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.

MSTAR Melissa Ludgate: Care Transitions

Aug 29
1:25 pm

MSTAR Melissa Ludgate: Care Transitions

“How many times do you get up to pee in the night?” “Do you ever not make it to the bathroom on time?” These are questions that I would never dare ask someone in everyday conversation, but it’s part of delivering great care at the Geriatric Specialty Clinic. After all, urinary incontinence is one of the geriatric syndromes; I’ve learned this during the summer along with a bundle of other information about the holistic aspects of geriatric care. Every visit starts out with a question about whether or not patients brought their…

View MoreREAD MORE


MSTAR Brendan Payne: Geriatrics - Learning the simplicities, complexities, rewards, and needs

Aug 27
8:02 am

MSTAR Brendan Payne: Geriatrics - Learning the simplicities, complexities, rewards, and needs

At this point, I am just beyond the half-way mark in my research for the summer. So far I have had the opportunity to do my own research, review others’ research, learn what other UNC geriatricians are researching, and shadow geriatricians at UNC Hospitals. The best way I can summarize what I have learned is as follows: the field of geriatrics is characterized by simplicities, complexities, needs, and rewards. The idea of simplicity is the first theme that struck me regarding geriatrics. The incredible potential to dramatically improve people’s lives with simple interventions is an exciting reality…

View MoreREAD MORE


MSTAR Robin Moiseff: Looking Forward to the Future

Aug 22
1:41 pm

MSTAR Robin Moiseff: Looking Forward to the Future

The summer has raced by, and the end of August is quickly approaching.  I am just finishing my summer MSTAR experience at my home institution UConn School of Medicine.  When I first learned about the MSTAR program from the director of UConn’s Center on Aging, I was intrigued by the opportunity to pursue aging research.  It is inevitable that we will all age, and I was interested in learning about and in addressing some of the issues faced by elders.  I was introduced to Dr. David Steffens, and he informed me of an ongoing…

View MoreREAD MORE


MSTAR Kyle Roedersheimer: Importance of Hospice Care

Aug 20
1:41 pm

MSTAR Kyle Roedersheimer: Importance of Hospice Care

My project has been moving along well. We have around 120 patients enrolled in the study with little under two weeks remaining in the data collection window. I have started to writing my paper and have been tweaking methods and data tables. I am looking forward to the closing of the data collection window so I can focus solely on data analysis and paper writing. While not working directly on my project, I have had the opportunity to shadow a nurse practitioner working for UNC Hospice. The little experience with Hospice I have has been watching my grandparents go through the…

View MoreREAD MORE


MSTAR Bridget Foley: Awareness and Compassion

Aug 16
11:10 am

MSTAR Bridget Foley: Awareness and Compassion

Standing, walking, climbing stairs. These are activities that we all do on a daily basis without even thinking about it. Individuals with hip osteoarthritis experience difficulty with all of these tasks, if they are able to complete them at all. During my summer of research, the most meaningful experience that I had was visiting the clinic in Smithfield where data is collected for the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project. Up until this point, I had been reading paper after paper about osteoarthritis, and looking at spreadsheets filled with numbers and rates. My trip to Smithfield gave me a greater understanding of…

View MoreREAD MORE


MSTAR Katie Hunold: Clinical Experiences

Aug 14
5:15 pm

MSTAR Katie Hunold: Clinical Experiences

I have spent the last few weeks of my MSTAR experience learning about something that I did not anticipate learning about as part of the MSTAR program. I am fortunate to have a data set with more than one million observations, but that means what when there are errors it can be hard to isolate. I had a good skill set from studying biostatistics as an undergraduate, but due to the sample size I got to stretch the skill set I had and think of new ways to diagnose the problems. It was very rewarding to combine these data management…

View MoreREAD MORE


Christopher Schifeling: Translating

Aug 12
3:05 pm

Christopher Schifeling: Translating

After six years of drumming conjugations and a forest of flash-cards, I lived in Chile for six months. Words, conversations and (within a week) my thoughts came in an exciting new flavor.  I enjoyed the language so much that on my return to the States, I became an interpreter for Hispanic patients. As a medical student, I am wading into a new language. As I grapple with the grammar of SOAP notes, my tongue tries on dyspnea, tachycardia, emesis, coryza… My summer research on symptoms of people with dementia has drawn me deeper into these lingual waters: neuropsychiatric,…

View MoreREAD MORE


Jimmy Broughman: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Geriatrics

Aug 08
4:22 pm

Jimmy Broughman: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Geriatrics

This summer, I have had the chance to marry two of my passions: oncology and geriatrics. My road to oncology began in 1997 when my aunt lost a long battle with breast cancer. Ever since this event, I’ve always been interested in cancer and how I could help those affected by it. More recently, I’ve become interested in geriatrics in medical school. My favorite patient interactions have been with the elderly. I’ve enjoyed learning about their special needs and how I can best help them. This summer, I am working with Dr. Hy Muss, a…

View MoreREAD MORE


Brendan Payne: Creating Consistency

Aug 06
11:30 am

Brendan Payne: Creating Consistency

I am currently finishing my second week in the MSTAR program at UNC Chapel Hill. When I reflect on my first week and the preparations leading up to it, a few thoughts come to mind. My mind first goes back to November of this past year. I remember the buzz growing among UNC’s MS1s about summer plans and what people were planning on doing with what is very likely the last summer break of their lives. As I began to think about what I wanted this final summer to look like, a few goals came to mind:…

View MoreREAD MORE


Julie Thai: Feeling at Home in Geriatrics Care

Aug 02
8:59 am

Julie Thai: Feeling at Home in Geriatrics Care

Nearly a year ago, I left my position with the UCSF Division of Geriatrics as a research assistant to start medical school. I have always had a strong interest in working with aging populations, so I was happy to return to UCSF as an MSTAR student. Resuming my research on quality of life assessments for informal caregivers of frail and chronically ill elders, I am reminded of how interesting and important it is to study the impact of aging on both patients and caregivers alike. Family caregivers are largely understudied and grossly underappreciated, but they provide a tremendous amount of…

View MoreREAD MORE




BACK TO TOPBACK TO TOP