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- March 15th, 2010, 07:49 AM #241
Hey Rehan and Mastahriz, thanks a lot for all of the information you gave here about the research electives. It has really been usefull so far. I am a first year medical student (out of six years total) at the University of Amsterdam / AMC and my goal is to practise medicine in the USA after my graduation.
As it has became clear to me that it is really competitive out there to get a residency, I also wanted to get into a research elective. So far I have sent a lot of emails to different doctors of JHU and got one friendly reply back from a doctor that they don't have room at the moment and so he can't accept me.
Well, I have a few questions about research electives and my situation, I hope someone can answer them:
1) Can I just contact any doctor in any US hospital/medical school who is involved in research, to ask for a research elective, or does a hospital/medical school actually has to have an official elective program (like having it explicitly on the school's site, like JHU)?
2) Does anyone here maybe knows more places to do research electives, besides JHU as I've already tried that? Can't really afford a place like Harvard or Cornell, certainly if I won't get much out of it. I'm desperately looking for any good medical school where I'll have a good chance of acceptance for a research elective for this summer.
3) Do I have any advantage in applying for the different electives considering that the University of Amsterdam has a fairly good world ranking (#49 in 2009)?
4) As I have limited time for a research elective (during summer break= 7-8 weeks max), I've read in this topic that the most rewarding research electives in that timespan are chart review researches. Is there anyway of finding out where are the best places I could apply so I could get into that kind of research?
5) Are the positions for research electives in places like JHU actually available on basis of space? Because I could imagine that a lot of students all over the world would like to this and availabilty on basis of space would just mean that the first ones who apply get the research electives. Don't you have to give some kind of CV or will they judge you on your scores on your transcript? Because I don't know what's the use of the JHU policy for visiting students to also let them send their transcripts if the grading systems are different in many countries.
6) Because I eventually want to go for a surgical residency in the States, it's important to have 1.high USMLE-Step1 scores and 2.research publications, for that reason the electives. But here in the AMC, my medical school, we have a lot of departments with a lot of research going on. And it would be more easy for me to just assist with research over here, because they are very open for their own medical students. Wouldn't it be just as much worth to help here and get some publications here during my years of medical school or is it really necessary to get research experience in the US? Because with the same trouble you go trough just getting a research elective, you could also just knock on one of the many doors of the research departments of your own medical school, assist in one of their researches, like reviews e.g., and get your name on a publication. I understand why you need to have clinical experience in America, but I don't understand the necessity of research electives, besides the contacts you make that can possibly help you later on. Do you maybe need them to get more chance of succes when applying for a clinical rotation?
I understand I have asked a lot but I'd really appreciate some answers from anyone. Thanks in advance.
Last edited by AMC-UvA!; March 15th, 2010 at 07:51 AM.March 17th, 2010, 01:15 AM #242March 17th, 2010, 12:04 PM #243
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- Jan 2006
- Lake Forest, CA, United States
- 36 times
1) Using the advice I found on this site, I just directly contacted doctors without going through the official elective programs and I found that it works pretty well. I think research electives offer a lot more leniency than clinical electives as doctors doing research could always use a helping hand.
2) I too am a little short on $$ at the moment, so I tried emailing doctors from universities near my home in California. The University of California in Los Angeles and the University of California in Irvine medical schools (I think) are excellent medical schools in the U.S. that have tons of research going on. I would try emailing some professors in the departments you're interested in and seeing what happens. I've tried both and gotten positive responses.March 17th, 2010, 12:14 PM #244
2. See above.
. Once you have an acceptance for an elective, than go ahead and start looking for housing. Be sure to browse under the sublets/temp section.
2. Almost every hospital that has a university program associated with them is usually involved in research. There are hundreds of hospitals to choose from, JHU is simply an example that was used in this thread, it's not a recommendation for everyone here to apply to that school.
3. Maybe, but not something I would imagine there's a statistic for how much stronger your chances are exactly.
4. You'll have to email doctors and ask.
5. Yes, availability is not guaranteed, lots of medical students apply for electives and you may run into them while you're doing an elective of your own. You will need to send your CV along with your first email to each doctor. If they ask for additional information you'll have to send it.
6. If you can do research in your own school then definitely get involved in it. I can't stress that enough.
Good luck, and awesome avatar.March 19th, 2010, 03:50 PM #245
- Member Since
- Jan 2006
- Lake Forest, CA, United States
- 36 times
Sorry don't mean to set aside anyone else's concerns, but I've got one to share as well.
I emailed a doctor for an elective and he responded positively. The problem is on the school's elective site it mentions that only those students from certain schools are allowed to apply with which the school I'm applying to has an agreement (which is only like 8 schools, mine not being one of them).
Any ideas on how to email the elective coordinators in a way that would minimize my chances of being rejected? I feel like just saying "Dr. Whoever has allowed me the opportunity" might not be sufficient, but is it worth a shot or could I maybe word it in a better way?March 19th, 2010, 10:13 PM #246
^I've faced that problem a few times before. Most of the time you still have to apply through their official application form and when doing so you usually have a space on that form where you get to write down either your preferred elective specialty or even preferred doctor(s). In that area, go ahead and just write the field/specialty along with the doctor's name. For example, I would just write "Ophthalmology, as per Dr. So and So's acceptance."
At the same time, I would make sure that the doctor I want to work with has already emailed the rest of the administration or staff that would be involved in the elective approval process.March 28th, 2010, 05:40 PM #247
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okay here is the thing..i am a medical student in 3rd yr.. i am interested in doing research and clinical electives both..i am in pakistan and studying under uhs...i tried emailing jhu for endocrinology bt the director ws nt interested..tell me wht to do..i want an elective for nxt yr.. tell me wht to do... whr to apply...should i try paedsMarch 29th, 2010, 02:47 PM #248March 29th, 2010, 03:11 PM #249
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did i do something wrong>?March 31st, 2010, 05:04 PM #2503. Posting: Users should always search the forum before posting a question. More often than not, you can find plenty of general information tailor-made to fit your situation.
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All posts should be entirely in English, unless otherwise specified by the thread. Additionally, any unpaid advertisements/spam will be deleted immediately. This forum is not here for your advertising campaign.April 1st, 2010, 12:51 PM #251
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can anyone tell me if oncology is a good career option.??
considering that i will be studying in pakistan shoul i opt for a fellowship in oncology ?? or other courses??April 2nd, 2010, 09:08 AM #252April 6th, 2010, 05:05 AM #253
Hey guys, another question. What if I would get in a research with my medical school and I could get my name on a publication, but the article will be published in a Dutch medical journal, a good one but a Dutch one. How strong would Dutch publications look on my ERAS application when I apply in 6 years, because that shows that I've done a lot of research too, only not in America. Or isn't that much compared to getting published in an American medical journal. I understand that there isn't any Dutch medical journal that's comparable with The New England Journal of Medicine, but can you at least compare a Dutch publication with a publication in one of the 'lower' medical journals in America?April 6th, 2010, 06:44 AM #254
You should always try and get into research at your own school. If you can get published then by all means you should try your best to get involved in any ongoing projects at your college/university.
Doing research in the US doesn't ever guarantee you a publication. A publication, no matter where it comes from, is still a publication and you should take advantage of it.April 6th, 2010, 08:50 AM #255
Hey thanks for the quick reply . Well i guess I won't be doing any research electives then I guess, because there's more than enough to do here.
But if you're saying a publication is a publication, no matter where it comes from, why did you and Rehan do so many research electives in the US? Was there too little research going on in your own medical school that you could get involved in, that made you guys do research electives in the States trying to get experience and maybe publications? Or did the research electives in America give you some other advantage. Because with the information you gave me in the last few posts I don't really understand anymore why you would spend so much money and time on it, if you can do things in your own home institution. That looks like the easy way :razz:
Last edited by AMC-UvA!; April 6th, 2010 at 08:52 AM.April 6th, 2010, 11:40 PM #256
Your first guess is exactly right, there was very, very little research going on at our own medical college, most of which was being done by the senior faculty for their own publications.
Rehan and I also chose to do research in the US because we're both US citizens and always planned on coming back to the US immediately after graduating. It made sense to try and get involved in research at an institution of our choice here in the US so that we would have some research experience as well as get to know important faculty members who could write letters of recommendation for us later on.
Since our home was in the US we also made regular trips back here for vacations. No point in sitting around during those vacations when there are so many hospitals everywhere always willing to take on free labor.
Other than a few hundred dollars sometimes required for tuition, we never paid for electives, only travel and occasionally housing.
Even though your goal is to practice in the US, you should still do as much research as you can in your own college while you have the chance. It was an assumption of mine that if I do one or two month electives every year which eventually add up to 1 year of research, that it would be the same as having done 1 year of research after graduating. This may be true for some but wasn't for me, since most ophthalmology research programs all have projects that take well over 9 or 10 months. It's extremely difficult to get published on a project like that when you're only on the team for about 8 weeks.
If you're interested in a field where the average project gets completed in a 2 or 3 months then doing short electives would still be very beneficial and you could get published very easily.
Otherwise, if you are going to do research, you should do it for as long as possible and at the same hospital.April 7th, 2010, 01:21 AM #257
Ok, well I'm interested in cardiothoracic surgery and I'm sure I eventually want to specialize in that field. I know that in the US you do a residency in general surgery first and then a residency in cardiothoracic surgery. So I guess any research that has to do with cardiology, general surgery, or cardiothoracic surgery is good for me. I think most of the researches done in this field are long term clinical trials, so too long for research electives, but I'm not sure, maybe you know?
Another question. I think I have the opportunity to already get involved in a research. I got a reply back today from a principal investigator from a cohort study being done here in the AMC. She said I could come next week to get to know each other and to introduce me and stuff. But the only thing is, it's a research in occupational health. Not really my field of interest, but she said I could maybe have the chance to write an article about a part of the research data. So the advantage is that I could maybe get a publication out of it and research experience, but the drawback is that I could be stuck to it for a long time (I'm not sure how long they expect me to be involved, but I know this is a long cohort study that has still many years left) and it doesn't really show my enthousiasm for cardiothorcaic surgery. Because I also contacted our cardiothoracic surgery department to do research there, but haven't got back a reply yet, I'm afraid I'll maybe miss out on a research opportunity that's better for me. I don't mind the hard work it takes to do the research, I only don't want to have made the wrong choices for when I want to apply for general surgery later after medical school.
So to summarize the plan for the coming six years:
1. get 230+ on USMLE Step 1;
2. get as much research experience and publications as I can (only don't know if it matters if it's in my field of interest);
3. do as many clinical electives in US hospitals at the end of medical school, preferrentially in the hospitals I want to apply for in the NRMP match;
4. get high grades in medical school (don't know how PD's will judge this as they don't know how the Dutch grading system works);
5. Get as much letters of recommendations as possible (also not sure about this, do PD's also look at letters of recommendation from Dutch professors and doctors, or do they only look at LORs from US doctors?)
Lol, I guess I ask a lot of questions , but here in the Netherlands nobody knows anything about this, because nobody here thinks about going to the US, so this is my only source of information on this subject. Anyways, thanks for answering my questions.
Last edited by AMC-UvA!; April 7th, 2010 at 01:24 AM.April 7th, 2010, 08:39 AM #258
I'd say wait till you hear back from your cardio department before you decide where to do your research. You're right that most cardio research in the US would probably be long term, and if you can do research in your cardio department than definitely do so.
Since cardiothoracic surgery is such a competitive field I think you should definitely consider the strong possibility that you may have to do a year or even two years of research in the US after graduation. The good news is considering you've done research in your own medical school and will have great board scores (God willing), you can get paid for that research position. There are lots of hospitals that are willing to hire for research positions if you can commit at least two years and have great USMLE scores.
Also, your long term plans are solid. I'd recommend you raise that 230 to at least 240 to be safe. (With your dedication I don't foresee that as being much of a challenge.)
You should also be aware that after graduation, you're not eligible for clinical electives. You can do research which is what you should focus on, or you can do an observership (which is sort of useless...). If you want to do clinical electives, do those during medical school.April 7th, 2010, 09:02 AM #259
Yeah here they encourage you to do your rotations during 5th and 6th year abroad as much as possible, so I'll just try to do as much of those clinical electives in the US during that time.
And actually doing two years of research after my study sounds like a good deal. Because when I graduate I will be 24, with those two years added I will have the same age other US MDs have after graduation going into residency, only without the enormous study debts they have . It's the same here, most people usually do research here or get extra clinical experience by working as a 'basic doctor' for an average of 2 years after graduation. Also a lot of people here try to get a PhD after graduation to boost there chances to get a training spot for specialization in the competitive fields. Funny thing is though that cardiothoracic surgery isn't competitive at all here . I guess because it's a pure cardiothoracic 6 year-programme here, that doesnt give you as much experience as the US programme where your also do general surgery. General surgery is very competitive over here, so I think that's the difference. Anyways, thanks for your advice man.
So I see on your site that you're currently in research yourself after graduation. You have any idea how long you still have to go untill you get some good chances in ophtalmology? Hope you'll get into residency soon.April 8th, 2010, 07:20 AM #260
Sounds like you got the right idea. I'm sure you'll make your way into the field one way or another.
I'm planning on applying next year so God willing I'll start residency in 2012 (unless doomsday comes along in accordance with Mayan tradition). Until then, research it is. Not a bad gig at all if you ask me.
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