Clinical Research

A number of faculty are involved in the discovery of new information in the clinical setting. Topics of study include acute coronary syndrome, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, patient centered outcomes, dementia, among others. Researchers regularly present their work at Emergency Medicine research conferences such as the American College of Emergency Physicians Research Forum and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Annual Meeting. Emergency Medicine residents and students have the opportunity to become involved in clinical investigation under the guidance of faculty.

The Jefferson Emergency Medicine Research Associates Program

Established in 2011, the Academic Associates (AA) program provides a clinical research experience in Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Emergency Department. AAs are pre-health professional college and post-baccalaureate students considering health professions careers who volunteer in the emergency department for 6-10 hours per week over the course of academic semesters. In addition, AAs participate in ongoing didactic training regarding issues in clinical research on Wednesday evenings. Their main task is enrolling participants in ongoing clinical research and providing service based on that research.

Jefferson Research Associates (AAs): Who, What, Where, When, How & Why

RAs are college students and graduates considering a career in the health professions.

What: Under tightly controlled research protocols, RAs enroll large numbers of patients and visitors in clinical studies.

Where: The Emergency Department at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Center City, Philadelphia is a 54-bed emergency room that serves approximately 65,000 patients per year.

RAs serve 10 hours (two shifts per week) in the ED over an academic semester. We have Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters.

How: During a day-long orientation session at the beginning of each semester, RAs receive education in ethical issues (such as confidentiality and informed consent), medical safety, research design and study conduct, and subject enrollment. Following this initial training, program personnel supervise first study enrollments to be sure each AA performs the work correctly. From these assessments and other functional parameters, the program director writes a formal letter of evaluation about each RA's work to their health professions adviser.

We have worked with students to obtain credit for this course from local universities. Please contact us for more details.

Why: From an academic viewpoint, AAs assist in the completion of research that advances medical knowledge and promotes better patient care.  For the student interested in pursuing a health professions career, AAs receive two distinct and important experiences. First, they witness first-hand medical care in the acute-care setting of the emergency department and are exposed to undiagnosed and emergently ill or injured patients. Second, they participate in the research process where they experience first-had the inner workings of a clinical study. The AA Program is an evaluated clinical and research experience that assists the participant in assessing their fit for a health care career and allows one a comprehensive exposure to the health care environment.

To Apply: Email the Director for more information at