Diary of an MSTAR Student
Diary of an MSTAR Student

The MSTAR Program encourages medical students to consider a career in academic geriatrics by providing summer research and training opportunities. Follow these students as they journey through new experiences in the lab, classroom, and clinic.  Click here to read entries from previous years.

Diary of a 2014 MSTAR Student: Brock Polnaszek

Aug 12
12:04 pm

Diary of a 2014 MSTAR Student: Brock Polnaszek

Posted by Gemma Martinelli

  Brock Polnaszek, University of Wisconsin - Madison  My favorite clinical moment occurred during my experience with Dr. Sanjay Asthana at the University of Wisconsin Memory Assessment Clinic. I knew that the opportunity to work with a world renowned leader in Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease at such an early time point in my medical education was invaluable and it was all due to the MSTAR program. During the clinic, I took a particular interest in a husband/wife couple who came into clinic after their kids had noticed some changes in their mother’s cognitive function…

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Diary of a 2014 MSTAR Student: Hannah Noah

Aug 6
10:44 am

Diary of a 2014 MSTAR Student: Hannah Noah

Posted by Gemma Martinelli

Hannah Noah, University of North Carolina Everyone Ages Differently During one of our earlier didactic sessions, our presenter told us a story about an older patient who had gotten locked out of the house and decided to take a nap under a tree. My classmate asked how old the patient was. Instead of answering, the presenter explained that age tells us very little about a patient’s health. From the beginning, the MSTAR program has emphasized that there is no typical geriatrics patient. Through my clinical experiences this summer, I have come to appreciate the wide variation in the…

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Diary of a 2014 MSTAR Student: Yajie (Julie) An

Aug 6
10:40 am

Diary of a 2014 MSTAR Student: Yajie (Julie) An

Posted by Gemma Martinelli

Yajie (Julie) An, Northeast Ohio Medical University MSTAR Site: Johns Hopkins University  It all became real after I gave our program coordinator, Carolyn a hug goodbye. The moment was bittersweet, as some goodbyes are. That final hug meant that this wonderful MSTAR experience is coming to a close, and I will be parting ways with this wonderful Hopkins family. One of the most meaningful experiences happened at my PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) clinical experience.  This program allows older adults to continue to live independently while receiving all of their preventative, primary, acute, and…

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Diary of a 2014 MSTAR Student: Samuel Dotston

Jul 30
5:14 pm

Diary of a 2014 MSTAR Student: Samuel Dotston

Posted by Gemma Martinelli

Samuel Joshua Dotson, UNC School of Medicine One of the fundamental principles of geriatric medicine is physiologic diversity. The concept is based on the simple observation that people become more different from each other as they age. This necessitates individualized, patient-centered care rather than pre-calculated, algorithmic medicine. The increase of physiological diversity with age is the reason that pediatricians are always focused on percentile rankings and developmental milestones, while geriatricians often ignore the age in their patient’s chart. When we say that a patient is 18 months old, a strong predication can be made about their expected functional…

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Katie Hunold: Lessons from the MSTAR Program

Sep 20
2:11 pm

Katie Hunold: Lessons from the MSTAR Program

Posted by Jillian Patton

My MSTAR summer experience at UNC Chapel Hill has ended, and looking back I am still energized by the experience. When I applied to the MSTAR program, I expected to gain valuable research experience. The MSTAR program more than satisfied this expectation. I am currently working on a paper for publication and I learned innovative data analysis techniques. I hope to continue research throughout my career. What I did not expect was the impact on how I want to practice medicine and hopefully contribute to the field. I met patients who were very open with me about their current medial…

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