Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Value of being a "research superstar" for CaRMS?


Recommended Posts

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Link to post
Share on other sites

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).

Link to post
Share on other sites
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... 

Link to post
Share on other sites

One other perspective here I have heard from some people about - 

superstar researchers don't always make good residents. Precisely because they care about research so much. Any time you spend doing research you are not say studying or looking after patients - point is there is a price to doing anything that takes away from something else. Residency is a job - and many programs are looking for people that are good at the job. Research is often a tangent to the job. Any resident/staff knows of people that are extremely academic/research focused that may be losing out on practical things. In residency selection in the age of pass/fail I think research as well is just used sometimes as a proxy (if the person can do a ton of research and still do well in the program then he is a smart/hard worker which is probably something we are looking for. That doesn't actually mean they care about research directly though. Programs vary but I think it is always important to ask why programs are looking at whatever they are looking at). 

Even highly academic residency programs when you look at it often have very little requirements in the way of actual research. Honestly if you look at things closely it is surprising how little research people doing actual academic medicine have to do in many cases (unlike the US there is little real advantage to someone to advance up the academic ranks - lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor all earn exactly the same and have the exact same amount of research time directly ha. There ways around that but the base levels don't). 

Point is that after a point pumping out more and more research is at best diminishing returns, and as I mentioned I guess recently there are no absolutes there. Some places will love research, some will be unconcerned by at it, and some may even be wary of it. There is no prefect path where you XYZ and you will be universally liked.   

 

Edited by rmorelan
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...