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Distinction Tracks

Overview


Program Purpose: Professional development is enhanced by allowing students to independently pursue an area of interest reflecting the core values that led them to select a medical career. The Distinction Tracks allow motivated students to pursue these interests in a rigorous, longitudinal approach, culminating with a capstone portfolio. Mentors work closely with students through the 4 years of medical school, guiding and evaluating their progress.

Brody School of Medicine offers four Distinction Tracks related to core missions of the school:
  • The Research Distinction Track allows students to pursue clinical, basic science and translational research to characterize the mechanisms of diseases and the therapies used to improve health.
  • The Health System Transformation and Leadership Distinction Track prepares students with advanced expertise in patient safety, quality improvement, and inter-professional team-based care, with emphasis on leadership and change management skill development through enhanced training and applied experiences at the clinical systems level.
  • The Medical Education & Teaching Distinction Track prepares students to be effective medical educators and develops their interest in academic medicine.
  • The Service Learning Distinction Track prepares, encourages and supports medical students who work domestically and internationally with medically under-served, marginalized, and rural populations during their medical school career.
Together, these Distinction Tracks provide a mechanism to formally recognize the exceptional accomplishments of medical students.

Research


Purpose:
The Research Distinction Track is designed to ensure that the next generation of physicians is able to critically evaluate their own approach to medicine and constantly update their practice through integration of the latest scientific evidence. This program prepares, enhances, and supports students in the pursuit of clinical, basic science, and translational research to characterize the mechanisms of disease, the factors influencing health, and the therapies used to improve health.

Objectives of the Program:
  1. Encourage students to consider and test novel approaches to scientific or clinical problems.
  2. Foster analytical thinking skills necessary for rational and effective decision-making in future physicians
  3. Provide an opportunity for BSOM students to pursue hypothesis-driven research and to relate their findings to specific clinical scenarios.
  4. Provide guidance and mentorship for BSOM students regarding careers that integrate research and clinical service.
  5. Teach the techniques of data interpretation necessary for dissemination as a presentation or publication.
  6. Generate an understanding of the impact of clinical/translational research on patient care.
Expectation of student participants:
  1. Demonstrate the ability to critically appraise the scientific literature
  2. Successfully guide a project through all required ethical reviews as appropriate: University and Medical Center Institutional Review Board (UMCIRB) for projects involving human participants or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (UMCIRB) for projects involving the use of animals.
  3. Under the direction of a scientific mentor, design and complete a defined scholarly project.
  4. Provide regular reports on the progress of their chosen scholarly project.
  5. Participate in regularly scheduled mentor meetings and group educational sessions.
  6. Demonstrate scholarly writing skills through the preparation of a manuscript of publishable quality.
  7. Describe the eventual impact of the scholarly project on current or future patient care
Completion of Requirements
Students must complete all requirements prior to graduation. Acknowledgement of track participation is contained in the MSPE letter and noted on the student's transcript, contingent upon demonstration of acceptable progress towards program requirements (see timeline of progress below). The MSPE letter concerning student's track participation will contain a description of completed, current, and expected outcomes. The student's mentor will submit comments for inclusion. Successful completion of the track requirements will be noted on the student's transcript and will be recognized during the senior awards and graduation programs.

MS-1 Year
August-June:
  1. Fact-finding on Research Distinction Track (RDT):
    1. Discussions with potential mentors
    2. Identifying formal mentor
      (c o-mentoring by a team of MD and PhD faculty is encouraged)
  1. Formulate and write summer research proposal to include:
    1. Hypothesis and specific aims
    2. Literature review
    3. Scope of work and time frame
    4. Approval from mentor
  1. Complete all required regulatory training for necessary for proposed project
    1. Responsible conduct of research
    2. Human participants or datasets: Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative training fro biomedical investigators, health information security and privacy (HIPAA).
    3. Animal studies: Use of experimental animals in research, animal handling/surgery (as appropriate)
June & July:
  1. Summer research experience under direction of chosen mentor (SSRP)
  2. Submit written report detailing the outcomes of the project to date, how they fit into the existing literature on the topic, specific role on the project, skills acquired, lessons learned and future plans for the project.
  3. Participate in the annual BSOM Medical Student research day, including submission of an abstract and presentation of results to date.

MS-2 Year
August-April
  1. Participate in RDT Lecture Series
  2. Set and attend regular meetings with mentor to ensure continued progress on scholarly project including updated literature searches, abstract/manuscript preparations, additional data collection, etc.,
  3. Provide quarterly reports regarding ongoing activity on scholarly project.
  4. Write scholarly project end-of-year report detailing completed work and future plans for project

MS-3 Year
  1. Participate in RDT Lecture Series
  2. Assist with recruitment of new students into the program
  3. Set and attend regular meetings with mentor to ensure continued progress on scholarly project including updated literature searches, abstract/manuscript preparations, additional data collection, etc.,
  4. Complete a 2 week research elective (*NOTE: This is still in negotiations with Student Affairs).
  5. Provide quarterly reports regarding ongoing activity on scholarly projects.

MS-4 Year
  1. Participate RDT Lecture Series
  2. Assist with recruitment of new students into the program
  3. Set and attend regular meetings with mentor to ensure continued progress on scholarly project including updated literature searches, abstract/manuscript preparations additional data collection, etc.,
  4. Complete a 4-6 week research elective no later than December
  5. Provide quarterly reports regarding ongoing activity on scholarly project
  6. Write scholarly project final report
  7. Complete manuscript to be submitted for peer review of a scientific journal, NOTE: Publication is not required but if manuscript is not accepted prior to graduation, it must be approved by the Research Track Evaluation Committee.
  8. Submit portfolio for review no later than March

Portfolio
The student must assemble a portfolio to represent this experience and present this portfolio for other Distinction Track students and invited guests. The portfolio should include:
  1. CITI/IACUC Training
  2. Summer Immersion Experience Paper
  3. Capstone Manuscript
  4. Abstracts or posters presented
  5. Reflection about goals as a clinician researcher, progress toward those goals as reflected in the portfolio, and future goals
  6. Feedback/evaluation received from faculty
  7. Documentation from meetings with mentors and original (revised if appropriate) research plans
Final approval by the Research Distinction Track Evaluation Committee is required for graduation with distinction.

Acknowledgement of track participation is contained in the MSPE letter and noted on the student's transcript, contingent upon demonstration of acceptable progress towards program requirements. The MSPE letter concerning student's track participation will contain a description of completed, current, and expected requirements. The student's mentor will submit comments for inclusion. Successful completion of the track requirements will be noted on the student's transcript and will be recognized during the senior awards and graduation programs.

Application Process
  1. Students must have completed the requirements for and participated in the BSOM Summer Scholars Program during the summer after their M-1 year.
  2. Students must submit an application that identifies a mentor and includes a research proposal before the start of the M-2 year.
  3. Students must be in good academic standing in order to apply.
  4. Selections will be based on application and interviews.

Health System Transformation and Leadership


Purpose:
The Health System Transformation and Leadership Distinction Track prepares students with advanced expertise in patient safety, quality improvement, interprofessional team-based care and population health, with emphasis on leadership and change management skill development through enhanced training and applied experiences at the clinical systems level.

Participants in the LINC Scholars program will graduate with a distinction in Health System Transformation and Leadership. For more information on the LINC Scholars program, click here.

Objectives:
  1. Demonstrate Patient Safety/Quality Improvement principles and practices through participation on PS/QI committees/taskforces and mentored experiential learning projects.
  2. Conduct an analysis and critique of health systems and apply quality improvement change principles to individual and populations health needs during small change projects at the clinical systems level.
  3. Apply innovative health systems leadership principles as it relates to population health, patient care practices as patients move from community - acute care - maintenance care (Acute care hospital setting, ambulatory practice/medical home, long term care, mental health care delivery systems, etc.).
  4. Demonstrate interprofessional core competencies to include team science skills as it relates to a health care environment and demonstrate collaborative practice skills.

Required Activities


M-1 Year

Jan-May
  1. Successfully complete requirements of REACH longitudinal curriculum
  2. Attend Health System Transformation and Leadership Track Lecture Series
  3. Attend periodic LINC Scholar planning meetings
  4. Identify potential mentor and discuss options for summer QI project
June-July
  1. Participate in a summer immersion program in the summer following the M1 year
    1. Participate in a combination of didactic, online, and experiential learning experiences during an 8-week summer program. This experience includes clinical practice exposure to provide the context for discussions about clinical quality improvement and patient safety. Students will be expected to design and lead a health care quality improvement project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
    2. After project completion, submit a report discussing the project scope, literature review, role of the student, skills acquired, and lessons learned.
    3. Submit an abstract and create a poster to present at Brody School of Medicine Medical Student Research Day.

M-3 Year
  1. Participate in LINC Scholars Learning Activities (Includes both online, independent, and face to face components)

M-4 Year
  1. Complete an M4 Health System Transformation and Leadership Capstone Elective.
    1. PS/QI activities may be ongoing projects extending throughout the M4 year. Students will work with their LINC Scholars Mentor to finalize the capstone project. Approval is required from the Health System Transformation and Leadership Track Evaluation Committee. The student will be expected to continue with ongoing activities such as literature review, manuscript, and additional data collection, as well as hardwiring and spread of improvement project into care provided within clinical setting.
    2. Participate in the didactic, online, independent, and face to face activities required as part of the Capstone course.
    3. Complete a manuscript that has either been submitted for publication or submitted to the Evaluation Committee in the approved format. In the case of an unpublished manuscript, the mentor is expected to have seen and approved the manuscript as representing the student's PS/QI contributions. All manuscripts will be submitted to the Health System Transformation and Leadership Track Evaluation Committee for review.
    4. LINC Scholars will present their findings at the Brody Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Symposium.

Completion of Requirements
Students must complete all requirements listed above prior to graduation. Final approval by the Health System Transformation and Leadership Track Evaluation Track Committee is required for graduation with distinction.

Presentation of Longitudinal Quality Project
  1. The student will be required to present the results of their QI project on at least two occasions including Medical Student Research Day and during a formal presentation and defense to the Health System Transformation and Leadership Track Evaluation Committee.
  2. Students are encouraged to submit their work for presentation at local/state/national meetings with the approval of the mentor. Financial travel support will be provided through an application process when available.
  3. Prepare the results of QI project according to publication guidelines for QI reports
Portfolio
Students are required to assemble a portfolio to represent the training and products related to this Distinction Track. The portfolio will be used to present work products to other Distinction Track students and invited guests. The portfolio must include:
  1. Summer Immersion Experience Paper
  2. Capstone Manuscript
  3. Abstracts or posters presented
  4. Reflection about goals as a clinician with expertise in PS/QI, progress toward those goals, and future goals
  5. Feedback/evaluation received from faculty, staff and peers involved in training and project work
  6. Documentation from meetings with mentors and original (revised if appropriate) project plans
Acknowledgement of track participation is contained in the MSPE letter and noted on the student's transcript, contingent upon demonstration of acceptable progress towards program requirements. The MSPE letter concerning student's track participation will contain a description of completed, current, and expected requirements. The student's mentor will submit comments for inclusion. Successful completion of the track requirements will be noted on the student's transcript and will be recognized during the senior awards and graduation programs.

Application Process
  1. Students submit an application that identifies their PS/QI interests and goals.
  2. Students must be in good academic standing in order to apply for the track.
  3. Selections will be based on application and interviews.

Medical Education & Teaching


Purpose:
The Medical Education & Teaching Distinction Track prepares students to be effective medical educators and develops their interest in academic medicine through the application of learning theory and instructional strategies.

Objectives:
  1. Describe the evolution of medical education to match the changes in the medical student and resident populations and the changes in healthcare delivery.
  2. Outline the concepts of Adult Learning Theory and apply them to teaching and curriculum development.
  3. Analyze the predominant instructional methodologies used in medical education and their respective efficacy based on research from multiple disciplines.
  4. Apply learning and developmental theories to the organization of a medical education experience.
  5. Describe the role that accreditation bodies play in defining and driving the continuum of medical education.
  6. Compare new issues in medical education with existing research/practice in adult education and changes in the healthcare delivery system

Required Activities

M-1 and M2 Years

  1. Attend the Medical Education and Teaching Track Lecture Series
  2. Participate in an experiential teaching opportunity in the summer following the M1 year
    1. Students must submit a project proposal including the scope of work, detailed time frame, goals/objectives, expected skills to be acquired, and the mentor.
    2. After project completion, the student must submit a report discussing the project scope, role of the student, skills acquired, and lessons learned/reflection on the experience.
    3. Submit an abstract and create a poster to present at Brody School of Medicine Medical Student Research Day

M3 and M4 Years
  1. Attend the Medical Education and Teaching Track Lecture Series
  2. Reflect on feedback provided by students and mentors during direct observation of a teaching session you conduct.
  3. Complete the M4 Medical Education and Teaching Track Elective
    1. Develop a learning contract with a mentor that focuses on the clinical interests and the professional goals of the student. The project must be approved by the Medical Education and Teaching Track Evaluation Committee prior to beginning the elective.
    2. The elective should result in the development of enduring educational materials or an educational research manuscript submitted for publication.
    3. Publication is not required for successful completion of requirements, but the final product must be approved by the Medical Education and Teaching Track Evaluation Committee.
  1. The education product or educational research will be presented to the Medical Education and Teaching Track Evaluation Committee at Brody's Annual Medical Education and Scholarship Symposium.

Completion of Requirements:

Students must complete all requirements prior to graduation. Final Approval by the Medical Education and Teaching Track Evaluation Committee is required for graduation with distinction.

1. Longitudinal Required Track Activities
Successful completion of at least 40 hours of relevant teaching experience is required in addition to M1 Immersion experience and M4 Elective. Activities may include but are not limited to the following:
  1. Tutoring in the basic science courses
  2. Serving as a student facilitator for Foundations of Medicine
  3. Serving as a physical exam skills mentor in the Doctoring Course
  4. Serving as standardized patient for M1 and M2 Doctoring after completion of course
  5. Serving as simulated patient for M1s to practice interviewing skills
  6. Conducting a review session for a unit or region in a basic science course (including laboratory sessions) through peer tutoring program
  7. Serving as student member of Curriculum, Admissions, Honor Code, or Appeal Committees (through invitation only)
  8. Writing exam questions with approval from course director
  9. Conducting a Journal Club session for community preceptors
  10. Participating in course or clerkship review, planning, and programmatic aspects of medical education
2. Portfolio
Students muse assemble a portfolio to represent this experience and present this portfolio for other Teaching Distinction Track students and invited guests. The portfolio should include:
  1. Philosophy of education
  2. Enduring educational material/curriculum product
  3. Reflection about goals as a teacher, progress toward those goals as reflected in the portfolio, and future goals as a teacher
  4. Feedback/evaluation received from students and faculty
  5. Other artifacts related to teaching, i.e. study helps for tutoring, mini-lectures
  6. Documentation from meetings with mentors and original (revised if appropriate) learning contracts

Acknowledgement of track participation is contained in the MSPE letter and noted on the student's transcript, contingent upon demonstration of acceptable progress towards program requirements. The MSPE letter concerning student's track participation will contain a description of completed, current, and expected participation / requirements. The student's mentor will submit comments for inclusion. Successful completion of the track requirements will be noted on the student's transcript and during the graduation programs.

Application Process
  1. Students submit an application that identifies their teaching interests and goals.
  2. Students must be in good academic standing in order to apply to the track.
  3. Selections will be based on application and interviews.

Service Learning


Service Learning Distinction Track group photo

Purpose:
The Service Learning Distinction Track prepares, encourages, supports, and recognizes medical students who work extensively with medically underserved, marginalized, and rural populations during their medical school careers.

Objectives:
  1. Demonstrate the ability to work in collaboration with domestic and international communities on health care issues.
  2. Apply scholarly methods to service learning.
  3. Describe the impact of racial and ethnic disparities on health status.
  4. Demonstrate social change and community impact through student leadership and activism.
Required Activities
M-1 and M2 Years
  1. Attend Service Learning Track Lecture Series
  2. Structured educational components, including options for public health courses such as MHP 6000 - Public Health Practice; MPH 6013 - Behavioral Sciences and Health Education; or MPH 6200 Community Health Organization and Leadership
  3. Participate in a longitudinal service learning experience during the M1-M2 years (may include Grimesland Clinic, Greenville Shelter Clinic, others)
  4. Participate in a service learning internship in the summer following the M1 year
    1. Students must submit a project proposal including the aims, literature review, scope of work, detailed time frame, expected skills to be acquired, and identify a mentor.
    2. After project completion, the student must submit a report discussing the project scope, literature review, role of the student, skills acquired, and lessons learned.
    3. Submit an abstract and create a poster to be presented at Brody School of Medicine Medical Student Research Day

M3 and M4 Years
  1. Attend Service Learning Track Lecture Series
  2. Prepare reflection on feedback provided by community partners and mentors during needs assessment and service implementation.
  3. Complete M4 Service Learning Track Elective
    1. Service Learning Track Students are expected to participate in an intensive experience in community health/service learning during the M4 year.
    2. Develop a learning contract with a mentor that focuses on the clinical interests and the professional goals of the student. The project must be approved by the Service Learning Track Evaluation Committee prior to beginning of the elective.
  1. The M4 Service Learning Track Elective must result in the completion of a formal report of manuscript describing a community intervention and assessment of its outcomes, with recommendations for meeting this community need on an ongoing basis. This may either be submitted for publication or submitted to the Evaluation Committee in the approved format. In the case of an unpublished manuscript, the mentor is expected to have seen and approved the manuscript as representing the student's service learning contributions. All manuscripts will be submitted to the Service Learning Track Evaluation Committee for review and approval.
  2. The service learning project will be presented to the Service Learning Track Evaluation Committee at Brody&#';s Ambassadors, Greenville Shelter Clinic, Brody Clinic.

Completion of Requirements

Students must complete all requirements prior to graduation. Final approval by the Service Learning Track Evaluation Committee is required for graduation with distinction.

1. Longitudinal Required Track Activities
Successful completion of at least 40 hours of service learning experience is required in addition to M1 Immersion experience and M4 Elective. Activities may include but are not limited to the following: Brody Ambassadors, Greenville Shelter Clinic, Grimesland Clinic

2. Portfolio
Assemble a portfolio to represent this experience and present this portfolio for other Service Learning Distinction Track students and invited guests. Portfolio should include:
  1. Philosophy of Service
  2. Summer Immersion Project and Reflection
  3. Reflection about service goals, progress toward those goals as reflected in the portfolio, and future goals
  4. Feedback/evaluation received from students, community members, and faculty
  5. Other artifacts related to service learning
  6. Documentation from meetings with mentors and original (revised if appropriate) learning contracts
  7. Final Service Learning report describing the project, the opportunity for enhanced service delivery, and expected outcomes from provision of enhanced services to a population of patients
Acknowledgement of track participation is contained in the Grimesland letter and noted on the student's transcript, contingent upon demonstration of acceptable progress towards program requirements. The MSPE letter concerning student's track participation will contain a description of completed, current, and expected participation/requirements. The student's mentor will submit comments for inclusion. Successful completion of the track requirements will be noted on the student's transcript and during the graduation programs.

Application Process
  1. Students submit an application that identifies their service learning interests and goals.
  2. Students must be in good academic standing in order to apply to the track
  3. Selections will be based on application and interviews.

Student Project Listing

Kaitlyn Johnson

Medical Volunteering in Tacloban, Philippines:

I volunteered in a rural clinic in Sta. Fe, Tacloban, Philippines through an organization called "Volunteer for the Visayans." I was able to learn a great deal about the health system of the Philippines as well as gain some clinical hours helping the nurses with general consultation. I was also able to join the physician in examining patients and learning about how to treat certain diseases. The Philippines is a great country to learn about some Global Health differences between developed and developing countries.

Stefan Hansen and Frank Villa

We traveled and worked in a clinic in western Uganda for 3 weeks. During our time there, we both observed/worked with physicians as they saw patients and conducted community-based research for the clinic on antibiotic use, nutrition and traditional health practices. Outside of the clinic, we had time to do a bit of traveling, including rafting class 5 rapids on the Nile and tramping through the Kibale Rainforest. Our research and work with the clinic has potential to be continued and both of us would love to talk to any students who are interested in traveling to Uganda or anywhere else internationally!

Natalie Broadway-Robertson

Interconception Care Intern at Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC)

I am interested in women's health, rural health and Latino patient populations in Western North Carolina. I worked with a quality improvement team at MAHEC to improve provider documentation of Interconception Care (ICC) during Well Child Checks (WCCs). ICC is an evidence based model developed by the IMPLICIT network to target mothers attending WCC for children younger than two years old.  The model is designed to assess risk and provide intervention for four health risk behaviors known to impact low birth weight and preterm delivery: depression, tobacco use, prenatal supplements containing folic acid and birth spacing. We looked at various issues that could be contributing to the lack of documentation of the intervention and data collection suggested failure of correct ICC documentation was independent of a Spanish language barrier or age of the child. When my time was finished at MAHEC we had determined that the next step was to give monthly individual statistics to providers on their personal correct documentation as a means of encouragement. I also assisted in getting an approval from the IRB to survey patients on their perception of ICC and their understanding of the recommendations given by their providers. While working on this project I gained more clinical experience, improved my problem solving skills, developed a better understanding of how Medicare/Medicaid functions in a real practice setting, and I served as an ambassador for the Brody School of Medicine. Some days I felt like I was taking more than I was giving, however my experience was invaluable and I'm grateful for the opportunity I had. Please feel free to contact me regarding any of these topics. Broadwayn15@students.ecu.edu

Emily Marx

Title: Needs Assessment for the Continuity of Medical Care at Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center

Description: The goal of this project was to identify the needs of medically at risk adolescents, and to develop a protocol for linking these residents to an accessible medical home upon release.