the level of interest in CP only. However, I do agree that the CP only candidates tend to be superb MD/PhD types who are dedicated to doing research. And although I know little about beary, I would suspect that she could very well fall under the category of "MSTP superstar."

Perhaps, the reason why the interest in CP only is low could be because people are hedging and don't want to take the plunge. And what I mean by that is that IF you do CP only, you absolutely MUST succeed in research (as I am told) because the non-academic jobs in CP only is pretty skimpy if research is not part of your career.

However, in that light, I must also concede that nowadays jobs for AP only people are pretty scarce too...that's because all you people out there are doing AP/CP making the job market all uber competitive and sh!t. :laugh:

This suggests that an AP only person must also succeed in doing a kickass postdoc. Now, if I get into my top choice residency program, I have two years to decide if I want to do CP or not. Other options is to do straight postdoc after my 2 AP years and be limited to signing out autopsies at an academic institution while using most of my time running my lab (which is where I want to be anyway). Or I could do a subspecialty fellowship for a year before doing my postdoc. I am open to all three options at this point and I am open to changing my mind so we shall see what happens.

Again, I appreciate your honesty in your responses LADoc00...there's gotta be a few people on here who can just get down to it and lay the smackdown :laugh:
 

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beary said:
Andy - how did you end up deciding to do AP only? Did you just really enjoy doing surg path and that was what you saw yourself doing?
I did enjoy surg path. I love microscopy and prefer that over watching a bunch of machines run. My impression of CP is that it mainly involves fielding consults about appropriate tests to run and laboratory management. I can do this kind of activity as a basic science research PI and I am not particularly interested in doing these activities in a clinical setting.

I intend to stay within the broad realm of cell biology and perhaps incorporate mouse-work or other model-organism work to the skillz that I have already picked up in grad school (mainly used cell lines). I think AP stuff fits better with that kind of work anyway.
 

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Andy,

Because you are UMich which is a tight place and you know the E-man, I will give you one very good piece of advice you should really think about: Abandon research. I was once like you and so were many of my friends. Ive seen people bathe in Nature and Science pubs, H. Hughes grants and K-08s only to fall to earth, a mere peon. I comtemplated that path for years, like Conan hanging on the tree of woe. Dude, dont do it.

Friends dont let friends go into RESEARCH.
 

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AndyMilonakis said:
Thank you LADoc00. :D

Hey, does E-man still say, "What's up chief?" That dude cracked my sh!t up.
Research like becoming a priest or joining the military is self sacrifice for greater good. Im not opposed to the greater good, God's knows Ive benefitted from it, but I came to realize this society is no longer worth trying to save. We live in a dark, dark world of evil, Andy, and no one in real life is on your side except for your mom. Your fellow researchers can turn on you like wild dogs in a moment to destroy all you have built. Its all just to fragile. Dude, youre talking to an ex-super dork Woods Hole/Harvard/OMFG I got an NIH grant Im so leet-type of guy who saw the light through the dusky smog of smelly turds roasting over the quads in the Cambridges, Stanfords and WashUs of this formerly great nation. We are a people and a land in decline.
Do you really want Andy Jr. coming to you asking, why.. daddy why do I have holes in my pants when all the other little kids have new clothes? Or asking why he has to go public school when his friends all go to Andover? Or why he is off to State even though he was accepted into Princeton? Dude, Ive been there and it sucks ass. In conclusion, you wont pay for doing research as much as your loved ones will, thats the cold hard reality bro.

Save yourself and enjoy everything life has to offer, E-man taught me that. He had a wisdom that transcended mere book knowledge.

I havent seen E-man in a long time, like a fool, I choose the ***** over a bro and paid for it.
 

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LADoc00 said:
Andy,

Because you are UMich which is a tight place and you know the E-man, I will give you one very good piece of advice you should really think about: Abandon research. I was once like you and so were many of my friends. Ive seen people bathe in Nature and Science pubs, H. Hughes grants and K-08s only to fall to earth, a mere peon. I comtemplated that path for years, like Conan hanging on the tree of woe. Dude, dont do it.
I am on the fence on this - I like research, but definitely don't want to depend on it, because of the hazards you mention. I'm leaning more towards LADoc's pragmatism. I going to do AP/CP, and consider research depending on how things go. I'll feel much more secure with AP/CP under my belt. At this point in my career, what's another 2 years? It's not a question of doing 2 extra years just because you can or because it's available, either - it's a trade-off of time for security.
 

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geddy said:
I am on the fence on this - I like research, but definitely don't want to depend on it, because of the hazards you mention. I'm leaning more towards LADoc's pragmatism. I going to do AP/CP, and consider research depending on how things go. I'll feel much more secure with AP/CP under my belt. At this point in my career, what's another 2 years? It's not a question of doing 2 extra years just because you can or because it's available, either - it's a trade-off of time for security.
What's another 2 years, you ask? TWO YEARS! Duh! :laugh:
Speak to me 7 years ago and I would have been more brash about it, but now these pragmatic issues are something I am considering. That is why I too am considering multiple options including AP/CP. But to do the CP part, I have to be interested in it and want to do it...or geddy makes some wild claim that chicks dig dudes with CP.