Summer Scholars: Meet Megyn Christensen

Megyn Christensen

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: Megyn Christensen

Hometown: Swanton, Ohio

Undergraduate Degree(s): Bachelor of Science in Biology, Lake Erie College, Painesville, OH

MSSR Research Project: “Outcomes After Acute Care Surgery and Trauma Care in Incarcerated Individuals: A Prospective Observational Trial”
Mentor: Mary K Bryant, MD – UNC PGY5 General Surgery Resident, Trauma Research Resident – WakeMed Health & Hospitals, Raleigh, NC

I reviewed 576 patients’ charts to see if they were eligible to be included in this study. After determining that 132 were eligible, I then identified data points for: demographics, co-morbid conditions, pre-hospital information, incarceration information, admissions, diagnoses, interventions, discharges, and complications. These data points were then entered into a data collection system called REDCap.

Coming into medical school, I had no research experience. So, the main reason I participated in Summer Scholars was to gain my first experience with research. This opportunity allowed me to gain insight on how research is developed from IRB requirements, to learning how to navigate through an electronic medical record registry, to enhancing my skills with Excel, and just being able to pull the appropriate data from patients’ charts.

Advice to MS-I: There is so much material to learn each day, and sometimes you can’t do it alone. It is 100% acceptable to reach out to faculty, MS-IIs, or even a tutor. No one way is the right way. Some people just read the PowerPoints, others make notes/flashcards, some use ANKI, and others use a variety of different sources (Sketchy, Pathoma, BNB). Do what you are comfortable with and go from there. If what you are doing right now isn’t working that great, do a trial and error of other methods. Each course, each professor, and each block may require you to alter your studying habits.