Research Opportunities

Research Day 2016

Pictured left:  Trevor Stevens (Class of 2019) presents his research during Research Day 2016.  Pictured right: Jazmin Scott (Class of 2020) discusses wellness interventions and the homeless with Dr. Tom Rich.

The Summer Research Program at USA provides research experiences for medical students prior to the freshman year of medical school and during the summer between the freshman and sophomore years. In 2016, thirty-six medical students participated in the program, which provided stipends to participants and culminated with a Medical Student Research Day.

The program also serves as a foundation for medical students who are interested in gaining additional research experience during the subsequent years of medical school. These students are eligible to participate in the MD with Research Honors Program, which requires a six-month research experience on a specific project with faculty in basic or clinical sciences.

Participants of the M.D. with Research Honors program have cited numerous benefits gained through their involvement.

Carmen Lopez (Class of 2017), had no intentions of pursuing a long term research project when she first entered medical school, but a summer research project changed all that.  After finding a project she truly enjoyed and deciding she wanted to "see it through", she discovered the M.D. with Research Honors.  She believes the program supplements the overall medical student experience, and will contribute greatly to how she practices medicine in the future, adding,  "Without this opportunity I would not have been exposed to the process of how medical research occurs and how discoveries are made."

Dr. Hayden Hundley (Class of 2015), now a resident in Anesthesiology at UPMC, Pittsburgh, wholeheartedly recommends the program to "all students regardless of future medical specialty or research aspirations. Even a project outside of your specific area of interest will broaden your horizons and teach you critical planning, analytical, and communication skills that will enhance a career in any specialty of the medical field."

Dr. William Gannon (Class of 2013), now a resident in Ophthalmology at UAB, gave the program his highest recommendation stating, "It has taught me the fundamentals of research, which I will use in residency and beyond, while allowing me the chance to get to know and interact with professors on a daily basis".

Dr. Russ Terry (Class of 2013), now a resident in Urology at the University of Florida, Gainesville, pointed to an environment which allowed him to "hone written and oral scientific communication skills during the process of manuscript preparation and defense."

In the video at left, Haylie Reed, Class of 2018, discusses her experience with the Summer Research Program.

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