PROJECT SUMMARY / ABSTRACT
The overall goal of the University of Wisconsin (UW) Surgery Summer Research Experience for Medical
Students is to provide students with a focused, 8- to 12-week, mentored research and training experience that
will encourage students to consider a career involving academic research. By pairing students with research
teams that include physician-scientists, the program seeks to demonstrate how to balance a successful
medical practice with a robust research program, with the potential to enhance both patient experience and
scientific understanding. To reinforce this experience, we have included a plan for continued mentoring after
the summer experience ends, for students who are eager to pursue this career path.
Each year, eight medical students are selected to receive support from this T35 short-term training grant. The
program fosters the development of the skills, knowledge, competence, professional attitudes, and hands-on
experience required to understand what is involved in a successful basic science, translational, clinical, or
health services research career. The program utilizes extensive resources from the UW Department of
Surgery and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health to provide a comprehensive training experience
that includes didactic seminars, practical experience in mentored research projects, effective communication of
scientific knowledge, career development, and the responsible conduct of research. The experience is
structured around a mentored research project, to maximize the short-term training experience with real-time
application of research methods.
The specific objectives of the program are to: 1) Engage medical students early in their training, pair them with
a clinician-researcher, and expose them to the opportunities and challenges of a research career. 2) Provide
valuable training, resources, and supplemental didactic experiences for students to develop the skills
necessary to engage in academic research. 3) Encourage medical students to consider a research career in
NIDDK-related research areas by emphasizing the importance of research interventions that have impact on
the lives of patients with digestive disease, diabetes and kidney disease. 4) Expand the pool of physician-
scientists who pursue health services-related research.