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VCOM Carolinas Campus

DO with Research Distinction

Many students at VCOM have a desire to conduct research as part of their medical education experience. Faculty and students also recognize the importance of continuous advancement in medical practice through cutting-edge research findings. 

Students are encouraged to actively conduct a research project to gain experience in basic and applied research and advance scientific knowledge.  This will enable DO clinicians to understand how their profession is evolving and can contribute to the effort required for such evolution.  Students will complete a research project, designed and conducted with a faculty research mentor.  After successfully completing the project the student will be awarded a Research Distinction degree designation at graduation.

Benefits to the student, mentor and VCOM:

  • Many faculty and students have ideas for research projects; your effort will advance these ideas.
  • Hypotheses and high-risk ideas can be tested to provide essential data for grant applications.
  • Publish peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts to demonstrate research prowess; improves residency competitiveness.
  • Preparing future physicians in primary care and specialties with cutting edge research experiences.
  • Increase grant supported research, critical to VCOM’s future.

Requirements for Research Distinction degree designation:

  • Students must have a VCOM faculty mentor.
  • Students are required to assemble a committee that will need to meet at the beginning and end of the program.
  • Students must take Conducting Research SDL course and complete required VCOM CITI training modules. Students must also complete any other project-specific required training.
  • Students must work with mentors to obtain IRB or IACUC approval depending upon project scope
  • Research proposal written with mentor must be submitted and reviewed by the oversite committee.
  • Present at Research Day at any campus or other similar local, regional or national meeting.
  • A peer-reviewed publication (or mini paper-modeled thesis).
  • Project planning should begin at the start of Block 4 and implementation should begin at the start of Block 5. May also begin in 3rd or 4th year for rotation-related research.

The VCOM Research Division is here to help enable and facilitate your DO with Research Distinction experience:

  • Helping students match to research mentors.
  • Providing input by experienced researchers, including lectures and advice on conducting research, collaboration, publication ethics, paper writing.
  • Monitoring progress of student/mentor team.