MD with Recognition Info & Application

MD with Recognition

Director (Research): Dr. Roy Steigbigel (444-3490)

Director (Humanitic Studies): Dr. Peter Williams (444-3084)

Staff Assistant, OME, Stephanie Davis (444-1035)


Program Description
The MD with Recognition Program provides students with an opportunity to spend part of their medical school career doing sustained work in basic science, clinical science, social sciences, humanities or the arts. For many students, this period has been most helpful in shaping career goals. It also has been very helpful in building an academic track record that has been viewed favorably by house staff selection committees. In recent years a fifth or more of the class enters the program. Here are some features common to both arms of the program - Research and Humanistic Studies.

  • Students must apply for acceptance into the MD with Recognition Programs by March 31st of their first year.
    Application for the MD with Recognition in Research Program
    Application for the MD with Recognition in Humanistic Studies
    In exceptional circumstances students may be accepted into either program after their first year.
  • Students commit six months to their stay in medical school to the project beginning with two months during the summer between first and second year. Those in Research typically spend an additional four months in their senior year completing their project, though may use elective time in third year as well. Those in Humanistic Studies sometimes take blocks of time in third or fourth year, but when appropriate sometimes work on their projects "on top of" other academic activities. As a rule, however, students are not allowed to have a single academic activity satisfy two academic requirements.
  • The projects must be done under the mentorship of at least one full-time Stony Brook University faculty member who must play a role in the project from beginning to end.  Mentors commit to attending (or sending a suitable surrogate) to a Poster Session/Research Day in May of your fourth year. Finding a mentor is an important first step because he or she can help you craft a competitive proposal. A compilation of research and other opportunities may be reviewed on the web, see Summer Opportunities. You are not restricted to this list, and should feel free to approach any faculty member with whom you would like to consider doing research.
  • Students selected for the program are eligible for funding - currently $2400 per recipient during the summer between first and second year. Funds are limited and are awarded to those students with what the selection committees believes to be the better projects. The selection criteria are manifest in the questions asked in the applications, but the likelihood the project will be successfully completed in the time available is an important consideration. To be eligible for funding, students in the MD with Recognition in Research arm must do their research on campus, i.e. at SUNYSB, BNL, Cold Spring Harbor or one our three affiliated hospitals, VA, WUH or NUMC.
  • During the summer between the first and second years we traditionally have a series of luncheon seminars considering a variety of topics that range from discussions of each student's project to conversations regarding ethics involved in conducting research or information regarding sources of research funding and research design.  Participants in the Research program are required to attend these seminars.  Those students in the Humanities program are encouraged to attend, but their presence is not mandatory.
  • Students who participate will be required to take, as appropriate to their project, University training in Right to Know regulations, rules governing the use of human subjects, animal use in research and the employment of radioactive substances, each as appropriate for the project. All students will be required to complete requisite HIPAA training.  For research that involves human subjects in any way, students will not be eligible for the recognition or money unless and until they have received the appropriate approval and certification from CORIHS or submit a letter from CORIHS affirming that approval and certification are not necessary.
  • Students must be in good academic standing to be eligible for the Program and must maintain good academic standing to continue in it. Failure to satisfy administrative requirements, e.g. submission of the summer report, may also lead to dismissal from the program.
  • At the conclusion of your summer project, a short one page summary, not to exceed 500 words, should be cosigned by your sponsor and submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs. Be certain to mention starting and ending dates. Unless excused in writing before the deadline, the failure to turn in this report by October 1 after the summer will cause the student to be terminated automatically from the program.
  • At the conclusion of your research and not later than April 1st, you must submit your project abstract and  FORM signed by your mentor verifying that you have spent the required time and successfully completed your project to the Office of Medical Education.
  • You must be present to present the product of your work at a poster session or as otherwise appropriate on Research Day in the Fourth Year (usually the first week in May).  Oral presentations will be chosen on merit.  If approved by the Committee, your degree will be granted "with Recognition." The success rate is very high and in the last two years the quality has been extraordinary. Fourth year students must call Bonnie at 444-1030 by April 15th to reserve display boards and space.

The application for the MD with Recognition Program is due in the Office of Medical Education by March 31st. It is very important, because of the popularity of the program that you not procrastinate. Faculty will be delighted to have you contact them (but not at the last minute). There are openings suitable for every level of prior experience. Finally, we very strongly encourage work be done locally. While it is possible to conduct projects elsewhere, the reasons for so doing must be very strong and there must be a local faculty sponsor in every case.

Last updated by Webmaster on June 23, 2009

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