Distinction Track

Surgery 800A - Research Distinction Track
6 units senior elective credit

Course Outline

Marlys H. Witte MD
Professor of Surgery, Director, Medical Student Research Program

Grace Wagner
Program Manager

Offered year round:
UA College of Medicine faculty directly supervise this course.

Students must be matriculated in the four year UA College of Medicine program leading to the MD degree


  1. To enhance research awareness, skills and productivity in a continuum during medical school.
  2. To encourage students to value being at the forefront of medicine by becoming scientific physicians, as well as to help fill the gap in the decreasing numbers of translational physician scientists.
  3. To design and implement a research proposal extensive and complete enough to allow the student to pursue a research topic from beginning to completion.
  4. To critically review journal articles and give medical students the opportunity to network and present their research.
  5. To demonstrate competence in the scientific method.


Summary of Course Requirements

In order to earn elective credit, students must complete the following requirements. When all
elective course requirements have been met, the student will receive elective credit of 6 units.

  • Submit a research proposal for review by the Medical Student Research Committee.
  • Complete a minimum of 120 hours in the laboratory or otherwise engaged in the conduct of the approved research project.
  • Participate in at least 8 elective‚ sponsored meetings or seminars by the end of Year IV. At least 2 of these 8 meetings must be presentations made by the student at "journal club" sessions.
  • Upon completion of the research project, students also will be required to submit a full‚ length paper (minimum of 10 pages in length in standard journal format with illustrations, ideally ready for submission to a scientific journal) to the MSRC for approval.
  • Submit an abstract to their student colleagues.
  • Make a 30‚ minute presentation of their research.