Question About Translational Research And Residency
Hi Dr. Julius,
I’m a first-year MD student and wondered, for research-heavy residencies, whether the type of research I’ve done is essential. For example, do PD’s like to see more translational research rather than clinical?
That is an excellent question. I would look at an application with research dramatically different from how a program director at some of the other research-heavy institutions like Mass General, University of Pennsylvania, or Washington University would look at the same application. Since I am in more of a clinical residency, my eyes begin to gloss over when I see too many bench-type research projects on an application. This soporific circumstance happens, mostly, when I see lots of enzymatic reactions with words that I have not heard of before without much explanation. It just does not capture my attention. On the other hand, at one of those bench research institutions, that same application with enzymatic reactions may excite them.
In my world, I am always trying to figure out the relevance to radiology residency. Nevertheless, even if not directly related to radiology residency, any exposure to research for you makes our lives a lot easier when you need to complete research requirements as a resident. You will know some of the basics and can “hit the ground running.”
More importantly, most of the more clinical-based residencies (like ours) are looking to see if you have had some research exposure. In the setting of my residency, clinical-based research would trump the translational variety. That being said, having done some research in any area does add a little to the application. It shows a commitment to learning and studying a topic in depth.
Bottom line. You may want to emphasize research a little differently at the various institutions when you apply. Think about the residencies you are applying to and gear your experiences and your applications to those residencies. It will augment your ERAS application to make it more relevant!
Barry Julius, MD