Providing premedical students with quality clinical and research experience: the Tobacco Science Scholars Program.
Undergraduate premedical students face a formidable decision as they work to determine whether to pursue a profession in medicine. Exposure to clinical medicine and research is essential to inform students what it might be like to be a physician. Undergraduates, however, face a number of obstacles to obtaining the kind of quality clinical and research experience needed to make an informed decision. Growing regulations designed to protect patient confidentiality, though undeniably important, pose a barrier to students seeking patient contact. Traditional passive physician shadowing often does not provide ample opportunities for one-on-one patient interaction or problem solving. Finally, research opportunities available to students typically are not associated with clinical work and therefore do not provide an experiential model of how empirical evidence informs medical practice. This report describes the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health's Tobacco Science Scholars Program, a pilot program designed to address some of these barriers. While fulfilling institutional requirements for patient contact, the program provides students with an active model of clinical patient interaction and problem solving, with a research experience integrated into these clinical experiences so that undergraduates better understand how research informs clinical medicine.
Davis, JM; Anderson, MC; Stankevitz, KA; Manley, AR
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