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Research Distinction Track

The Research Distinction Track (RDT) 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 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 publication.
  6. Generate an understanding of the impact of clinical/translational research on patient care.
  7. Provide official documentation of mentored research training for competitive residency programs.

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 your 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. Prepare and submit at least 1 abstract of your work for consideration to an extramural meeting.
  8. Describe the eventual impact of your 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 in detailed requirements 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. Final approval by the Research Distinction Track Evaluation Committee is required for graduation with distinction.