New program invites medical students to explore research
The Medical School rolled out its new "Focus on Student Research" program (FOSTR) during a March 29 meeting for students. The program is designed to provide interested students with meaningful research experiences during Medical School and with opportunities for mentoring relationships. The program will be presented to faculty at the next meeting of the Medical School Faculty Council at 4 p.m. Monday, April 9, in the medical dean's office conference room.
Research is a problem-solving exercise, said Dr. Anthony Infante, professor of pediatrics and associate dean for research in the Medical School. The FOSTR program will generate individual research experiences, a Medical Student Research Day and a medical student research Web site.
"Today's medical research is the foundation for tomorrow's advances in clinical practice," Dr. Infante said. "The time to become established in research is now, early in your careers. Medicine will increasingly become more science-oriented, and your continuing medical education opportunities will be exercises in problem solving rather than information gathering."
Students are eligible to apply for research stipends provided by the medical dean's office, the South Texas Veterans Health Care System and the Hispanic Center of Excellence. The three centers are funding FOSTR at $110,000 and have submitted a request for $10,000 from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Biomedical Research Resources Program. FOSTR will provide guidance regarding identification and selection of mentors.
The helpful new student research Web site will include announcements of research opportunities and featured seminars; frequently asked questions and helpful hints; contacts with deans, departments and research centers; faculty research profiles; and research experience feedback, Dr. Infante said. Medical Student Research Day will provide an opportunity for students to present the results of their research, with awards for meritorious presentation. A distinguished speaker, selected by the students, will present a research seminar and discuss the importance of research in medical education.
Volunteers are needed to assist with Medical Student Research Day and with Web site content collection, writing and maintenance. Medical students and mentors are invited to call Dr. Infante at ext. 7-4421 or send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.