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Medical Student Research Program


All students at Yale School of Medicine engage in research and are required to write an M.D. thesis during medical school. The only exceptions are students who have earned a Ph.D. degree in the health sciences before matriculation and students enrolled in Yale's M.D.-Ph.D. program. The YSM M.D. Thesis is under the governance of the YSM Thesis Committee, which meets regularly to recommend policy to the Curriculum Committee for all aspects of the Thesis requirement. Specifically, rules, regulations, and deadlines are established. The Committee also serves as the Thesis Awards Committee, acting as a reviewing Body to determine oral presentations at Student Research Day, graduation thesis prizes and guidelines for the awarding of prizes.

General Principles of Medical Student Research

A close working relationship between the student and faculty research mentor is a major goal of this program and is strongly encouraged. When laboratory research is performed, it is the responsibility of the faculty advisor to provide all necessary space, equipment and supplies, including costs of publication of scientific articles. For non-laboratory investigation, the same commitment to guidance and support is expected, including but not limited to data access, statistical analysis packages, statistical and methodological support, abstract and publication costs, etc. Weekly conferences between student and advisor are encouraged during the course of the research. It is important to note that, where practicable, the research must be designed and specifically performed by the student with the advice of the faculty mentor. Medical students may not solely fulfill research duties expected of a research coordinator or laboratory technician absent of independent scholarly contributions. They may also not work jointly on a research project. If a faculty member chooses to mentor several students concurrently, each student should receive equal support and attention. Specific components of the summer and thesis research programs are offered in the Scientific Inquiry Course and provided in detail below.