Scholarly Concentrations FAQ
We have several methods in place to facilitate a good match between students and concentrations. In August, we have a faculty introduction for Year 1 students to the SCP in general and to each concentration. Faculty leaders share with students the requirements of their concentration, the opportunities afforded to their students, and student accomplishments. In September, we host a student/faculty facilitated “round-robin” so that Year 1 students can learn more about all concentrations. From August to October, we foster “shopping” experiences for Year 1 students so that they can attend concentration meetings in advance of choosing.
Students may be in only 1 concentration. We feel that in order to have a robust and scholarly experience, students need to focus their interests and efforts within a given concentration. That being said, students may have multiple areas of interests and they may wish to attend other concentration meetings. Students may attend, with permission, meetings of any concentration and, also, with permission of their “home” concentration, this attendance may count towards their SC hours. For example, a student in Health Disparities may benefit from attending journal clubs in Public Health and International medicine.
SCP students are required to complete a scholarly capstone project (also referred to as the senior or final project) by early March of their fourth year. A capstone project is developed by the student under the auspices of the SC leader(s) and/or project mentor. It requires addressing a question pertinent to the field of study in the scholarly concentration, including plans for assessment of results and impact. Students must gain approval for their capstone project from both their faculty mentors and from the director of the SCP. This capstone project may be a paper, a presentation, or a service to MCOM and it should demonstrate the student’s growth through analytic, leadership, or creative processes. Some student project proposals may be of an original design while others may stem from grants initiated by their mentors. Whereas most projects are of an individual effort, some may be group projects. Separate proposals must be submitted by each member of a group project. In all cases, either individual or group, the students must clarify their specific roles in the project. Capstone projects have included working in a biomedical research laboratory, assessing clinical efficacy of different therapeutic modalities, creating systems for better treatment of the underserved, developing learning modules for students in the MCOM pre-matriculation program, and improving systems to ensure patient safety.
The majority of our students are aided by their concentration leader in terms of finding a mentor. The leaders have a history of working with faculty and community members whose work and interests are congruent with those of the concentration. In these cases, the leaders take the responsibility of providing students with appropriate mentor names. Others students do in fact find their own mentors. For example, some students have had prior research experience and they know which MCOM research laboratory they would like to join.