Biggest Piece of Research Advice That No One Will Tell You

With ERAS applications looming, here is the biggest piece of research advice that no one will tell you. Whatever research studies you may have that are pending or have been rejected from journals (once, twice…seven times), SUBMIT THEM NOW! The ERAS application allows you to list research papers and presentations that have been submitted to a journal or conference. It is crucial to submit these projects and have them included on your ERAS CV. They count the exact same as a project that is already published or a presentation that you already gave.

The ERAS application has set in place standard rules to help standardize residency applications from students across the country. Use these rules to your advantage when it comes to listing research. The ERAS application allows you to list projects that are submitted. It doesn’t matter if you have submitted them before and the study was rejected. Programs will not know the difference. As long as the paper or presentation is currently submitted and under review with a journal or a conference, then you can list it on your ERAS application as submitted.

“Whatever research studies you have that are pending or have been rejected from journals, SUBMIT THEM NOW!”

Dr. Carter J. Boyd, Founder, Med Student Edge

About 1/3 of the research line items on my ERAS CV were classified as ‘submitted’. Most applicants across the country will have numerous items listed on their CV that fall into this category as well. If you have projects that are idle or have been rejected previously, pick out a journal or conference and submit it today! It doesn’t matter if the paper or project gets rejected 3 weeks after the application deadline. That project will still be listed on your official ERAS CV. This is one of the little tricks that students use all across the country to bolster their CVs. Programs know that taking a research project from an idea to a published manuscript takes a significant amount of effort and time. They are not going to penalize you for listing projects as submitted. In fact, including these submitted projects is impressive as it demonstrates that you are actively working on scholarly activities.

Of course, if you haven’t submitted something, do not list it as submitted. By doing so, you are breaking the trust and credibility of the application process.

Also, be sure that you are able to discuss all items on your CV if asked about them in an interview. If a project is listed as submitted on your CV, it is fair game for questions. You should be able to discuss the project, the basic outcomes, and your role in the project. If you can’t answer those basic questions, then perhaps reconsider listing it.

Quick summary. If you have pending research, get it finalized and submitted ASAP. Include these projects on your ERAS CV. Make sure you get credit for everything that you do.

Do you have idle research projects? What is holding you back from being able to submit them?

Back to more residency application resources here.

Carter J. Boyd, MD, MBA
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