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How to get Research?

By Dr. Ahsun Riaz

FORMAL APPLICATION:

There are centers with a proper research fellowship application. NIH and good universities have amazing programs. The problem is that you compete against the same US medical students who have no visa issues etc. and have planned a year beforehand for this research year. (They usually take a year off during medical school or work during their summer vacations.) If you can plan so much in advance, then I recommend that you try this out. Google the websites of these institutions and send out the required documents. I tried this but was not able to get any positive replies.

BACKDOOR APPLICATIONS:

The other way is hard but has paid off. The procedure I used is as follows,

1- Go to US News online. Find the top 30 US medical schools in terms of research.
2- Go to the schools’ websites and find the department you want to do research in.
3- Find faculty members with phone numbers and e-mail addresses. (Make a note of them somewhere.)
4- E-mail them with a general body text and a paragraph specific to the attending’s field of interest with your resume attached
5- Try to mail at least 100 people (20-25 will reply, 3-5 will have a positive tone, 1-2 will have a really positive tone)

Point number 5 is the most variable and depends on multiple factors. Luck and timing help a lot (timing as in applying well beforehand)

What you could do is as follows,

- Please try to search the attending you are going to work with on PubMed and make sure that he/she has at least 10 publications per year as a corresponding author. This will ensure that you will get a chance to get published multiple times.
- Please do not emphasize on the fact that you are using these research years as a bridge. Stay focused during your interview. They are hiring you for research only. If you are able to impress them, they will start that residency discussion themselves one day.
- The “volunteering period” is actually a probation period. Try to make the probation bilateral. You should analyze quickly the exposure you will get, the publications you will be able to get under your wings, the ability of this “bridge” to take you to your goal.

Personal Experience of one of the authors(Dr. Ahsun Riaz):

I did not know the attending I am working with beforehand. I found him using the backdoor approach. He replied asking me for my letters of recommendation from the clinical rotations in the US (hence emphasizing the usefulness of electives). He called me up while I was in Pakistan. I had already read a few of his articles from PubMed. I emphasized my interest in Interventional Radiology and showed some knowledge of his specific field in my conversation. I was able to ask him for an H1b visa and a place to stay in the university housing in downtown Chicago before coming to the US. I came to the US on a visitor’s visa to take my CS. I worked as a volunteer for 2 months during which I was sent to classes for Microsoft Office and biostats. Now I am a NU employee. I have signed a contract for two years and will apply for residency next year and insha Allah start my residency in 2010.

I understand that each individual has priorities and responsibilities that make his/her choices differ but I would really recommend for people who are able to take this road less traveled to do so. I am not saying this with a sigh.

what to do in USA after completng PG in OBG from India

hi...i have done my PG in OBG from India...now i have to move to US as my in-laws are settled in US but not green card holder..what is the best next step for me to settle in US...should i give USMLE or do a research, or should i do fellowship?

Interested in interventional radiology

Riaz bhai i just finished my mbbs this year , i have been to NU for elective in radiology. My interest lies in interventional radiology.
I want to know how can i get intouch with dr. Riad salem in NU. As i am interested to work with him in his research of radioactivity affecting lung during treatment of hcc with radioactive pellet.
Interventional radio is a dream for me and wud be greatful to u if can guide me in this path. Right now i am preparing for step 1 usmle

Assalualaikum I m about to

Assalualaikum
I m about to finish my internship in few days. I m interested in Radiology!
should I extend my internship n go for clerkship.. Or research and observership is better option.. I m studying for step1 now.
Do they give Radiology for IMG easily or should I think in plan in line of internal medicine or peds...
Is it necessary to write toefl exam.. Visa status is not a problem coz I wl get green card in few months..
Plzzz help!

M i still worth it?

 Asalam u alaikum bro umar.

i by chance came across this page..my struggle with Medicine is long..i graduated from Bangladesh and did my internship in India ,got married and came to US .I'm on H4.i gave ,my step 1 after 2 yrz of off n on prep and couldn't get thru..i'm on that stage of my life where i don't know what to do?..should i take step 1 again?..though i have started studying again ..meanwhile i wanna get USCE as well...?..i don't find much opportunities in TX ..what should i do?..research or externship?..how to apply in TX?..i really don't have any zeal left for this profession..is there a way to get in research or any other non clinical stuff..coz being a doc and handling family is tuff job for a female..your help will be appreciated..

email for research

I have prepared my cv according to the information provided above but i am struggling a little with the cover email. please can someone help me a sample email that i should mail for applying to research positions. thank you very much.

Research

hi

its really v informative site...Good Job.. May Allah reward u for this.. 

My question is that can i apply for research after my graduation?and what is the requirement for applying after mbbs like usmle steps or any other requirement?? What is the procedure to apply after mbbs as i am in my 4th year and i want to apply after graduation.should i start applying now?

Many Thanks

Kind Regards,Maryam

Thanks for your kind words...

umar's picture

Thanks for your kind words... yes you can... volunteer research experience helps...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

research duration

    Hi Umar bhai ,first of all hats off for the great work u r doing.can u plz tell me the pattern of writing application for research. paste applicastion sample of urs .

What do you mean by

umar's picture

What do you mean by application for research? Please explain.

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

hello doc, iam a 4th year

hello doc,


iam a 4th year medical student in 6 year system iam really interested in stem cell researches and i wanna catch up one of these researches but i dont know what should i do ...is tht possible through research electives plz i need help....give me an advise abt tht and which universities should i apply for cuz i dont have much experience


thx alot

You might join them initially

umar's picture

You might join them initially through research electives and if you impress them, they might keep you for long as post-doc fellows, in the lab. Contact faculty members of various universities to inquire if someone is doing a stem cell research.

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

Hello UMar,  I have only sat

Hello UMar,

 I have only sat for step 1 exam and waiting for the results. Can you recoomend me which medical schools' programs are not too difficult for IMG to enter research programs if I am interested in cardiology and ophthalmology. Is it better to participate in research programs earlier or just before entering the match(finishing step2)?

All the best for result! It

umar's picture

All the best for result! It is pure luck... sometimes you can get a research spot in a week and sometimes it might take months... both options r good but I prefer going after step 2... but its a personal decision though!

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

research

sir,

      thanks a lot for putting up this kind of database,its very helpful..wish u have a grand success in life..I'm a 2nd yr medical student.. i want to apply for research position in gyneacology(cancer).. but im unable to find d information as in whom to send the request.. how do i know whether so and so person in doing research or not? 

Thanks for your kind words.

umar's picture

Thanks for your kind words. Contact the faculty of gyane department; you might come across their profiles, if available online otherwise using pubmed.org as a source for looking the publications of any author is also a wise idea.

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

reserach experience here in pakistan

thanks for the info umar ...i hope you are doing really well and best of luck for the future ...i am from pakistan and wanted to know that prior to applying for a volunteer research post in states ,how can i gain some knowledge in research while still here in pak ...i am at present studying for step1  and will be applying for my visa in few months but while i am here i wanted to get some experience ...whom to approach here in lahore ? it would be a huge help if you could guide me in this matter ...

hope to hear from you soon ,

take care 

Thanks for your kind words.

umar's picture

Thanks for your kind words. Honestly I dont think the research experience in Pak would help u much. Moreover, I dont think we have a suitable research system here. I would recommend you writing for the Lancet student or student BMJ or doc2doc BMJ blogs to begin with... if you are really looking for someone to work with, Dr. Ali Jawa in AIMC, can be a suitable person to work with on a research project. 

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

hi.... i am doing internship

hi.... i am doing internship in India. it wil complete by 31 dec 2010. i am thinking 2 extend it by 15 days so that i can go elective 4 jan-feb. but the problem is that in my transcript graduation year written is 31 dec 2010. so should i get it changed 2 next year?

 what should we write in expected graduation year? date at which internship ends normally (at 1 year) or date at the end of extended period after doing elective?

m no sure abt it... someone

umar's picture

m no sure abt it... someone from India who has delayed graduation/ internship can comment on it...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

thank you umar bhai for such


thank you umar bhai for such a great website...I am a final yr student from lahore.... umar bhai I have applied in the NIH for the clinical electives


I have following ques


1. what are the departments in which the acceptance is highest in april, may and june months?


2. what are the departments in which the LORS are comparatively easy to obtain, as I read in this website that endo people dont giv LORS that eeasy?


3. alongwith my transcripts what else should i send? should i send my toefl report and malpractice with the transcripts or should i wait for the coordinator to ask me to send these things.


4.how can i apply to research titles in NIH?



thank you very much, waitng for the reply

thanks for your kind words

umar's picture

thanks for your kind words abdullah!

1. m not sure

2. it varies from attending to attending and more specifically your own personal performance during electives...

3. you should send all these and other required supporting documents together, in one packet.

4. what do u mean by research titles?

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

research elective

hi umar bhai,

firstly thanx 4 such a nice database,...got to knw a lot frm ur site

i am a 2nd yr med student @ india.....i applied for re to loads of place.....i gt a hugley positive reply from nyu.......the prof dere told me tht he could definitely offer me a position........till nw i have 2-3 kind of replies asking my cv but none as positive as dis.....should i continue wid nyu ...hw gud is nyu????wich visa should i go on?????

wht all requirements would i need to apply 4 visa????is there ny document tht the prof@nyu shuld give me 4 visa...i mean a letter showing tht i would be joining his lab!!!

should i continue applying to other places also.....???

Thanks a lot for your kind

umar's picture

Thanks a lot for your kind words... NYU is a good place to go... you need to know NYU visa requirements in order to decide which visa you need to apply for...

plz visit the visa section of this website, in detail!

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

research information at johns hopkins

umar bahi its my first visit to ur website u really done a great job.I m the FINAL year student of m.b.b.s.i want to know what is the difference between basic research and clinical research as in elective book of john hopkins some courses titled as basic research while other labeled as clinical research.can i apply for basic research?

Usman, thanks a lot for your

umar's picture

Usman, thanks a lot for your kind words. Plz visit the following link. You might also find some helpful information in the following link.

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

umar bhai i applied to john

umar bhai i applied to john haopkins a doctor has replied but he is saying he needs atleast 6 months for cancer research..i have said i cn give time after med school..he said something like ' thr is a possibility of clerkship in my lab' wht does he mean by this..a clinical clerkship or research..he was researching about tumor angiogenesis

well only he can provide u

umar's picture

well only he can provide u the perfect answer to this question...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

A quick question Umar bhai

I tried the backdoor approach and emailed many professors...so far the responses have not been good.... I'm only a second year medical student with no prior research experience so not sure what to include in the email....so far I've just been stating I'm a 2nd year international med student who is interested in working on any research projects you have going on at the time (summer).  I don't have a CV is that ok?

well you should try looking

umar's picture

well you should try looking for a research elective, generally if they have a spot, they accept the student... its pure luck!

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

bhai can I apply for research

bhai can I apply for research while I`m in my final year?

do u mean research elective,

umar's picture

do u mean research elective, short-term research project or a long-time research project... u can get all three but they wont be paid... moreover u might have to pay for research elective depending upon where you go...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

john hopkins research preferences

 Dear Umar Bhai,

As i am going to apply for an research elective At John Hopkins, I dont know how to give the research preferences, either i list my preferences with the department wise or research conductor wise with his research. Actually the course/elective book is monotonous and you get no idea of research offerings.

Please help me out

Regard:

Fahad

 

@fahad

dear fahad,

for research elective at jhuso, is is imperative that you contact and discuss and get an informal approval with any faculty before applying. simple lsiting choices from the catalog is not sufficient. try the find facult-IES(multiple) from the handbook, look up their email address at myjhu.com from their name and then email a sop for research to them with your cv. when they reply and approve then apply. otherwise you have almost no chance of getting selected. go through this post and the whole replies pages.

best wishes.

research elective

hi umar,

                i have applied for john hopkins 6 months back,..for the months of jan n feb, i still didnot get any reply from them...plzz help me out.

i m sorry..... once u have

umar's picture

i m sorry..... once u have applied no one can help u... contact them directly...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

research application

hi umar bhai
almost prepared my material to apply for research but only thing left is the main application, ie, the general body text of the email..
i have to make this application in what format---- as letter of intent or personal statement or sumthin else..
what details shall i put in this application n should i add on my step1 results..
plz help out with this..

thanx 

i think it should be somewhat

umar's picture

i think it should be somewhat like your letter of intent along with your worth-mentioning achievements like good step 1 results, etc...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

 thanx a lot umar bhai.. as u

 thanx a lot umar bhai..

as u said that if i have a gud step1 score i must add it on my application, but, its written in ur webpage abt research that we shouldn't show that we are doin research just for lors for residency application, so should i mention it.. by the way i actually have a gud step1 score..

n also 1 more query that i wanna apply for research in august,2010, ie,after completein my ck n cs, so when should i apply.. some1 told me that i should apply a lil later n not now??

thanx

 

i did not get what u r

umar's picture

i did not get what u r refering to... plz explain what do u mean by "we shouldn't show that we are doin research just for lors for residency application, so should i mention it" or paste the mentioned link...

apply 4-7 months in advance, though sometimes if they have spot you can be accommodated even by appling only a week before... but i would recommend atleast 4 months in advance...

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

research visa??

it would be really helpful if there r places/univs that could offer volunteer research positions under visitors visa. plz enlighten me on this
 
Regards
Parasuram
 

You can get VOLUNTEER UNPAID

umar's picture

You can get VOLUNTEER UNPAID ones under B1/ B2.... sorry I dont have any list of them but you can try sending emails to multiple universities...to make your own list....tc

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

hospitals offering research and externships

hi umar.... i m frm india doin my internship.....thanks for the valuable information that you have provided.......pllzzzzzzzzz update the list of hospitals offering research and externships/observerships.......in detail as you have provided for electives ....and when should i start the procedure of application.......thank you......kindly reply soon as i am already late for electives and dont want to be late again!!!!!!!!!

hi... i m sorry I dont have

umar's picture

hi... i m sorry I dont have any list of externships/observerships/ research etc with me... I would recommend checking out usmletomd.com for that purpose...but currently I dont know about any such places... as soon as I do...I would compile a list and upload it....tc and best of luck!

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

research elective

 Hi umar,
   This is vivek.... First , I thank you wholeheartedly for these fantastic information.... As you know am interested to get into radio residency and do VIR.... I am givin my step 1 this dec... amd am applyin for electives from jan 2010...
  How about i extend my internship and do further research electives( since i'll have step 1 scores can apply to more univ) in radio and get some papers published which can help me increase my CV...   
PLEASE GIVE YOUR VALUABLE ADVICE ON THIS... 
THANK TOU...
 
 

hello umar sir n vivek....urgent help needed

im left with 15 days of internship... im in a dilema as one of my seniors wants me to skip internship n do electives ...he says it helps a lot n internship i can complete it later...i m not sure what to do... is it that i wont get a chance to do electives after my internship? and how much internship will i b required to postpone? n do i get electives soon enough? i m interested in internal medicine.. is this electives thing so important? kindly guide me...i hope u r understandin my dilema...kindly guide me..urgent plz

sounds good!

umar's picture

thanks a lot for your kind words! sounds good and seems to be a decent plan! best of luck!

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

students or graduates

Amazing post Umar. I am a med graduate, can I get a research job this way? or this is only for med students just like research electives?

for med graduates

umar's picture

hi... well it is for medical graduates esp when they are done with their USMLEs...tc and best of luck...plz do leave ur name in ur post!

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

visa for research

Thanks Umar for ur info . is it possible to get rselves involved in volunteer research on visitors visa under attendings from good universities. See there s a lot of confusion about J1 research visa and waivering it, the time frame bfr aplying for residency. so what would be ur best bet either to go for places offering J1 research visa and taking steps simultaneously or volunteering yourself under visitors visa?
but hardly i could find any place/univ offering volunteer research for visitors visa
 
Regards
Parasuram

I am not sure about visitor

umar's picture

I am not sure about visitor visa but u can get a VOLUNTEER UNPAID research position on B1/ B2 visa for sure...J1/ H1 visa is required for research when they are giving you a PAID position!!! tc

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

@ umar sir (final straw)

 

im left with 15 days of internship... im in a dilema as one of my seniors wants me to skip internship n do electives ...he says it helps a lot n internship i can complete it later...i m not sure what to do... is it that i wont get a chance to do electives after my internship? and how much internship will i b required to postpone? n do i get electives soon enough? i m interested in internal medicine.. is this electives thing so important? kindly guide me...i hope u r understandin my dilema...kindly guide me..urgent plz

 

well he is somewhat

umar's picture

well he is somewhat right...but what if u don't get accepted anywhere? u wont get a chance to do electives after internship... it all depends upon when u r going for elective and when u apply...u may need to postpone it accordingly...u dont get electives soon enough...u apply 6-8 months...if u want to save time...dont go for electives...otherwise u may have to delay ur internship for atleast 6 months....tc and best of luck!

I am very busy these days and won't be replying to anymore queries. Apologies for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. All the best.

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