We presented a poster at the UC Davis Medical Student Research Poster Day. In this poster, we discuss the outcomes of the first two months of the internship.
Evaluation of January’s Program: Breastfeeding 101 and Research Question Development
- Medical student-mentors are highly valued by undergraduate students
- Content and Structure
- A month-long, structured “immersion” course in breastfeeding should contain a range of topics and opportunities for community/clinical/research involvement.
- Research Question Development
- The process of identifying a research question should not be micro-managed. An intern must be given opportunities to think broadly, make mistakes, and “struggle.”
- By providing a buffet of choices, limited written guidelines, and structured 10-15 minute weekly progress updates, undergraduate students with no-to-minimal research experience can develop creative and reasonable research questions.
Evaluation of February’s Program: Research Methods
In February, the interns learned how to complete a literature and website review. I asked them to evaluate their confidence with research methodology (on a scale of 1-7) at the beginning and at the end of February. Here’s what they said:
1.“I think my confidence has definitely increased. Before I was familiar with the concepts, but didn’t necessarily know where to start. Learning how to begin the process and break it down increased my overall confidence.”
2.“I still stand by my original estimate of my own confidence. After being exposed to researching and the research process for the past few weeks, my confidence has boosted as I do not feel as unfamiliar with the subject now. I think with more exposure, I will become even more confident in my abilities.”
3.“Yes, I would evaluate myself a bit lower if I could go back three weeks ago. Initially, I rated myself a 5 for research method, but after all the process I went through for my research, I don’t think I was a five. I should be like a 3 or 4.”
4.“There were numerous factors of research I did not understand at the time including availability of studies and resources. This score seems accurate, I felt confident in the common ideas I had about research, but I learned how many other factors I need to improve on.”
- March, April, and May are dedicated to academic writing and translation of research into a blog post or infographic.
- Interns have already attended a “Community” event (the Summit). They are required to attend a lactation research event and shadow a lactation consultant.
- A LiquidGoldConcept-AMWA Conference designed to showcase the intern’s research projects and this internship is planned for late-May 2016
-Anna Sadovnikova, CEO