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career advice

PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:37 pm
by Anil
Hi everybody,
I wish to pursue a physician-scientist career in Cardiology. After completing my MD degree from a reputed institution in India I decided to go for a PhD in the US. I completed my PhD last year in October and then took time off till now to take the USMLE exams and apply for a residency position in Internal Medicine. I have just been offered a residency position that starts in July 2005. After completing Internal Medicine residency I wish to apply for Cardiology fellowship (another 3-4 years). Hopefully, after the completion of fellowship I will find a position (as Attending Physician) that will allow me to perform basic science research and at the same time be involved in patient care. My question is what should I do for the next seven months i.e. till July 2005? I strongly feel that not doing anything during this time would be a complete waste of time (and two doctoral degrees), but at the same time I want to do something that enhances my resume and skill set in addition to the salary. With the help of my PhD background in neuroscience I can apply for a post-doc position but why would anybody hire me for six months?
Although my PhD was quite productive and I am confident that given a chance I could be productive in a new lab even in such a short time period, but how do I convey that to my potential employer?
Is it justifiable to apply for a Research Assistant position instead of a post-doc?
I don?t know if I would qualify for a clinical research position and if such a position would be available for six month period.
Please enlighten me with your knowledge and wisdom. I would really appreciate any suggestions or comments. Thank you being a part of this forum.

career advice

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 10:47 am
by Jim Gardner

Since you only have a 7-month window to work with, I think it would be wrong to apply for any "permanent" or typically longer-lasting position. Have you considered temporary employment? Contact local scientific temporary employment agencies. A 6-month contract would fit nicely in your time window and potentially provide some real experience. I'm not sure what kind of temp positions your degrees qualify you for, but perhaps you can explore the possibilities with staff members of the temp agencies.

I would guess that you could also fill that time period with an internship or volunteer work, but I don't know enough about these options to say anything useful. Hopefully, other posters will chime in.

Good Luck!


career advice

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:28 am
by Andy

You have worked very hard over the last few years. Congratulations on your degrees and your upcoming residency. You should be proud.

As you know, your residency will be even more time consuming than your career has been so far. Why not take the next 7 months and volunteer half time while taking a break from work? You could volunteer at a clinic dedicated to treating low-income patients without insurance. In addition you could relax for a few days a week, and read up on the literature in an area where your future research may lead you. But if you don't take at least some time to relax over the next few months, you're not likely to have the chance again for decades.

Best regards,


career advice

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:33 pm
by Anil
Thank you very much Andy and Jim. I will consider your suggestions. I do have some labs in mind where I would like to inquire for any openings.

career advice

PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:19 am
by GAT
Dear Anil,

First of all, let me congragulate you for your hardwork and sucess. It is not easy to get a pre-match offer after several spending several years on the bench (i.e. having a huge gap in your clinical resume).

For you advice question though, I dont believe that how you would spend the next seven months is of paramount importance. (Well of course,I presume getting a salary to support yourself can obviously be very important for you, but I am writing about long term career perspective) Perhaps you might want something related with cardiology rather than neurosciences, since cardiology fellowship is your next step in your career and getting that fellowship is very competetive and your ability to obtain is also somewhat dependent on the incoming program that you will be starting. I mean an IM program in Mass. General Hospital is regarded in different level than IM program in a community hopital serving an inner city area in New York City.

Bottom line: If I were you, I would have fun for your current waiting time, because the internship will be real ordeal as you have not practiced for your many years. If you want to work, do something related with cardiology, becasue the cardiology program directors will ask you " why dont you plan to do neurology?" since you have a strong back groung in neurosciences

Gokce Toruner, M.D, Ph.D

career advice

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 6:25 pm
by Krishna
Hi Anil,
Congratulations on your achievements. I have a similar background like you . I have done my MD from India and have a PhD in Immunology from the US. I too am planning on doing a residency in Internal Medicine in the US . Iam currently doing my post-doc . Simultaneously I have taken the USMLE step 1 and Iam preparing for step 2. Since you have been sucessful in getting a residency here , I was wondering if you would have any suggestions on whether it would be neccessary for me to try to do some voluntary work / observership in some hospital to get some clinical experience in the US. Do you think most residency programs need some clinical expereince in the US and if yes, how does one go about getting it .

Thanks - Krishna