Scholarly Inquiry Tracks

College

  • Center City Campus
  • Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Degree Earned

  • Medical Doctor

Program Length

45 months

Program Type

  • On Campus

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Scholarly Inquiry Tracks

Students select one of the Scholarly Inquiry tracks in the beginning of October of their first year (with an option to switch into a different track at the end of their second year).  Within each track, students receive training in a wide range of research domains and topics, and complete self-directed scholarly projects under the supervision of faculty mentors. 

The current tracks include:

Clinical & Translational Research (CTR)

The Clinical and Translational Research track is designed to use the precepts of the scientific method to develop critical thinking skills. Modern medicine is based upon a foundation of science. Physician scientists identify clinical practice needs that drive new research, and play a key role in producing and translating scientific discovery to the care of patients. Student research work involves hypothesis-driven research with an advisor, augmented by a program mentor, and a curriculum of core research topics.

This track is ideal for those interested in:

  • using scientific inquiry to develop critical thinking skills.
  • advancing the status of current scientific knowledge.
  • developing lifelong skills in evaluating and using medical research.
  • pursuing a career in academic medicine.

Design (DES)

The Design track teaches design thinking and creative problem solving methods and  aims to equip the next generation of doctors with the skills and confidence to transform healthcare systems, services, spaces, and devices. As part of a broader Medicine+Design initiative at Jefferson, and housed within the Health Design Lab, the track offers opportunities to participate in programs organized by Jefferson Innovaton.  The track draws from diverse fields, including architecture, industrial design, and systems engineering. Workshops and content are dynamic, incorporating the latest techniques from emerging design and healthcare movements, such as e-patients, DIY makers, design thinking, and rapid prototyping.

During their first two years, students master essential concepts and methods through hands-on workshops, field immersions, and real-world projects, facilitated by professionals from leading organizations (which, in the past, have included Little Devices Lab at MIT, Steelcase, KieranTimberlake, School of Visual Arts NYC, and others). During their final two years, students independently pursue applied research and development projects in areas of their choosing, giving them an opportunity to make a concrete and lasting impact on their industry before graduation.

The track is ideal for students who have:

  • Desire to build bridges across diverse fields, such as architecture, industrial design, and systems engineering, and the practice of medicine.
  • Demonstrated curiosity about topics outside their field of study.
  • Confidence with and interest in learning new technologies.
  • Proficiency with at least one visual design or presentation tool (PowerPoint, InDesign, Illustrator, Keynote, Prezi, etc.).
  • Strong interpersonal and team collaboration skills.
  • Comfort voicing opinions and speaking in front of small groups.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity, able to self-direct and also ask for help when needed.
  • Experience working and communicating in a professional office-based environment.

Digital Health (DH)

The Digital Health track trains students in ways that new disruptive technology can be used to promote health and well-being. The broad scope of digital health includes (but is not limited to) mobile health, health information technology, wearable devices, telehealth, and telemedicine. The track is part of Jefferson’s Center for Digital Health & Data Science and has collaborations with the AI & Deep Learning Laboratory and the Computational Medicine Center, and links with programs organized by Jefferson Innovation and the Digital Innovation and Consumer Experience Group (DICE). The track is designed to help future physicians improve clinical care and patient outcomes through the use of new technologies, in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, including developers, payors, healthcare professionals, and patients.  Students independently pursue applied research and development projects in areas of their choosing within the digital health space.

The track is ideal for students who have:

  • Interest in healthcare systems redesign and innovative models of care.
  • Interest in the policy processes that shape and drive medical practice and health outcomes.
  • Desire to promote change.
  • Passion for health advocacy.
  • Willingness to challenge fundamental beliefs in the face of objective evidence.
  • Ability to compromise and find common ground.
  • Understanding of the political process.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.

Health Policy & Systems (HPS)

The Health Policy and Systems track is designed for students who wish to advance their understanding of and their ability to assess the effectiveness of current models of care and how healthcare is delivered/experienced, as well as understand the levers that shape and guide public policy as it relates to healthcare and population health. The track aims to train students to be highly effective team members and advocates of changes, versed in the science of care delivery, policy development, quality improvement, and the role of key stakeholders in healthcare delivery and policy development. The track promotes an integrated approach to health policy and systems thinking about healthcare delivery, policy development, and engagement of stakeholders, through consideration of innovations in care models, practice transformation efforts, analyses of legislative, regulatory, or budgetary health policy proposals, and consideration of how social determinants of health and built environment affect health policy and healthcare systems.

The track is ideal for students who have:

  • Interest in healthcare systems redesign and innovative models of care.
  • Interest in the policy processes that shape and drive medical practice and health outcomes.
  • Desire to promote change.
  • Passion for health advocacy.
  • Willingness to challenge fundamental beliefs in the face of objective evidence.
  • Ability to compromise and find common ground.
  • Understanding of the political process.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.

Humanities (HUM)

The Humanities track offers students an opportunity to pursue a self-directed course of research with a focus on the arts and humanities, in parallel with their medical education. As part of a broader Medicine+Humanities initiative at Jefferson, the track’s program is guided by the principle that the arts and humanities provide a rich context for practicing habits of mind related to observation, interpretation, and reflection, which are as essential to the successful practice of  clinical medicine. Students work closely with project advisors, track mentors, and track directors to build technical and conceptual skills in the arts and humanities and carry out independent projects. The track supports a broad range of approaches to research including creative arts practice and interpretive humanties methods, as well as qualitative and quantitative methods, depending upon suitability to specific projects.

The track is ideal for students interested in:

  • Applying their non-science background to their study of medicine.
  • Building relationships with the Philadelphia artist community.
  • Developing conceptual and technical skills related to integrating arts and humanities into the practice of medicine.

Medical Education (ME)

The Medical Education track is designed for students interested in learning more about education, program development, and education-based research. Students are exposed to various learning theories, instructional design methods, medical simulation, and curriculum design. The goal of the track is to equip interested students with tools in education as they embark on their journey in academic and clinical medicine. The track is informed by the principles of experiential learning, offering students the skillset to adapt to a changing learning environment and educational landscape. The track includes formal training in adult learning in clinical and academic medicine, and leverages simulation training, patient safety / clinical quality tools, and point-of-care technologies as vehicles to discuss educational initiatives in clinical and non-clinical contexts. In addition, students identify a specific area of academic interest in the realm of medical education, and are provided with mentorship and support to pursue scholarship in that domain. 

Students are immersed in opportunities that promote self-reflection on topics of teaching and learning, including one’s educational philosophy, personality, emotional intelligence, and communication skills. During their first two years, students attend hands-on workshops, complete self-reflection exercises, and develop and implement a real-world project, facilitated by Jefferson and/or outside invited faculty. During their final two years, students independently develop research ideas in medical education, and complete a range of selective activities.

Students in the track should ideally have:

  • Interest in understanding pedagogy and topics in medical education.
  • Interest in developing lifelong skills to be effective medical educators.
  • Desire to openly reflect on their personalities, learning preferences, and assumptions.
  • Confidence with and interest in learning new technologies.
  • Proficiency with at least one visual design or presentation tool (PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, etc.).
  • Strong interpersonal and team collaboration skills.
  • Comfort in working both independently and in teams.
  • Comfort in speaking in front of small and large groups.
  • Comfort in openly receiving formative feedback from and providing feedback to peers.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Interest in pursuing a career in academic medicine.

Population Health Research (PHR)

The Population Health Research track is designed to provide an understanding of how social, political, and economic factors determine the health and health outcomes of individuals, communities, and populations. The track draws from epidemiology, biostatistics, social and behavioral science, health services research and evaluation, environmental health, health policy, and advocacy, to enhance the skills of future physicians. Students work closely with faculty engaged in public health activities in the US and abroad, and/or with partner organizations addressing the health of their communities.

The track is ideal for students interested in:

  • Incorporating culturally relevant information into a treatment plan for a patient.
  • Identifying community support and resources to serve patients.
  • Coordinating health care services as members of multidisciplinary teams.
  • Promoting healthy lifestyles among patients and in the community.
  • Promoting primary and secondary prevention.
  • Advocating for the needs of patients and the community.
  • Addressing systems and policies that lead to social injustice, health inequity, racism, and discrimination.
  • Conducting population health research/evaluation.
  • Working in partnership with community-based agencies and organizations.