Mount Sinai School of Medicine's PRISM Program Mentors Future Investigators
Medical students who participated in PRISM share their experiences and offer insights on the program's value.
Patient Research in Science and Medicine (PRISM) is an eight-week summer program in clinical/translational research launched by Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2010 for medical students between M1 and M2. The program is sponsored by Mount Sinai's Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program, a national consortium of medical research institutions dedicated to increasing the numbers of clinical/translational (C/T) physician-scientists and investigators.
Nine medical students were chosen to participate in PRISM during its inaugural year. Selection was based upon review of an abstract each student submitted describing a clinical/translational research project developed together with a mentor. Abstracts were judged for feasibility, importance, and novelty. In addition, student s took the Summer Introduction to Clinical Research course, sponsored by Mount Sinai's Clinical Research Education Program. Mount Sinai faculty — themselves clinical translational physician-scientists or scientists — led PRISM lectures and small group discussions. Students who completed the course earned a certificate and submitted an abstract on their findings. Each will present a poster or an oral talk on their work at the annual Medical Student Research Day on November 4, 2010.
Here are some of our students' thoughts on their PRISM experience:
"This summer was my first glimpse into the world of clinical research, and thanks to the PRISM program, I had a very positive experience. The biweekly sessions were extremely informative in terms of learning the ABCs of carrying out research projects as well as what resources are out there to help. In addition, it was exciting to hear from leaders in the fields of clinical and translation research here at Mount Sinai. The PRISM program was a great stepping stone for me into a career in academic medicine and taught me how to carry out effective research that will result in better care for our future patients."
"The PRISM program gave me broad exposure to academic medicine during the summer between my first and second year. I benefited immensely from the opportunity to design and carry out a project under the guidance of an experienced research mentor. The summer course in clinical research introduced me to specific topics of study design and implementation there were helpful for both my current project and research I hope to conduct in the future. Furthermore, my research had a strong clinical component. This allowed me to see the clinical application of many things from my first and second year courses, as well as how research and clinical practice intersect. At the end of the summer I was even more interested in pursuing a scholarly year to carry out more in-depth clinical research."
"My participation in the PRISM program this past summer greatly enhanced my knowledge and appreciation of the clinical and translational research process. I performed comparative effectiveness research, which assessed the outcomes of different surgical procedures carried out on patients with aortic dissections. I acquired new skills pertaining to study design and statistical analysis by working on my summer research project, which will suit me well in future research pursuits. Additionally, my summer experience made me more of a proponent of comparative effectiveness research. I believe that more research of this nature needs to be conducted, because this systematic and quantitative approach to assessing medical treatments can result in improving the standard of care for patients and cutting health care costs. My positive research experience over the summer has made me enthusiastic about incorporating clinical research into my medical career."
"I thought the summer research course in clinical research was both interesting and informative. It was a nice review of epidemiology but seemed more relevant, since the course runs concurrently with an actual research experience. My work this summer was truly an invaluable experience. From writing the abstract to designing and conducting the project to making the poster, there were many learning opportunities."
For more information on this program, contact Grace Oluoch at 212-241-9106.