From the Society

Research progress in a short time window

Student finds efficient research design essential


Editor’s Note: The Society of Hospital Medicine’s (SHM’s) Physician in Training Committee launched a scholarship program in 2015 for medical students to help transform health care and revolutionize patient care. The program has been expanded for the 2017-2018 year, offering two options for students to receive funding and engage in scholarly work during their first, second, and third years of medical school. As a part of the program, recipients are required to write about their experience on a biweekly basis.

My research experience this summer has been full of learning both clinical and academic aspects of medicine. I had the opportunity to observe my mentor plus other hospitalists rounding on patients, and sit in on presentations to hear about the spectacular work that different faculty members are implementing. This has helped me gain a better understanding of hospital medicine, and really sparked my interest in the field.

I love that hospitalists can play a major role in treating the sickest of patients, while at the same time work to investigate ways to make the patients’ time at a hospital a better experience.

My mentor, Dr. Patrick Brady, has been very helpful giving me insight on research methods for our project and how best to use the data we have collected. We were able to make some adjustments in our exclusion criteria for the patients included in the retrospective case control study, so that I have time to collect several clinical characteristics of each patient who underwent an emergency transfer. While going over several emergency transfer cases, I have learned quite a bit of clinical information. One example of what I’ve learned involves rapid sequence intubation drugs when endotracheal intubation procedures are done. The procedure requires quick onset sedatives and pain medications in addition to neuromuscular blocking agents to rapidly numb and sedate the patient in order to put in the tube.

We are wrapping up this week and beginning to run some simple statistical analyses on the data. I hope to have some insight on the incidence and descriptors of emergency transfer cases in Cincinnati Children’s Hospital by the end of the week. I am preparing to begin writing and creating presentations for dissemination.

Reflecting back on my work this summer, I am encouraged by the amount of progress that I was able to make in the short period of time. Completing a research project over a nine-week period is a very challenging task as it comes with many limitations. However, Dr. Brady helped me realize that important questions can still be answered if the project is designed efficiently. I could see myself doing similar research in my future as a physician. I very much like the idea of studying what is clinically right in front of you.

Farah Hussain is a 2nd-year medical student at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and student researcher at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Her research interests involve bettering patient care to vulnerable populations.

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