How do I find research opportunities?

You ask. You ask everyone. 

Email the secretary of the department you’re interested in and ask her if there is a summer research program for students. You’ll get put on a mailing list. Maybe you’ll find out about a meeting scheduled for the next week that you didn’t even know about.

I met the president of the ENT student interest group. Asked her if she knew anyone doing laryngology research. I immediately got a name and an email address for a 3rd year resident doing research. Sent the email asking if she was working on anything. Accepted to the project. Cake.

Met a fellow when I was shadowing. Updated her on my Step 1 score and she immediately started giving me tips and followed it up with the name of a doctor here at my institution in pediatric ENT that she did residency with. Told me to look her up and ask her about research. Just sent out that email.

If you’ve really got guts, email the head of the residency program at your school. Tell them you know research is important for matching. They’ll hook you up with residents and you can churn out case reports for them. 

So many times you guys ask me “How do I get involved in XYZ?”

The answer is that you just go for it. You talk to people. You insert yourself where you need to be. No one is ever going to get mad at you just for asking. The head of our residency program actually complimented me on going out of my way to find extra research to do. Seriously.

If you want an opportunity, just ask for it.