The typical Spring Break: sunshine and sandy beaches, ski slopes, or anything but work. Not the case for three Medical Scholars Program (MSP) students from Illinois, who spent their a-typical Spring Break at Mayo Clinic.
Instead of the traditional vacation, these graduate students were in still-wintry Rochester, Minnesota, shadowing physician scientists and seeing clinical practice and medical research intersecting.
“I learned a lot about the ins and outs of how translational medicine works, and got to see how people balanced their clinic and research time,” said Miri Kim, one of the Illinois students.
Persistence paid off for the MSP students, in the form of this personalized MD-PhD job-shadowing experience made possible by the Mayo-Illinois Alliance. The students enlisted the help of Prof. Bryan White, Director of the Alliance, to set up the four-day visit after having previously networked with Mayo physician researchers at past Individualizing Medicine Conferences.
Kim, along with students Sarah Holton and Song Jiang, were given meetings with numerous physicians, genetic counselors, scientists and administrators from Mayo’s Center for Individualized Medicine during their trip. Areas observed and topics discussed included clinomics, pharmacogenomics, bioethics, epigenomics, GI motility and more. During the visit, they also toured various labs and operating suites and attended Genomic Tumor Board and Genomic Odyssey Board meetings that involved physicians, researchers and genetic counselors from all three Mayo campuses.
“I would highly recommend this type of experience to anyone interested in the interaction between physicians and scientists or seeing the implementation of genomic science into clinical practice,” said Holton.
Training up the next generation of clinicians and biomedical scientists is integral to the Alliance’s mission. Interested in a unique educational or training experience, related to genomics and individualized medicine? Contact Margret Berg Miller with your ideas.