Student FIRE Program

The central purpose of this module is to allow each student to experience the research process and develop skills of intellectual inquiry that are transferable to the practice of medicine. A research project may be in any area of interest related to medicine where a Research Mentor can be identified. The curriculum will include training and tools to foster the development of a Habit of Inquiry that will guide the pursuit of the selected area of interest. Research mentors will oversee the creation (Year 1) and completion (Year 2) of a rigorous, independent, and scholarly research project.

For the 2012-13 academic year, the I-1 curriculum will be focused on delivering content and facilitating small group activities in four broad areas during formally scheduled face-to-face instructional time: (1) General FIRE Module; (2) Basic Research Foundations; (3) Methodological Considerations; and (4) Basic Statistics Foundations. Journal articles will be used to teach concepts in a real-world context to the maximum extent possible. Ad hoc workshops may be offered and special interest groups may be formed throughout the year, as needed, for tailored content coverage. Self-learning modules may be developed to supplement existing content and/or to introduce new concepts, as needed. Students will submit their proposals at the end of the first year.

During year 2, I-2 module students complete their projects initiated during Year 1, and present them to faculty and peers during a mini-conference highlighting their work. It is expected that projects result in a scholarly presentation or publication. The conference is scheduled so that both first-year and second-year students attend, providing opportunity for second year students to serve as role models for their classmates. Projects and research may extend into the third and fourth years, and for students continuing their research, additional opportunities for presentation are available.