Summer Scholars: Meet Cooper Josephs

The Medical Student Summer Research Scholars (MSSRS) Program is a summer research opportunity open to rising MS-II students only. The project period is 7 weeks during the summer, and students are expected to devote at least 6 full weeks to the project. Students attend weekly work-in-progress sessions and provide the opportunity for MSSRS participants to present their work to student peers.  A final report is presented in the form of a poster or oral presentation at a local, regional, or national meeting. The Interprofessional Education Symposium held each spring at Campbell University is an opportunity to present, and all MSSRS participants are encouraged to present a poster at the event.

Over the next few weeks, we will feature some 2020 Summer Scholars while the 2021 scholars begin their research experiences.

Name: Cooper Josephs

Hometown: State College, PA

Undergraduate Degrees:  Bachelor of Science in Cell Biology/Biochemistry with Minor in Religion from Bucknell University.

Fun Facts:  I enjoy my morning cup of coffee and hiking in my free time!

What was your research project?
The research project I worked on as a Summer Scholar was titled “Medical Management of Grade 1 and 2 Splenic Injuries with Active Extravasation”. The study’s goal was to determine the instance of failure of non-surgical (medical) management of hemodynamically stable patients with grade 1 or 2 splenic injuries with active contrast extravasation. I had the opportunity to work under the WakeMed Medical Director of Trauma Services, Pascal Udekwu, MBBS, MHA/MBA. Working with Dr. Udekwu and his team was my top choice for what I might do for the summer, so I was very excited and honored to have been chosen for it! My role as a Clinical Team Member was to aggregate and analyze electronic health record data from patients who were part of the multi-center study.

Why did you participate and/or what have you learned from this experience?
I want to pursue a general surgery residency, and I wanted to begin contributing to my chosen field over the summer between my first and second years of medical school. Some of the important things that I learned from my experience this summer included: understanding the research requirements and processes of Level-1 trauma medical centers; navigating real-time, state-of-the art electronic healthcare software systems; the importance of surgical clinical research in advancing procedure safety and efficacy.

student with catAdvice for MS-I’s or anything else you would like to share.
The summer between your first and second years of medical school is a valuable time; there is no a right-or-wrong way to spend it. Some students found it optimal to use it by rejuvenating and preparing themselves for their second year, and others found it useful to obtain research positions. Find what you are passionate about and use that to help you decide how you would like to spend your summer!

There are a lot of great Peer Advisors available at CUSOM. While I am not officially one the Peer Advisors, I am passionate about helping other students’ find academic and personal success – I’d be happy to help out in any way! I am excited to be finished with Step 1/Level 1 and begin my third year of medical school at my rotation site in Conway, South Carolina!

SD Cooper Josephs with his parents at the NC coast.