The Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS) has developed an intense program within its Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research (CLEAR). Known as the SUMMER RESEARCH FELLOWS PROGRAM FOR PODIATRIC MEDICAL STUDENTS, this initiative addresses the goal of increasing podiatric student participation in clinical and biomedical research. RFUMS has placed a major emphasis on interdisciplinary research and has provided the initiative of multiple research centers within the University. This comprehensive institute is active in a number of clinical, basic and translational studies. This provides an inclusive professional community where students can develop the skills and mentorship required for research success. This initiative extends to not only introduce students to research that would not otherwise be available through their regular course of study and enable podiatric medical students, at the end of the program, to have thorough exposure to the principles underlying the conduct of research. This annual 8 week initiative currently targets twenty podiatric medical students at the end of their first year of academic training.
Foot ulceration is one of the most common complications associated with diabetes and often plays a central role in the causal pathway to lower extremity amputation. Podiatric physicians play a central role in any interdisciplinary approach toward amputation prevention. As it is a relatively young discipline, podiatry has not developed institutionalized research in most of its institutions. There is a national challenge to meet the increasing need for enhanced research training opportunities for podiatric medical students interested in careers in biomedical and clinical research in the field of diabetes. Podiatric medical students are traditionally under-represented in research careers but provide a large pool of available talent that can be recruited in both clinical and biomedical science research. This is especially true in the field of diabetes. Podiatric medical students'access to biomedical and clinical research is often restricted by inadequate exposure to opportunities and role models.
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