The Medical Student Summer Research Program at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston: building research foundations

Lisa Cain, George Kramer, Monique Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Interest in incorporating research into the medical school curriculum has grown over the years. One of the challenges involved with providing research to medical students is developing programs that allow a large number of students to perform research. This involves securing faculty to mentor students in the design of research projects. In order to accommodate students with research interests, well-established research programs must be implemented. Objective: This article describes the design and implementation of a curriculum-based research program for medical students at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston. The main objective of this article is to describe the program for the purpose of assisting other medical schools to develop a similar student research program. Design: At UTMB we established a Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP) that occurred between the first year and the second year of medical school. Between the years 2000–2017, MSSRP accommodated a minimum of 39 and a maximum of 90 students during an 8 week period. Two surveys were conducted to collect students’ views on how MSSRP affected their interest in research. We performed a proportion statistical analysis on the data from both surveys in order to determine the significance of the responses. Results: The benefit of MSSRP is that it provided medical students with an exposure to research. According to the proportions test, the responses were statistically significant with 85% of 26 third and fourth year students stating they would continue to incorporate research into their medical careers; 75% stating that MSSRP increased their interest in research; and 85% responding that MSSRP helped them to understand research methodology. Conclusions: MSSRP is a curriculum-based program that provides a framework to other medical institutions interested in the development of similar student research programs and provides students the exposure and option to continue with research as a component of their medical profession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1581523
JournalMedical education online
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Medical student summer research program
  • curriculum-based research programs
  • medical education
  • medical student research training opportunities
  • physician scientist careers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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