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 an MSTAR Student: Jean Pannikottu

Sep 27
10:57 am

Diary of an MSTAR Student: Jean Pannikottu View MoreBACK

Posted by Gemma Martinelli

Jean Pannikottu

Home Institution: Northeast Ohio Medical University

MSTAR Site: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


I am very thankful that I was able to be a part of the MSTAR program this summer at the Johns Hopkins campus. With help from experts in the field, I was able to learn many valuable research and clinical skills in field of geriatrics.

I was able to gain more experience in clinical research with the help of my mentor, Dr. Jodi Segal. After speaking with her, I was truly excited about the topic of interest. The research topic pertained to the determinants of overuse. In other words, what patient, clinician, system, and environmental factors makes patients more likely to be recipients of unnecessary care? This was a fascinating project to me because it eventually looks to modify the way we treat older patients in order to make their care more effective.  Working with Dr. Segal and her research team reminded me of the reason I fell in love with the medical field. As a young girl, I had always thought of doctors as detectives; I was reminded of these similarities during this summer’s clinical research. Together, we searched for an answer to this clinical question, sorting through the relevant and irrelevant information, like detectives in the Agatha Christie novels I used to read. My mentor and our research team were an inspiring, passionate group that helped me see this beauty of clinical research.

In addition to my research experience this summer, I had the opportunity of shadowing many experienced clinicians in the geriatrics field. Through these experiences I learned that with age, each patient’s story gets fuller, richer, and more complex. It was fascinating to see the unique nature of every story, and the various ways clinicians approached this individuality. It was incredible to hear stories from a generation that has so many to tell.

I am excited to use this newfound passion for research and unique clinical approach in my future career. I am so grateful for this experience and proud to call myself an alumnus of the MSTAR program.