Solutions through innovation and discovery - aligned with community health needs

Student Research Program

 

 Student Research Program


In the MD program at TCMC, there are ample opportunities for student research that can be conducted during the calendar year and during the summer session between years 1 and 2. Potential types of student investigation include basic sciences (laboratory), clinical, and epidemiologic research. Public health-focused, community-based student research projects are an important component of the year 1 curriculum during The Physician and Society course. Summer research experiences for medical students can take place on any of the TCMC regional campuses and are designed to help students gain important exposure to the excitement, rewards, trials, and tribulations of biomedical research. Wherever possible, the research experience will be tailored to the student's interests and abilities. A component of the summer research program is an informal breakfast meeting with other students, the program director, and interested faculty. This will be held at about the halfway point in the program and will allow students the opportunity to present an oral summary and to discuss their research project among their peers. Summer program participants are also encouraged to attend departmental or College lectures and workshops over the course of the summer. Students must attend a session on Responsible Conduct of Research, which is offered once during the summer.

The College has also developed an educational partnership with the Walter Reed Army Institute in Fort Dietrich, MD to provide TCMC medical students with summer research opportunities (http://wrair-www.army.mil). In addition, laboratory-based research experiences will also be possible through an agreement with Sanofi Pasteur (http://www.sanofipasteur.us) which has its US headquarters in Swiftwater, PA, less than 30 miles from the College. Students will have an opportunity to participate in biologic vaccine-related research activities at Sanofi Pasteur. During their 3rd and 4th years, students will be able to participate in both faculty-based and resident/ fellow-based clinical research initiatives, or may be able to pursue research projects of their own interest and design. By playing an active role in research at TCMC, students will learn how to frame a scientific question, how to plan an experiment, how to control for variables, and how to make appropriate conclusions from data, while not losing sight of the big picture of health and medicine.

An up-to-date list of ongoing College research projects eligible for student participation will be maintained on the research site of the College's Intranet (portal). Students interested in research participation will be able to approach the Office of Research, their academic advisor, or relevant faculty members directly. Students will be assigned a basic sciences or clinical faculty mentor who will provide overall direction and supervision of the intended student project. Regular interactions with these faculty mentors will enhance the research experience for students, provide opportunities for data/ project presentation and discussion, and reinforce the concept and practice of lifelong learning. As part of the Summer Student Research Program, a limited number of student research stipends will be available through the Financial Aid Office, and awardees of these stipends will be required to produce a research poster for presentation at College venues (such as the annual Student Research Day) or local/ national/ or international meetings, and/ or a manuscript for peer-review journal submission. All medical students and TCMC faculty are invited to attend the annual Student Research Day. This event will provide student-award investigators an opportunity to give lecture presentations of their work to their peers and to faculty. There will also be invited speakers and the opportunity for every student to present his/her work during a poster session.