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Value of being a "research superstar" for CaRMS?


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Based on what I've read on this forum, research productivity is probably only important for surgery-related specialties, and some other academic specialties like rad onc, and even then it's secondary to good fit/reference letters/electives. But I'm still wondering, if someone were to have crazy high producitivity, like say 15 first-author peer-reviewed publications during med school, would that not at the very least make them stand out enough to score an interview? (given that your ref letters and clerkship evals were about as good as the avg applicant)

Personally, I'm not one of these people (only have 1 pub) nor am I going for a surgery-related specialty, but given that electives/reference letters only happen during clerkship, what other ways are there really other than research, to make yourself a better application while you're still in pre-clerkship? Especially given the current COVID situation that limits you from doing anything that involves leaving your apartment.

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18 hours ago, dooogs said:

Technically doing lots of research can get you better reference letters since you spend more time with attending and residents and they can learn more about who you are :) At least thats what I think

Yeah for sure. But for CaRMS specifically, aren't reference letters usually clinical? Based on what I've heard, submitting a letter from a purely-research supervisor is not generally done? Of course, if you've done clinical rotations/electives AND research with a preceptor then that could be a very strong letter indeed, but my understanding is that it's uncommon for people to have these sorts of letters.

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On 11/22/2020 at 5:13 PM, zxcccxz said:

Yeah for sure. But for CaRMS specifically, aren't reference letters usually clinical? Based on what I've heard, submitting a letter from a purely-research supervisor is not generally done? Of course, if you've done clinical rotations/electives AND research with a preceptor then that could be a very strong letter indeed, but my understanding is that it's uncommon for people to have these sorts of letters.

I guess you can always just do an elective with them to have that perspective

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Usually when you do enough research with someone for them to know that you are interested in their specialty, they will go out of their way to get you into clinical scenarios so they can write you a letter. If they don't go out of their way, then usually they are receptive to the suggestion if you bring it up. Don't underestimate the important of having good people in your corner go to bat for you when the time comes. (sorry for the mixed boxing/baseball metaphor).

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3 hours ago, robclem21 said:

Usually when you do enough research with someone for them to know that you are interested in their specialty, they will go out of their way to get you into clinical scenarios so they can write you a letter. If they don't go out of their way, then usually they are receptive to the suggestion if you bring it up. Don't underestimate the important of having good people in your corner go to bat for you when the time comes. (sorry for the mixed boxing/baseball metaphor).

I think the tricky part is that some people (like me...) start doing research early in med school and may not end up doing that speciality but I think that the person can still give you a good reference even if it's not their speciality.... it just seems crazy that you MUST ONLY get the specific speciality you will pursue... 

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