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: 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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MSTAR Christopher Schifeling: A Summer in Summary

Sep 18
5:03 pm

MSTAR Christopher Schifeling: A Summer in Summary

Posted by Jillian Patton

What I Leave • The backbones to 7 online guides to help caregivers make decisions about symptoms in people with dementia What I Take • How to check readability with Microsoft Word – this post is at a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 10.3 • How to keep people with dementia from wandering – try hiding items that remind them of leaving: keys, briefcases, walking shoes, etc. • How to recognize atypical illness in the elderly – MI without chest pain, pneumonia without fever, delirium, etc. • How to make a chocolate soufflé • How translating research into caregiver support is moving…

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MSTAR Kyle Roedersheimer: Ongoing Research Process

Sep 12
3:19 pm

MSTAR Kyle Roedersheimer: Ongoing Research Process

Posted by Jillian Patton

What I’ve learned about the research process is that it never ends. Even when you think it might be close to completion, you still have more work to do. We concluded enrollment and finished with 142 patients with data. After analyzing the data and working with my PI through the analysis, we determined we need more patients enrolled in the study to find any significant outcomes. Initially, I was frustrated, after hours and hours of work in the Emergency Department, we still came up short. After reflecting and multiple discussions with my PI, I have a renewed sense of…

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MSTAR Vanessa Danquah: Challenges and Rewards of Geriatrics

Sep 3
4:55 pm

MSTAR Vanessa Danquah: Challenges and Rewards of Geriatrics

Posted by Jillian Patton

My experience as an MSTAR scholar was life changing. The program opened my mind to the world of Academic Geriatrics. I found it inspiring to observe clinicians and researchers who were truly passionate about the challenging-but-rewarding field of geriatrics. MSTAR taught me invaluable lessons about the skill and dedication required to ensure optimal care for the aging population. I learned the importance of cultural competence, which can so deeply affect patient interactions. This experience actually motivated me to seek encounters with patients from demographics outside my comfort zone. I am more eager to learn about them and their cultures and…

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