240218 Using student collaborative research to encourage interest in a public health career

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Marjorie A. Getz, MA, MPHIL , Health Sciences and Gerontology, Methodist College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Peoria, IL
Alfonse Masi, MD, DrPH , Department of Internal Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, IL
Chadrick Evans, MD , Department of Surgery, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, IL
Michael Ryan, MD , Department of Radiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Kaylin McMahon, BS , Northwestern University, Elgin, IL
Danielle Steker, BS , College of Medicine, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Nora Wagner, BS , Department of Physical Therapy, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL
Jean Aldag, PHD, RN , Internal Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, Peoria, IL
Most physicians interface with the public health system in some capacity; even those least involved in public health should train in the field. A physician workforce more aware of public health issues could help address underlying causes of health problems not solely the symptoms. Increasingly, medical school admissions committees are interested in candidates with broad education, recognizing that physicians who serve patients well are enthusiastic about learning new skills and expanding their knowledge base. Finally, physician research networks have become more common; opportunities to participate in applied public health research early in the education/training process may insure that important skills in clinical observation, clinical inference and scientific curiosity are present from the start and continue. This project addressed issues related to expanding pre-professional student educational opportunities by exposing students to the fields of public health, epidemiology and medicine, allowing them to participate in a rigorous case-control study of persons with ankylosing spondilitis. Ten undergraduate pre-professional students were recruited to work closely over a two year period with two medical students and senior investigators during project implementation. Trained students with IRB clearance participated in seminars on study design, pilot tested data collection instruments, identified potential cases and controls (under supervision) from hospital, clinical practice, clinic and ancillary services databases, collected data and helped develop the final database. These students were surveyed post-graduation and compared to seven who learned about the study but did not participate to determine the impact of this type of experience on future career directions in public health.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Define student/faculty collaboration. 2. Describe a two-year research project that involved undergraduate pre-health students as paid research assistants. 3. Report results from analysis of survey data of student participants/those deciding not to participate on post-graduate career choices.

Keywords: Public Health Education, Public Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in recruiting and selecting undergraduate interns for this project. I performed the follow-up survey that provides the basis of the data analysis and discussion for this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.