Summer Scholars: Meet Tommy O’Neil

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.

Summer Scholar: Tommy O’Neil

Hometown: Martinsville, VA

Undergraduate Degree(s):  Bachelor of Science in Biology, James Madison University

What was your project?  I worked with Dr. Pascal Udekwu at WakeMed in the trauma surgery department on a project titled “Current Management of Traumatic Abdominal Wall Hernias”. My role in the project was reviewing the literature and working through patient charts to collect data on how traumatic abdominal hernias are managed as well as patient outcomes. I’m interested in possibly going into surgery and this experience was a great way for me to start looking into the field.

What are the strengths of the MSSRS Program? The Summer Scholars program is great because you get to work closely with people who have a lot of experience in health care.  All MS-I’s, find something you’ll enjoy over the summer and use the time to gain valuable experience.  Also, make sure you have fun and enjoy your break!


bride, groom and brother
Tommy with his sister Lauren and her husband Josh at their wedding this summer
Tommy and girlfriend Madison Greco taking a break this summer in Florida