Boston Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) The Boston MSTAR Program aims to provide a short-term aging research and mentoring experience to medical students early in their career. Students will become educated and enthusiastic about the career opportunities in academic, clinical, and research geriatric medicine. The Program has operated continuously since 1989 and provided short term research training experiences to over 232 medical students. The administrative structure of the program combines an experienced Program Director with new talented co-directors of research and the didactic curriculum. The Program Director will report to the Mentor Advisory Council for program oversite, increasing the pool of high-quality mentors, and continued efforts on recruiting minority Scholars from Harvard, the University of Mississippi/Jackson Heart Study, Boston University Medical Center, and University of Massachusetts Medical School. The heart of the Boston MSTAR Program will be the 8-12 week mentored aging research project experience for 11 Scholars: 7 from the AFAR application pool, 1 from the University of Mississippi, 1 from the University of Massachusetts, and 2 from Boston University Medical Center. All students will receive training in protection of human subjects, aging research methodology, and clinical geriatrics. Students will present their research in an oral presentation, in a 10 page written report, and will be strongly encouraged to present at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society. The Program will track students through their medical training and career decisions. By developing a strong relationship with the students during the program, the Scholar tracking will be a continuation of the mentoring experience and a forum to increase Scholar interest in aging research. The program's past successes are a foreshadowing of its future potential. In the short term, 67% of students present at a scientific meeting and 20% publish a scientific paper from an 8-12 week mentored research experience. Long term, under the T35 mechanism; 24% of matriculated students have pursued additional research training or a career in geriatrics. As a result, the Boston MSTAR seeks to continue the tradition of training medical students in aging research.
The Boston MSTAR Program was developed to address the increasing need for medical students to pursue careers in aging research and geriatrics. By exposing students to this field early in their careers, this proposal addresses this need by providing aging research training for 11 students per year for the next 5 years.
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