Generally, research performance is not looked at until after you are invited for interview. this is a big disadvantage if you are someone who had many meaningful peer-reviewed publications and you are concerned people will not see them.
This is because residency is a CLINICAL event and most program directors are much, much more concerned that you can function clinically with patients rather than in a lab.
What is ‘Meaningful’ research experience?
It is an experience that results in a publication in the peer reviewed medical literature.
I understand completely that it is VERY difficult to have enough time as a student to do this, but that is why it is a competition.
If you have two students from the same type of school and the scores and transcripts are roughly equal, then research productivity will make a difference.
Research value is VERY subjective. Some directors will make huge value judgements on having publications. Some may value it MORE than the interview.
Also, ‘hanging around’ a lab is not too valuable. A SMALL project you can complete is MUCH more valuable than just ‘participating’ in something big.
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