3 Things to Look for in a Medical Student Research Fellowship

3 Things to Look for in a Medical Student Research Fellowship

You’re probably here because you want to pursue a research fellowship in medical school to boost your application for a competitive specialty. Well, you’re in the right place, my friend. In this blog post, I will share some of the most important things you need to look for when seeking out a research fellowship.

1. Mentorship

In my opinion, this is the most important component of your fellowship!

It’s crucial to find a mentor who understands the residency process – one who will:

  • write you a strong letter of recommendation
  • give you time off for residency interviews
  • vouch for you in the application process
  • help you maximize your research productivity, especially before application submission

2. Productivity

If you complete a research fellowship, residency programs will expect that you will have many publications from that year.

While there is no set number, I’d shoot for at least 8+ for the year.

When searching for a position, ask the faculty mentor how many publications you can expect to get or how many past students have published.

It’s also important that your mentor knows your short timeline. If you’re applying to residency within 6 months, you need a position that will allow you to be very productivity on the front end so you can get either published or submitted papers on your application before you submit it.

3. Opportunities beyond research

In addition to research, you want to build on your clinical experience and knowledge during this year.

Seek fellowships that allow you to get involved in:

  • the clinic
  • the operating room (if surgical subspecialty)
  • grand rounds or didactics
  • networking opportunities with other faculty in the department

While not all fellowship will offer ALL of these components, it’s important to weigh what is most important to you. For me, my research year offers incredible mentorship and productivity from a well-known giant in the field. However, I don’t have a ton of opportunties to network within the department compared to other fellowships that I applied for where one has the chance do research projects with various faculty members within the department. However, I am able to get exposure in the OR and clinic and work very closely with my research mentor.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to find research fellowship as a medical student, join me in my Research Publication Academy!