Research posters prepared by students of the UMKC Health Sciences schools filled the hallways and lobbies of three buildings on the Hospital Hill Campus on April 19 during the first UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit.
Students from the UMKC schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy and Biological Science presented 98 posters throughout the day in the first collaborative student research gathering of the University’s Health Sciences schools.
“By and large, I think the students really enjoyed it,” said Mark Hecker, director of research administration at the School of Medicine.
The School of Medicine had 19 students participate, including one who presented two posters. The posters were on display at various times during the day at the School of Medicine, Health Sciences and Dental School buildings.
The School of Medicine’s student research day format had previously been a day of students giving oral presentations of their research projects in front of a panel of judges in the School’s theaters. Last year, the format included poster presentations along with the oral presentations. This year’s program evolved into a collaborative event with the other health sciences schools that resembles research presentations given at scientific meetings that are sponsored by scientific organizations.
Erin Burns, MS 6, said she enjoyed the new format.
“This is the first time I’ve given a poster presentation so I was a little nervous,” she said, as visitors filtered through the School of Medicine lobby looking at the posters and asking students questions about their research projects.
Other students said they have realized a number of benefits from participating in research activities at the School of Medicine.
“It has really helped me supplement both the classroom work that we have done as well as from a clinical perspective of medicine that we’ve practiced in the hospital,” said Sarah Jennison, MS 5. “It’s been a good avenue to learn new things and to actually participate in the innovation of new treatments, new diagnosis, and new pathways of diseases. It’s also helped me become a better clinician in that I have a better understanding of the basic science and the pathways of what’s going on.”
Rini Desai, MS 4, said her work helped her discover her interest in pediatrics and understand the importance of accurate and complete documentation of a clinican’s patient experience.
“My research was based on variations in documentation and management,” Desai said. “I think it’s important that when we document our patient encounters, we should incorporate everything that we get from them.”
The School of Medicine will present two awards from a panel of alumni judges and three faculty awards for the top research poster presentations on May 10 in Theater C. Three students will be selected to give oral presentations of their research projects during the awards presentation event, Hecker said.
The research posters were broken up into various categories from biomedical and health informatics to drug intervention and delivery and vision research. School of Medicine students presented research posters in three areas: health outcomes research, oral health, and system function and disease.
Nelson Sabates, M.D. chairman of ophthalmology and director of the Vision Research Center, spoke to students and faculty during a late-morning break between sessions at the Health Sciences Building.
Sabates talked about getting his start in research as a student at the School of Medicine and his work in basic research during his post-graduate training at the Harvard Medical School’s Schepens Eye Research Institute before returning to Kansas City and where he has continued his research of eye diseases at the Eye Foundation of Kansas City.
“Research is great,” Sabates said. “It gives you that intellectual curiosity. It makes you analyze things differently and makes you look at things differently. A lot of the things I learned in doing research as a student at the School of Medicine, I still use. Research just makes you a little more critical and a little more wary of things. I applaud all of you on your research. Keep it up.”