Medical Student Research Thesis Program






Shahrzad Bazargan-Hejazi, PhD
Director, Research Education
College of Medicine, CDU
Work: 323-357-3464


The required medical research thesis is a distinguishing component of the Charles R. Drew University/UCLA Medical Education Program. Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) is among the few universities in the nation that require research training in the medical education curriculum.

Program Description
The Charles R. Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program is committed to producing outstanding physicians by providing excellent clinical, research and practical training for individuals interested in serving urban, medically disadvantaged populations. Students enrolled in the College of Medicine are required to engage in a longitudinal research activity called the “Medical Student Research Thesis Program (MSRTP)” at CDU, which culminates in the submission of a thesis.

We assist students in the College of Medicine's third and fourth years in developing and completing an independent research project. While the overall theme is healthcare disparities, students have wide latitude in choosing research projects that include biobehavioral/psychosocial, health services research, and public policy with application to under-resourced communities. Fourth-year students present their findings at the spring annual medical student research colloquium.

Overall Goal
The overall goal of the MSRTP is to engage medical students in the systematic acquisition, organization, analysis, and interpretation of information to develop new knowledge, attitudes, and skills essential for becoming excellent physicians, providing excellent medical care, and becoming leaders in their fields.

Potential Areas of Research
In accordance with the bench-to-bedside approach to translational research, students have many options in choosing a mentored research project in various areas such as basic, clinical, biobehavioral/psychosocial, environmental, quality improvement, public policy and medical education research.