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kirraea

Research in Med School & Residency

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Hi everyone,

I was newly admitted to UofT this week, and while I'd hate to be too much of a tryhard before school even starts it's all I could think about for the last few days so here we are :P 

Right now, I'm mainly wondering how/in what ways research impacts residency. I did my undergrad at UofT and have a basic science lab I've been at for several years/have good rapport with/enjoy the work I do there. I'd really enjoy continuing my work there throughout med school. 

But in terms of basic vs. clinical research, does one or the other have any bearing on residency applications? This wasn't really a debate I cared about in undergrad as I just joined the lab whose work I found interesting, but now I'm wondering if it'd be better to transition to clinical research in the same field or continue what I'm doing.

Thanks for any help :)

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Congrats! For residency applications, research is beneficial in demonstrating interest in a field, and making connections within a department who can provide references and vouch for you at the program selection committee meetings come CaRMS time. As such, you'd want to work with MDs in the field you are applying to. The main consideration for continuing in a basic science lab is if you envisioned pursuing that research into residency (i.e. applying for a clinician investigator stream).

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Is it true that having research in one field can severely limit your chances with a residency position in another field? Sort of like being typecasted based on your previous experience?

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Not in itself - it's understandable that people will explore different areas during medical school and may switch focus as their interests evolve. It's about the total impression from your application (including personal letter, electives, and references).

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2 hours ago, RaiderMSc said:

Is it true that having research in one field can severely limit your chances with a residency position in another field? Sort of like being typecasted based on your previous experience?

No, it definitely forms part of the impression. Research in a specific field can be useful for building connections though, because research is longitudinal, you can get your strongest letters from someone who you did research with and did a clinical elective with. With that being said, don't worry too much about being typecasted, people care about where you did your electives, but don't care whether or not you explored in preclerkship, in fact they might even prefer it in some specialties. 

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