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Medical Student Research

As an element of the medical school curriculum, the overarching mission of Medical Student Research Curriculum at Vanderbilt is to educate our students about biomedical research through a series of coursework, training and experience in order to help them develop their critical thinking, innovation, leadership, and moral and civic capacities to the fullest. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the wealth of research opportunities both at Vanderbilt and beyond, including year-long, short-term and summer training programs.

The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) supports medical students interested in expanding their knowledge of health issues of international significance through research projects in developing countries. Potential projects span over two dozen countries where VIGH has established partnerships and include a broad range of current themes in global health; from medical sciences and clinical investigation to socio-cultural correlates of health and health care delivery. Participation in global health research and training programs and other directed study provides students with the foundation necessary for future work as international clinicians and researchers.

VIGH Associate Director Douglas Heimburger, M.D., M.S., advises students interested in pursuing global health as an integrated part of their medical training.


Recent medical student global health research:

  • Patient perspectives on opt-out HIV screening in a Guyanese emergency department
  • Attrition of psychiatric patients at the Mental Health Commission of Ayacucho
  • Identifying factors associated with loss-to-follow-up among pre-ART patients in Zambezia Province, Mozambique through interview and other qualitative methods
  • Assessing a community development project associated with a micro-lending of livestock to HIV infected persons
  • Analyzing questions critical to the effective development, distribution, and consumption of the GuateNut product
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus / Asthma and Dengue in the Northern Argentina
  • Public health assessments in the Navajo Reservation in “The Four Corners” (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado)