Summer Scholars: Meet Justin Baird

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.

Name: Justin Baird

Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina

Education: Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neurobiology from NC State University and Master of Science in Medical Sciences from LECOM-Bradenton

Hobbies: Weight lifting, basketball, camping, night life, trying new restaurants, and traveling

Name of MSSRS Project and Your Role:
Deltoid Fiber Architecture.
PI:  Dr. Maxx Toler
My role, along with my partner Sarah Bogan, was to dissect a few cadavers and take measurements of the deltoid muscle. We also performed acid digestion of the muscles and measured the lengths of the individual muscle fibers. I also helped to create an oral presentation and write a paper with the summary of our findings.

Why did you choose to partake in the Summer Scholars Program?
I applied to participate because I wanted to use my summer to learn more about the field of research. I thought it would be beneficial to put on my resume in the future when applying to residencies. It also gave me the opportunity to learn more about cadavers since we did not have an in-person anatomy lab during our first year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What have you learned from being a Summer Scholar?
I learned how to dissect cadavers in the anatomy lab – due to COVID-19, my class had not had that opportunity.  I also was able to build a closer relationship with anatomy faculty members and some fellow classmates.

I also learned how to present research in a presentation and in a final research paper summarizing our findings. I learned a lot about other research projects from fellow medical students’ presentations and realized how many cool research projects are happening at CUSOM!

Advice to Future MS-Is : Spend the summer between your first and second year doing what makes you happy. You don’t necessarily have to have a research experience. If you want to have something that would be nice to have on your resume, then you should do that. However, it is most important to use this summer to help you recharge and get ready for the second year.