Medical student research at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center: increasing research participation with a summer research program
Background: Medical student participation in research is important to increase their understanding of clinical and biomedical research. In addition, it is becoming increasingly important for medical students to have research experience for acceptance into highly competitive residency programs. In 2009, 39.7% of medical students graduating from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine reported research participation. This was well below the national average of 58%, as reported in the 2009 Mission Management Tool (MMT). Therefore, our goal was to use a medical student summer research program to increase medical student participation in research to at least the national average.
Methods: Data from the summer research program, Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) MMT, and AAMC Graduate Questionnaire (GQ) were used to assess the success of the program from its initiation in 2010 until 2016.
Results: For the summer of 2010, a student summer research program was created. Since that time the number of medical students participating in the program has increased from 18.5% in 2010 to 51.9% in 2016. Consistently there has been an increase in the percentage of students who, at graduation, report research participation from 55.1% in 2010 to 74.5% in 2016. This is above the national average of 74.1% as reported in the 2016 AAMC GQ.
Conclusion: A medical student summer research program can increase student research particpiation.
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