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How does one find research projects in medical school?

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Same way you find them in undergrad or during any summer before med school. Look on PIs websites for projects that interest you and email them letting them know you are a medical student and interested in working with them. Fortunately, when you are a medical student they are a bit more likely to respond than they would if you were an undergrad.

Most schools have pre-set up research programs which are more formal that you can apply through. These are usually advertised to you via email or other means.

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On 5/31/2018 at 1:23 AM, ninja7292 said:

Do students at McMaster even have the time to do research? Does this put us at a disadvantage for competitive specialties come CaRMS time?

McMaster students do have time to do research, you just need to find a PI. You usually do clinical research and many staff have projects that need medical students to take part in, you just have to ask. 

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18 hours ago, Edict said:

McMaster students do have time to do research, you just need to find a PI. You usually do clinical research and many staff have projects that need medical students to take part in, you just have to ask. 

Will this count as a Horizontal? Or just something on the side. The rule of thumb is you research in your specialty of interest right? i.e. I want ortho so I do ortho research, etc,

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17 minutes ago, ninja7292 said:

Will this count as a Horizontal? Or just something on the side. The rule of thumb is you research in your specialty of interest right? i.e. I want ortho so I do ortho research, etc,

It won't count as a horizontal. It is just something you do on the side. Generally yes, do research in your specialty of interest. Research is a great way to gain mentors. If you are interested in a specialty, letting the staff in that specialty know early on demonstrates interest. If you do a good job, they can often help introduce you to the PD and write a strong letter for you as well, especially if you arrange an elective with them once clerkship starts. 

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33 minutes ago, ninja7292 said:

Will this count as a Horizontal? Or just something on the side. The rule of thumb is you research in your specialty of interest right? i.e. I want ortho so I do ortho research, etc,

If you want ortho, you don’t do research. It’s not competitive. Use your free time to shadow and become bros with the residents instead. 

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39 minutes ago, ZBL said:

If you want ortho, you don’t do research. It’s not competitive. Use your free time to shadow and become bros with the residents instead. 

I actually somewhat agree with this, but what I actually recommend is doing both. There really is no such thing as being "too competitive", the more boxes you tick the better. At Mac, you would definitely have the time in preclerkship to do both, again the research doesn't have to be ground breaking, the very act of doing research introduces you to evidence etc. which is the main takeaway. Doing research for staff helps their careers a lot as well, which is why it is a great way to build connections and match. 

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1 hour ago, ZBL said:

If you want ortho, you don’t do research. It’s not competitive. Use your free time to shadow and become bros with the residents instead. 

Ortho isn't competitive? wot :o

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33 minutes ago, ninja7292 said:

Thank you for the graphic, wow! Do you know why this is the case (esp. when it's competitive in the US I hear)

It has been that way for many years in Canada Probably related to some combination between:

- few or no ortho jobs in canada

- need to do 2 fellowships to get a job in canada +/- masters/PhD to get a job in a big city in canada

- compensation is not terribly high relative to many other procedural and surgical specialties

- garbage hours and work/life balance in residency, moderately improved but amongst the worst for surgical specialties as a staff

 

in the US, there is still the need for many fellowships, and the hours still suck but there are more jobs available and the pay can be very high (private system). A lot of Canadian grads are “forced” to the US because of lack of jobs in Canada  

 

For a specialty like ortho, research in itself is really not critical. It is a tool to getting closer to residents/staff and that’s it, and there can be other ways of doing this if research isn’t your thing. Basically, having no research in ortho will not penalize you. This is in contrast to specialties like ENT, NeuroSx, Derm where research output is usually expected. 

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