By Wendy Sarubbi | October 23, 2015 5:33 pm

In an effort to give its research-focused students a public venue to share their discoveries, UCF’s College of Medicine is beginning an online research journal channel called “FLAGSHIP: Medical Scholarly Proceedings” and is seeking submissions from students, medical residents and faculty.

The first 10 M.D. students who get their original research, case reports or review articles accepted to Flagship will receive lunch with Dean Deborah German.

Cureus ScreenFLAGSHIP is the College of Medicine’s official publication channel and will allow students’ research to be found in PubMed and other online services and provide them with published works that can make them more competitive for top residency programs, said Dr. Magdalena Pasarica, a faculty leader of the initiative.

The College of Medicine’s integrated curriculum requires all students to complete a two-year research program on a topic about which they are passionate. The research component, the brainchild of Dr. German, is designed to keep student’s dreams alive for medicine and develop their “spirit of inquiry.” Dr. Pasarica, an M.D. /Ph.D. with a specialty in family medicine and nutrition, says she sees outstanding M.D. student research conducted at UCF and wants to give young doctors-in-training the opportunity to have those discoveries molded to a high enough quality for publication. “Outstanding research is happening here at UCF,” she said. “FLAGSHIP allows us to show our research to the world.”

FLAGSHIP is a channel of Cureus, an online medical journal based in Palo Alto, California that is using open sourcing to create a new era of publishing. In 2012 Cureus honored the UCF College of Medicine as the top medical school in the world for its participation in the journal’s inaugural academic medical poster competition. Cureus praised UCF’s “unprecedented enthusiasm for research,” noting that College of Medicine students submitted 77 posters that won 21 first, second or third place awards that year.

Medical school faculty will serve as reviewers of FLAGSHIP submissions and UCF ultimately hopes to select several student reviewers. College of Medicine faculty and residents will be eligible to submit work and ultimately FLAGSHIP wants to take submissions from healthcare professionals nationally and across the globe, Dr. Pasarica said.

She said the need for such a publication became especially apparent during her advising of the student-run KNIGHTS Clinic, supported by the Diebel Legacy Fund at Central Florida Foundation. At the end of each clinic session, students share unique cases and how they thought through treatment plans. When fellow students heard about the cases, they were frustrated they hadn’t been working at KNIGHTS when the patient was seen and wanted to follow up on the cases. By documenting such instances in the journal’s case reports, students can help each other learn and grow, Dr. Pasarica said. “Students learn so much by practice,” she added. “It really sinks in when they see a patient presenting an illness or a condition they read about in their books. By documenting these unique situations in FLAGSHIP, we can provide an additional learning experience.”

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