Clinical & Translational Research Experience

Course Description and Overview

MD-PhD ResearchThe purpose of the Clinical and Translational Research Experience, coordinated by Mary Samuels, MD, is to provide a mentored continuity experience with clinical research. It will include direct patient contact with study participants, as well as clinical study staff. Students will consent patients, develop a deeper understanding of clinical trials, limitations, regulatory agencies and more. Students will develop an understanding of the institutional review board (IRB) process, and clinical research design and implementation. 

The clinical & translational research experience takes place in the final years of the MD program after the student has complete core clinical rotations. This course fulfills the Continuity Clerkship requirement for the MD program and is scheduled through the . It is 8 weeks long and must be done as one continuous block with one mentor.

Contact after the rotation dates have been secured to set up mentorship and other components of this course.

Frequently Asked Questions

How and when do I schedule this rotation?  

This rotation is scheduled in the final MD Years through the MD Registrar. It may be scheduled at any time, but most be taken only after the 7 core clinical rotations have been completed. This course must be registered for at least 60 days before the start date so there is enough time to arrange for a mentor; usually students do it during their final year. Each student should notify the when they plan on taking this course, and then again when they have it scheduled.


What are the learning objectives/competencies assessed? 
Curriculum Overview

Competencies that your mentor might be able to evaluate you on include:

  • Patient Care and Procedures—1, 2, 3, 4,
  • Medical Knowledge—1, 4,
  • Practice Based Learning and Improvement—3, 5, 7
  • Interpersonal and communication skills—1, 3, 5, 6, 7,
  • Professionalism and Development—1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10,
  • System-based practice –3, 4, 5,

What is the schedule for the rotation? 

The rotation has two important parts: the mentored experience and the supplemental experiences. 

The mentored experience should include direct research patient contact, working with study staff, attending lab meetings and clinics, and more.

The supplemental CTRE experiences are intended to enhance the mentored experience. Except for attending an IRB meeting, these experiences are not mandatory as long as the student is getting sufficient exposure through their mentored experience.  

Overview of CTRE supplemental experiences


How do I find a mentor? 

The mentor has to be an experienced investigator who is conducting actively enrolling clinical trials. A mentoring team may be substituted if there is no single mentor who qualifies in a field the student is interested in. The student will need to identify 1-2 specific areas of interest (a topic, disease, specialty) and/or 2-3 researchers. These choices should be shared with Dr. Samuels who will need to approve of mentorship choices.