Thirty-eight students present their research projects at annual College of Osteopathic Medicine forum
Thirty-eight students presented posters of their research, while three of those students were selected to provide oral presentations as well.
“Our students are coming in much more sophisticated now,” explained Marilyn R. Gugliucci, Ph.D., professor and director of Geriatrics Education and Research in COM and chair of the COM Research and Scholarship Committee. “Some have research backgrounds even before they come to medical school and that wasn't always the case.”
Getting involved in research can give students an upper hand when it comes to landing a spot in a residency program.
“It teaches them to develop ways of critically thinking and helps them match to a more competitive residency program,” said Carol A. Brenner, Ph.D., associate dean for Research and Scholarship in COM. “It also makes them better prepared, overall, because students never know what they’re going to do in their lives.”
Second-year COM student Sarosh Kahn presented a poster on her experiences being immersed inside the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough. For nine days, Kahn lived the life of an elder resident who had suffered a stroke.
“This year most of our research is done at clinical sites,” stated Gugliucci. “Students are now finding opportunities to work at hospitals, with physicians or with whomever is doing clinical research, to get that hands-on patient focused kind of attention.”
Moving forward COM will continue to build upon strong basic science research, while creating a bridge to translational and clinical research.
“We're really pushing clinical research,” commented Brenner. “I think we do an amazing job with it, and my job is to take us further in that direction.”
UNE COM graduate Gioia Guerrieri, D.O. ’08, was the event’s keynote speaker. Guerrieri is a medical officer at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where she practices regulatory medicine in addiction products.
Guerrieri says having Gugliucci as a mentor at UNE was immensely helpful in setting her course in the medical field.
“I already had an idea that I wanted to do research, but I was matched with Marilyn as a mentor and that was a life changing experience,” Guerrieri explained.
Guerrieri bestowed some valuable tips upon COM students as they prepared to head down their own career paths. One of them was about the importance of having a research background.
“It requires analytical thinking and appreciating methodologies,” she said. “It also demonstrates that you can do work outside of the curriculum and be successful. High quality residency programs are looking for that experience.”
Winners of the 2019 Research and Scholarship Forum included second year COM students Courtney Brann and Brandon Toll. Brann was awarded first place in the Basic Science Research category for her poster, “Characterization of the Role of Brinker in Injury-Induced Allodynia.” Toll was awarded first place in the Clinical Research or Qualitative Research category for his poster “Risk Factors for Proximal Junctional Kyphosis in Children with Neuromuscular Scoliosis.”