The completion of a thesis based on original research—a requirement for Yale medical students since at least 1839—is one of the final and most formidable obligations students here must fulfill before graduation.

On May 12, the school saluted that effort with Student Research Day, an annual event held to give graduating students a chance to showcase the fruits of their labor at a scientific poster session. Held this year in the Anlyan Center lobby, the event featured the work of soon-to-be M.D., Ph.D., and MPH graduates. A total of 70 posters covering an eclectic range of topics—from stem cell research and physician-assisted death to resident weight gain during clinical training—were displayed.

John N. Forrest Jr., M.D., HS ’67, professor of medicine, said the exercise teaches students how to think scientifically. “When you take ownership of a project the way these students are required to do, something exciting happens,” he said.

Forrest, who is also director of the Office of Student Research, said about 40 percent of this year’s projects were laboratory based, and 50 percent were clinically based. The other 10 percent were focused on medical humanities and international health.