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Do non-relevant research experience count for anything?


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Hi! This might be a bit early, but I know that for carms, connections and letters count the most and for some competitive specialties, it would be ideal to have some research experience in the specialty. I come from a non-trad background with publications in an allied health field, and I am wondering if they count for anything during carms? If I do develop an interest in a competitive or semi-competitive field sometime later on, would it still be better to do some research in that specialty? Or would I have "ticked the box" for research?

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Definitely include all your publications/theses/posters etc. on your application, but you are correct that it would be "ideal" to have research in your desired specialty.

In general:

specialty specific research > specialty practice-relevant non-specialty specific medical research > biology/health science research [> or =] other peer-reviewed research.

Publications in allied health are great, and demonstrate that you can do and understand research, and perhaps have a unique asset in knowledge/familiarity of that aspect of allied health if it is all relevant to your desired specialty. That is definitely an asset and all else being equal, might put you ahead of someone without it. However for compeditive specialties (or compeditive programs at less overall-competitive specialties), again with all else being equal, typically the specialty-specific research gets more appreciation. So if you're gunning optho, just having research box checked is likely not enough compared to applications with one ore more optho papers/research projects.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/19/2021 at 2:12 PM, bearded frog said:

Definitely include all your publications/theses/posters etc. on your application, but you are correct that it would be "ideal" to have research in your desired specialty.

In general:

specialty specific research > specialty practice-relevant non-specialty specific medical research > biology/health science research [> or =] other peer-reviewed research.

Publications in allied health are great, and demonstrate that you can do and understand research, and perhaps have a unique asset in knowledge/familiarity of that aspect of allied health if it is all relevant to your desired specialty. That is definitely an asset and all else being equal, might put you ahead of someone without it. However for compeditive specialties (or compeditive programs at less overall-competitive specialties), again with all else being equal, typically the specialty-specific research gets more appreciation. So if you're gunning optho, just having research box checked is likely not enough compared to applications with one ore more optho papers/research projects.

Just curious if the amount of research truly does matter. Does it make a difference is you have 3 vs 5 first author pubs in said speciality? Sorry if it's too oddly specific.... also does it matter in which Med Year you publish it>

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3 hours ago, dooogs said:

Just curious if the amount of research truly does matter. Does it make a difference is you have 3 vs 5 first author pubs in said speciality? Sorry if it's too oddly specific.... also does it matter in which Med Year you publish it>

It's all relative. You can't say something like you need X publications, people don't get screened by amount of research entries or whatever. In general, more research in a field reflects more experience and therefore a better candidate, especially in specialties where there is a strong academic component, which is typically the more compeditive ones. The candidate with 5 pubs isn't necessarily better than the candidate with 3, at that point both have a reasonable research output and so other parts of the app would be looked at to compare. Alternatively, quality would come into play, the 3 pubs that were first author NEJM and nature papers is a lot more impressive than 5 4th author in a low IF journal, for instance. Specifically what the research is, is important too.

It doesn't really matter when it's published, as long as its published before application.

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1 hour ago, bearded frog said:

It's all relative. You can't say something like you need X publications, people don't get screened by amount of research entries or whatever. In general, more research in a field reflects more experience and therefore a better candidate, especially in specialties where there is a strong academic component, which is typically the more compeditive ones. The candidate with 5 pubs isn't necessarily better than the candidate with 3, at that point both have a reasonable research output and so other parts of the app would be looked at to compare. Alternatively, quality would come into play, the 3 pubs that were first author NEJM and nature papers is a lot more impressive than 5 4th author in a low IF journal, for instance. Specifically what the research is, is important too.

It doesn't really matter when it's published, as long as its published before application.

Thank you so much for your reply. I realize it's fairly subjective which def adds to the stress :P 

Are systematic reviews & meta-analysis less valuable generally?

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