Medical Student Research Thesis
Medical Student Primary Care Research Program and the CDU M.D. Thesis Initiative Guide for Students and Faculty Mentors. Medical Student Research Background
In 1995, the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, College of Medicine, Primary Care Clerkship developed an innovative curriculum requiring medical students to develop, design, and implement a research project during their two-year Primary Care longitudinal clinical experience. The research project was to address medical conditions commonly encountered in Primary Care practice.
Primary care is the provision of an integrated array of health services that are accessible and acceptable to the patient, comprehensive in scope, coordinated and continuous over time, and for which a practitioner develops a sustained partnership with patients, practices in the context of family and community. – Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science (January 19, 1999)
The majority of such student research projects have been clearly demonstrated to be at a caliber equal to that of thesis quality, methods were explored to evolve the CDU research project and into medical thesis. The CDU Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee (EPCC) and the CDU Primary Care Subcommittee approved the development of this outstanding initiative research project to a voluntary thesis for the graduating class of 2004 and a requirement for all CDU graduates beginning with the class of 2005. The research projects represent the students’ first venture in their development as leaders in our nation’s healthcare. The research is done under the input, guidance and supervision of faculty. In 2003, for the first time, the Primary Care Research Colloquium was held as a CME course. The outcome was favorable with a good turnout an d evaluation. We will continue the Annual “Current Research Including Health Care; Medical Student Research Colloquium” with CME credits. This event allows the medical students collaborate along with their faculty mentors to present the results of their research in various areas of primary care. The presentation will be used to expose new findings that impact clinical practice and knowledge in the King Drew Medical Center and simila r settings for underserved population. This colloquium will provide continuing medical education for faculty, community physicians, and other health/mental health professionals to update knowledge on research related to health care disparities in primary cares issues.
Since the inception of this mandatory research project, the only such program in any U.S. School of Medicine, over 150 students have completed a total of 127 research projects.
Engaging in critically needed research that explores the growing area of Primary Care is an opportunity to affect the direction of healthcare in the United States. The research projects represent the students’ first venture in their development as leaders in our nation’s healthcare.
Students are recognized formally for their research work at graduation and with a formal publication of the thesis as part of library thesis filing process for listing at the electronic thesis clearinghouse Students and faculty members have publication incentives that help their careers and the CDU mission. The thesis requirement gives CDU students added value and makes the CDU program more special and one of the selected schools that provides this type of training as a requirement Research fosters the CDU mission of excellent in research to help underserved populations Research encourages students to become leaders in academic endeavors. This requirement makes students more competitive in their career choices and residencies and provides experience to the academic options available to them.
- Students are recognized formally for their research work at graduation and with a formal publication of their thesis as part of library thesis filing process for listings at the electronic thesis clearinghouse.
- Students and faculty members have publication incentives that help their careers and the CDU mission.
- The thesis requirement gives CDU students added value and makes the CDU program more special and one of the selected schools that provide this type of training as a requirement.
- Research fosters the CDU mission of excellence in research to help underserved populations.
- Research encourages students to become leaders in academic endeavors.
- These requirements make students more competitive in their career choices and residencies and provide experience to the academic options available to them.
All students at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science engage in Primary Care research during medical school before matriculation. Students who are a part of the MD/PhD, MD/MPH, or MD/MBA may apply to submit their thesis if the subject is approved by the Primary Care Program Office. Primary Care is the provision of an integrated array of health services that are accessible and acceptable to the patient, comprehensive in scope, coordinated and continuous over time, and for which a practitioner develops a sustained partnership with patients, practices in the context of family and community. – Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science (January 19, 1999)
Wide choices of subjects for research are permitted subject to approval by the Primary Care Program Office. Students may investigate clinical, epidemiological, or health care utilization topics related to Primary Care but may not pursue basic laboratory projects. Publications in the literature may serve as the source of data for research. There must be a specific hypothesis that can be supported or rejected by new data that are generated by the student.
Data must be subjected to statistical analysis and results should either confirm or reject the original hypothesis.
Each medical student will have at least one full-time CDU Research/Content faculty mentor. The faculty mentor is selected based on the interests of the medical student. A close working relationship between the student and faculty research mentor is a major goal of this program. Mentors are committed to provide the necessary guidance and support required for the development, execution, and completion of the medical student thesis.
Two types of mentors have been approved by Primary Care Subcommittee:A)
The Research Mentor categories are individuals who will meet one or more of the following categories and are interested in mentoring a medical student research project and/or have evidence of significant research in the University.
1. A Faculty of CDU or other Academic Institutions
2. Has previous mentoring experience
3. Has evidence of conducting ResearchB)
A Content Mentor category is any faculty that specializes or has expertise in areas of research that the medical student is interested in.
1. CDU faculty appointment (any series)
2. Faculty at other UCLA associated institutions
3. Any other Academic Appointment
The research must be designed and specifically performed by the students under the advice and supervision of the faculty mentor. Joint Study
Students may work jointly on a research project (three students per project maximum) but each student must analyze a unique portion of the research and produce a unique thesis. Manuscript
The research is presented as a formal bound thesis during the fourth year and must fulfill the following minimal requirements:
1. Title Page
4. Materials and Methods
- Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria
- Predictors/Independent Variables
- Outcome/Dependent Variables
5. Analysis of Data
10. Tables & Graphs
Before the written report is presented to the Primary Care Program Office and the Thesis Committee, the student’s mentor must approve it in writing. Presentation
All students present their research in a student program (the Primary Care Senior Research Colloquium is held in April) widely attended by students, faculty and staff. First and second year medical students are required to attend the colloquium. This presentation is a PowerPoint oral presentation. The presentation will be assessed by faculty and invited academic dignitaries. Recognition
Students are formally recognized for their research work at graduation. The Thesis Committee critiques and ranks all students submission. Three prizes are awarded at graduation for outstanding student research. Publication
The thesis will become a formal publication as part of library thesis filing process. All students submit (and their submission accepted) a formal abstract for presentation at a regional or national meeting or complete the process for publication in peer review journals. Such meetings include but are not limited to the American Federation for Medical Research and National Medical Association.
The Subcommittee will support and encourage students to base their thesis on established standards for peer review publication and complete the process for publication in peer review journals.
Students begin research preparation during years three and four in a series of meetings describing the expectations of the research project, and introducing research mentors and ideas.
Throughout the third year, students attend activities during the Primary Care curriculum designed by the Primary Care Subcommittee to assist them to complete the research project in a timely manner. Research meetings cover topics as, reading skills, research design, and statistical software orientation. In addition, students are scheduled to consult individually with their mentor. CME credits will be offered to encourage attendance and participation of faculty members.
Students are encouraged to take the 6 weeks research elective in the fourth year. This will enable the student to develop research skills and concentrate on completing their research project.STUDENT TIMELINE