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: Sofia Gkoulgkountina.
Hometown: Thessaloniki, Greece, and I moved to Miami, FL with my family when I was 15.
Education and Experience Prior to Medical School: Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Florida. Then, I worked as a 3rd grade teacher and orthopedic clinical research coordinator in Charlotte, NC before starting medical school.
MSSRS Research: My project is “Outcomes in Patients with Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Following a Course of Care in a Neuro Specific Program.” My mentor is Dr. Laurie Leach, she is the director of Brain Injury Rehabilitation System and the program director of Neuro Care Unit and Program in WakeMed Health & Hospitals.
My focus during the summer was data collection. I created excel sheets for data capturing, enrollment log data, and data tracking. I chart reviewed the patients in our cohort using EPIC and updated the enrollment log. I completed data collection by contacting traumatic brain injury patients through phone calls and completed a literature review.
I am interested in clinical research because of the opportunity to interact with patients and focus on improving quality of life of patients. I enjoyed using the skills I built as a clinical research coordinator like chart reviewing, speaking to patients, and collecting data to explore the field of trauma and neurology.
Advice for future scholars: Clinical research is a wonderful opportunity to interact with patients and work with physicians to really get a feel of what different fields of medicine are like and what may be a good fit for you in the future. I enjoyed my experience and learned a lot!