Medical Student Research Thesis Program (MSRTP)
A distinguishing component of the Charles Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program is the required medical research thesis. The thesis requirement places Charles Drew University among a few select medical programs nationally providing research training as a requirement in the medical education curriculum. The Medical Student Research Thesis Program assists student in the third and fourth years in developing and completing an independent research project. While the overall theme of the MSRTP is healthcare disparities, students have wide latitude to choose research projects including biobehavioral/psychosocial, health services research and public policy with application to underserved communities. Fourth-year students present their research findings at the annual medical student research colloquium held each spring
The CDU UCLA Medical Education Program is committed to train excellent physicians by means of providing excellent clinical, research, and practical training for individuals interested in serving urban, medically disadvantaged populations. Students enrolled in the College are required to engage in a longitudinal research activity called “Medical Student Research Thesis Program” (MSRTP) at CDU which culminate in submission of a thesis.
The overall goal of the MSRTP is to engage medical students in systematic acquisition, organization, analysis, and interpretation of information to develop new knowledge, attitude, and skills essential for becoming excellent physicians, providing excellent medical care, and becoming leaders in their fields.
Potential Areas of Research
In accordance with bench-to-bedside approach to translational research, students have wide options to choose a mentored research project in various areas such as basic, clinical, biobehavioral/psychosocial, environmental, quality Improvement, public policy, and/or educational research.
Didactic Lecture Series
These lectures are intended to deliver basic principles that form the foundation for scientific investigation and prepare students with fundamentals for development of research project
Mentored Research Practicum
Students must choose a faculty mentor from CDU. They may also choose faculty mentor(s) from other academic institutions; locally, nationally or internationally. Faculty mentors from other institutions may serve as co-mentors or secondary mentors. However, students are highly encouraged to seek two types of faculty mentors: a) content mentor who would be a faculty with strong expertise in the area of student’s clinical interest; b) research mentor who would be a faculty with strong research training and experience.
A database listing previous and current faculty mentors and their areas of research interest is available to the students (Contact Program Coordinator).
Program Required Activities:
- Attending Research Lecture Series
- Developing and implementing a closely mentored, but independent research project.
- Submitting research abstract for UCLA Scholarship Day
- Presenting (poster or oral) during the annual UCLA Scholarship Day
- Presenting during the CDU annual Medical Student Research Colloquium
- Submitting a mentored approved Senior Research Thesis
Medical Student Performance Evaluation
Student academic performance is evaluated on Honors/Pass/Fail grading system. Process evaluation will be conducted during the semesters by mentors, program chair, and Research Thesis Committee members based on the quality and timeliness of the assigned activities, as well as outcome evaluations based on the student’s performance on the following:
- In-class Exam
- UCLA Scholarship Day Poster/Oral presentation
- CDU Annual Medical Student Research colloquium presentation
- CDU Medical Student Senior Research Thesis
Medical students who complete this program are recognized at the Hippocratic Oath Ceremony under the “Thesis Program of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA” for performing creative and scholarly work in conjunction with a faculty mentor. These students also have the opportunity to be recognized as Dean’s Scholar for outstanding thesis.
Furthermore, the Medical Student Research Thesis Program Award will be presented to three graduating seniors who rank among the top 5% of their class. Selection of these students is not only based on the scholarly quality of their research, but these should be students who have been able to use “Thesis” as a tool to advance their knowledge, attitude, and skills for gaining excellence in their academic and clinical efforts.
Faculty and Staff