Medical Student Research FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions (FACS) about NYMC SOM student research
1) Why should I consider doing research?
- Aside from the fact that you will be expanding the forefront of medical knowledge that provides the foundation for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, there are more immediate benefits to participating in biomedical research. Conducting research as a medical student will teach you to critically appraise the scientific literature, develop effective presentation skills, and enhance critical thinking. These skills not only will make you more competitive for highly selective residency programs, but are essential to professional success throughout your career. Having your name on a peer- reviewed publication doesn’t hurt your career prospects, either!
2) I could use some financial support! Are stipends/awards available for research?
- Medical school is expensive, no question about it! There are stipends available from the Office of Student Affairs for students who conduct research during the summer between 1st and 2nd years. Stipends are typically $1500 for a 6-week research project, if the mentor is a NYMC faculty member. If your mentor is not affiliated with NYMC (for example, you are continuing research you began as an undergraduate), stipends are $1000 for the summer.
- Each year, several NYMC SOM students receive external grants, primarily from The New York Academy of Medicine (http://nyam.org/awards-grants/student- grants/). There are student grants for general medical research, as well as specific grants for research in the fields of urology and cardiovascular diseases. These prestigious grants range from $3500 to $4500 for a 10-12 week mentored project.
3) Where does research fit into my schedule?
- Students frequently conduct research during the summer between the 1st and 2nd years, either at NYMC or at their undergraduate institution, if they return home for the summer. In addition, research electives are available during both the 3rd and 4th years. Some SOM students choose to continue their 2nd-year project during the following two years, resulting in a longitudinal research experience.
4) How do I locate research opportunities?
- The Research Opportunities catalog contains a listing of NYMC SOM faculty, in both the basic/translational and clinical research areas, who welcome the opportunity to mentor SOM students. The catalog contains the faculty member’s lab/office location, office telephone number, and (in most cases) e-mail address, along with an overview of the faculty member’s research interests. Please contact your prospective mentor to learn more about specific research projects that are available.
- Please note that you are NOT restricted to the list of catalogued mentors. You are welcome to seek out opportunities independently by reaching out to faculty.
5) Am I required to have a mentor who is affiliated with NYMC?
- 1st, 2nd, and 4th year students: you are NOT required to have a mentor who has an NYMC faculty appointment. However, this might be desirable if you are a planning to conduct longitudinal research.
- 3rd year students: in order to obtain credit for the 3rd year research elective, your mentors DOES need to have an NYMC faculty appointment; all 3rd year courses are “in house”.
6) I found a mentor. Now what?
- 1st and 2nd year students: Have a rewarding research experience! Please don’t forget to present your work at the Medical Student Research Forum next spring!
- 3rd and 4th year students: You will need to complete a research elective request form and submit to Dr. Mary Petzke (firstname.lastname@example.org) for approval. On the form, you will describe your proposed project, including the question you are addressing, the extent of your involvement in the project (i.e., will you be collecting the data, conducting data analysis, writing the manuscript?), and the anticipated scholarly product that will result from your efforts. Once approved, the signed form will be forwarded by Dr. Petzke to the 3rd or 4th year Curriculum Director, as appropriate, in order to finalize your list of electives. Please consider sharing your results at the Medical Student Research Forum next spring!
7) What do I need to do before I begin research?
8) Who should I contact if I have questions or need assistance?
Dr. Mary Petzke, Director of Medical Student Research, can be contacted at any time and welcomes all questions, comments, or suggestions regarding SOM student research. All inquiries will receive a prompt response.
Office: BSB C31 (next to Student Health Services)