The Academy for Medicine and the Humanities invites students at the Icahn School of Medicine to propose ideas for projects in the medical arts and humanities that would be eligible for summer funding. Although students are expected to engage in serious intellectual inquiry, the track supports both traditional and non-traditional approaches to these fields including creative endeavors that are contextualized with scholarship. Projects should relate to the student’s previous experience and future professional or academic goals. Examples of successful projects include:
- Developing curricula (e.g., creating an Academy/Nexus course)
- Conducting research (e.g., in medical humanities education)
- Developing creative projects with a grounding in clinical experience and a clear objective that serves medicine
- Producing publishable articles intended for an academic or popular audience
The track advisor, consulting with other faculty, approves all projects, including the topic and clinical experience. Once the project is approved, the track advisor assigns the student at least one mentor; some projects require separate mentors for the clinical and for the artistic or academic aspects.
Students must select a clinical mentor from ISMMS faculty. Non-clinical mentors must have a demonstrated record of expertise in their area of study. All mentors who are not ISMMS faculty members must submit a letter of commitment to the mentor role and in support of the project.
Mentors meet with their student mentees at least twice during the summer period and, optimally, on a weekly basis. Mentors write progress reports during the course of research and submit a final report at the end of the project period. Building a strong relationship with a faculty mentor is a core component and benefit of the scholarly endeavor.
Students are strongly encouraged to produce a paper, journal article, presentation, public policy intervention, or program evaluation, and to submit work for presentation at external scientific meetings and/or for publication in peer-reviewed journals. In some cases, external dissemination of student work will qualify for the honor of Distinction in Research.
Participating in the Medical Humanities Scholars Track allows students to fulfill their research graduation requirement by submitting a first-author abstract approved by the mentor and track advisor for Medical Student Research Day and presenting the project as a poster or an oral talk. We anticipate that students who continue to work on their summer projects during FlexTime in the fall of Year 2 will be able to fulfill the graduation requirement at Research Day in the spring of Year 2.
Students interested in doing a humanities project for their scholarly requirement, typically during the summer after their first year, should begin to meet with MSRO followed by meeting with Dr. Garfinkle and Medical Humanities Track Advisor, Jacob Appel, MD, MS, MPH, in the early fall.
Drs. Garfinkle and Appel will help connect students with mentors, who will help them refine their ideas, create abstracts, and prepare (if necessary) for IRB submission by the late fall. Many students start working on their summer projects in the winter and spring. It is important to bear in mind that while the summer is only eight weeks, most projects proposed can be completed (or near completion) within that time. The summer is often a time when projects get off the ground, but students are invited to continue or publish their work after the summer has passed. All deadlines and milestones are provided by the MSRO and are the same as those for the other research tracks. For more information about the MSRO, please contact Mary Rojas, PhD at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Examples of past scholarly projects:
- Notes from Riker’s Island: Qualitative Research on Structural Violence
- Exploring the History of the Woman’s Hospital of New York
- Imagining a 'Gothic Disability'
- Ethics paper about Autonomy in Medicine
- Comic Book on Sickle Cell Disease
- Goals of Care and Patient Story Telling elective
- Family Secrets in Medicine
- The Pulse of Art research project