female medical student with camel statue

The Medical Student Summer Research Scholars (MSSRS) Program is a summer research opportunity that is open to rising MS-II students only. The project period is 7 weeks during the summer, during which time the students is expected to devote at least 6 full weeks to the project.


Name: Robyn Naron

Hometown: High Point, NC

Prior universities and degrees:
University of North Carolina, Bachelor of Science in Psychology

A.T. Still University, Masters in Public Heath

Hobbies: Spending time with my husband and two pups; hanging out with friends and family; listening to live music; watching College Basketball (Go Heels!); exploring new cities, reading, soccer, hiking, baking, working with children, and giving back to my community.

Name of your project and your role in the research: Analysis of Pediatric Car Seat Restraint Use in Rural Emergency Department

I served as one of the primary investigators for this project by collecting and analyzing survey data in collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Gignac, two Emergency Medicine Residents at UNC Southeastern Regional Medical Center, and two fellow CUSOM medical students.

UNC Southeastern is located in Robeson County, NC and is the home to one of CUSOM’s clinical sites and residency programs. Robeson County has one of the highest percentages of pediatric trauma by motor vehicle crash due to improper restraint use in the state. Our goal was to examine why this is happening in hopes to shape future community-based health interventions on this issue.

Why you chose to participate in the summer scholars program:

I am very interested in pediatric medicine and wanted to find a clinical research opportunity that combined my love for pediatrics while expanding my experiences in scholarly research. I love the idea of being able to make a difference at a community-level, so the project at UNC Southeastern appealed to me for so many reasons.

The Summer Scholars program is so much more than just involvement with a research project. Since I participated in a clinical project, I also had the opportunity to shadow within the Emergency Department and found this experience extremely valuable to my medical education. We also had small group meetings weekly with several CUSOM faculty members to advance our knowledge on the research process and challenge us to become confident student researchers.

Advice to MS-I’s/future medical students: Surround yourself with people who will lift you up and support you through this process. I would have felt so lost through my first-year of medical school without my friends, study buddies, family, and the encouraging staff at CUSOM. Having a strong support network can make all the difference during the particularly tough weeks. Also, please don’t be afraid to reach out to older students for encouragement – we have been in your shoes and can offer some very valuable advice!