Medical School / Residency

How To Find Research in Medical School and Residency

One of the most frustrating aspects of medical school and residency is the hidden curriculum. The stuff you kind of just figure out along the way and wish you knew from the beginning. One part of the hidden curriculum of medical school and residency is research. Here are my tips on how to successfully get published.


First off, why bother doing research?

If you are a medical student it will make you stand out when applying to residency and if you are a resident applying for certain fellowships it might as well be mandatory. So the first reason is for your resumé. The second reason is that research forces you to learn a topic more extensively than you normally would otherwise. That’s my favorite reason to get involved in research. You end up learning so much more compared to just reading topics and doing practice questions. Additionally, you also learn to



Find a topic or field that interests you

The only thing worse than doing research is doing research on a topic or in a field that bores you. That’s why all of my research is in cardiology. So find a research project in a medical specialty or disease process that you find interesting.



Find a mentor

Okay, so I’ve sold you on the idea of doing research. Next, you found a field that interests you. But how do you just start a research project? The best way to approach finding a research project is approaching someone who is already doing research in that field or specialty. As a medical student, I asked the cardiologist I was working with if he knew of any interesting research going on in the cardiology department. He put me in touch with the right people who pointed me in the right direction. Ultimately, I got two publications out of the experience and learned a lot about cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.

Fast forward to residency and some of the best advise I’ve received has been from my senior residents and fellows. These are people who have already done what you want to accomplish. They are probably the most valuable resources you’ve got so use them! Better yet, get involved in their research projects to get your feet wet.

Additionally, don’t forget your co-residents or medical students. Some of my close friends and colleagues are doing amazing research and their tenacity to publish their work inspires me to get on my grind. They are another valuable resource. Some of my colleagues who already have a few research projects under their belt know the system and how to maneuver it. So don’t be shy or too proud and ask your successful colleagues how they did it.



Be curious

If you don’t understand something then ask! Be curious about medicine and uncover the reasoning behind clinical decision making. As much as we know about the human body there is still so much that we don’t understand and your questions on rounds one day might be the beginning of your research project.



What did I miss? What tips do you have to help medical students and residents get published? Comment below and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss my next blog post!


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  1. George Blewusi says:

    Nice piece, thank you

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