Medical research informs everything we do in medicine. Basic research helps us understand how the human body works at the molecular and cellular levels. Applied research in the lab gives rise to potential new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities. Translational research bridges the gap from bench to bedside with first-in-human studies. Clinical research tells us what medical interventions work and do not work in humans. Health services research helps us understand the best way to deliver medical care, including ongoing issues with health disparities. Quality improvement research helps make our care better. Epidemiologic research, population health research, and health policy research guide us in the realm of public health. And finally, medical education research helps us understand the best way to teach the next generation of doctors.
Given the importance of research within the medical profession, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine requires a mentored research project and associated written MD Thesis to graduate. All areas of exploration on the biomedical research spectrum, detailed above, are open for these projects. The medical student research office is designed to help you have a productive and positive experience. We have numerous resources available, including a needs assessment delivered to all incoming medical students, in-person workshops, and online learning modules on how to conduct research, an easy-to-use website that links faculty research mentors and interested students together, and a dedicated faculty and staff team to help you through the research process, including individualized support.
Being involved in research during medical school will help you in your career at every stage, including residency, fellowship, and beyond. Understanding medical research—what it is, how it is done, what it shows us and its limitations—allows us to practice both the science and art of medicine after graduation and beyond, whether this is doing the research yourself in an academic setting or serving patients in the practice of medicine or both.
If you are a CWRU faculty member interested in being a medical student research mentor, please click on the ‘Submit a Project’ link and take a few minutes to enter one or more projects that would be applicable to medical students. If you have many projects, enter your research interests and contact information and indicate that students should contact you.
If you are a current CWRU medical student, please click on the ‘Search for Project’ link to search the database for potential research mentors and projects. This requires CWRU single sign-on.
We also keep a partial list of potential student research opportunities external to CWRU, of which we are aware. Click on the ‘External Research Opportunities’ link to explore these.
If you need help or want more information, please click on the ‘Contact Us’ link to send an email.
Stephen J. Wilson, MD, MPH
Director of Systems and Scholarship Curriculum