Prelim Vs. Research Fellowship

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Prelim Vs. Research Fellowship

I am trying to compare the benefits between both of these options after a non-successful match.Research Fellowship:1. Chances for publications2. making connections in the research field, perhaps some clinical connections3. Usually 2 yearsPrelim:1. Higher Chances for strong  clinical letters2. Making clinical connections3. 1 year (not sure if it counts as part of the urology training)Let us what you guys think. Which would you recommend. Pros vs Cons.

Edited by: nicky on 05/11/2015 - 19:50 Reason: Updated by FeedsNodeProcessor
Anonymous (not verified)

I think for the most part choosing one route or the other will depend on some of the reasons you may not have matched (grades, research, types of programs you applied to, random way the match works). I would sit with the chair at your school and get some feedback as to the unsuccessful match.

It seems that the research fellowship will be more productive in my opinion. Like you said, it gives you the ability to publish, present, you may get more access to clinical faculty than you think. You will stay within the "loop" of urology (i.e. know which programs have vacancies, before they are formally announced); it may be easier to plan interviews as well, since faculty will be more understanding. On the contray if you have plenty of research, it may be a waste of time.

It seems that with the prelim year (I have met a few that have gotten through this route), the advantage is that you may not lose those two years as some programs open up during the year, whether people quit, or they expand; however a lot of it depends on the luck of having somone else leaving , as well as having a strong chair at the prelim year who can vouch for you. And being a prelim means being stuck on crappy services (i.e. transplant, SICU, trauma) so you may not have the opportunity do a urology elective and get that needed exposure.

It would be interesting to hear the opinions of people who were sucessfull with both options, but if faced with those two options, I would consider a research fellowship. It may also help to contact these fellowships and ask the percentage of people over the last couple of years that have matched following completion of the program.

Good luck...

Anonymous (not verified)

The research fellowship give you a greater opportunity to learn about urology. You may get lucky as a prelim and do a month or 2 in urology but that is usually not the case. Usually you can be abused a prelim and do much scut work.

If you do research in urology you will be better prepared for interviews, maybe get to go to national meeting even if just for poster, get better urology focused LORs, learn if you really want urology, help your career in long run by get a few publications in the field, network network network which will give you more interviews.

I have talked to people who have done both options and most who do the prelim year either hate it or they get real real lucky and match where they did the prelim year. Otherwise they do a second prelim year and/or switch to something else.

The research year is also more laid back and can give you a chance to spend time with family, regroup, focus on yourself and learning at your own pace. It can really be a refreshing time.

Best of luck.

Anonymous (not verified)
and if you can find a 1 year

and if you can find a 1 year fellowship it seems much better than prelim. Really you are not burning anytime as many programs require a research year. You could then focus on 5yr programs and not do a research year during your residency training.

The 2 year fellowships would be tougher on you for timeline but would most likely ensure that you will get into a solid program after 2 years of research.

Anonymous (not verified)

When you get commited for a year of research. Can someone be frank and ask his mentor to help him secure a residency spot?

1 year funded Research fellowship at Harvard

Robotics Research Fellowship at Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard,
Department of Urology
About 1 year. Funded.

Flexible start time (March/April/May 2010). The earlier you start the better for the next application season. You can network and produce more for your file. Adult and Peds exposure, either will help tremendously with getting into urology.

The robotics research fellowship offers a well-rounded and in-depth exposure to both translational and clinical urologic research as well as the opportunity to coordinate the robotics research and training center. With the only da Vinci robot dedicated to research and training in Massachusetts and a full-fledged vivarium and animal surgical facility, this is a unique environment to innovate and discover new robotic surgical applications using animal models. The fellow will also be trained to serve as a certified da Vinci robotics training specialist, hosting live, animal training sessions for visiting surgeons.

Other additional opportunities include industry/biotech collaborations, NIH grant and protocol writing, journal publication, clinical research IRB processes, funding proposals, and pediatric grand rounds/radiology conferences weekly.

If you are looking for a phenomenal educational opportunity as well as the chance to improve your residency application, please contact, Dr. Hiep T. Nguyen, Assistant Professor in Surgery (Urology), Harvard Medical School, and Director of Robotic Surgery and Research, at: for more information.

Please include your CV and a short paragraph statement regarding your goals and interest in urologic research.


Would the urology programs consider the prelim year as part of the General Sugery training prior to Urology?
For example, if its a 5 year program and you have one year in prelim would you start as an R2 in Urology directly.

Anonymous (not verified)
Interview invites are

Interview invites are starting to slow down, and I have realized I probably need a back up plan.  I've done some looking and found these listed around:DukeHarvard/Boston Children'sU. of Washington (possibly two spots?)LIJ (I think)Does anyone know of any others?  I previously thought it wouldn't be too difficult to secure a research spot, but it doesn't seem like there are very many spots available.  It would be nice to get a definitive list.