Medical Scholarship Day of Focus Highlights Student Research

The inaugural Medical Scholarship Day of Focus offered USC School of Medicine medical and graduate students the chance to showcase their work alongside Palmetto Health residents, fellows and allied health professionals.

The event, which took place at the South Carolina State Museum on April 22, featured two moderated poster sessions highlighting clinical and basic science research that addressed issues such as the mechanisms of disease, biotechnology, drug efficacy, quality outcomes and process improvement. In all, 25 different groups, departments and colleges across the health sciences were represented by 130 individual poster presentations.

First, second and third place winners were selected in each of the four categories – basic medical sciences, therapeutic effectiveness/efficiency, outcomes/quality and case reports.

View the 2016 awardees.

“Every single presentation was a result of the outstanding efforts of students, residents and fellows,“ said School of Medicine Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education Dr. Frank Spinale. “The day not only embodied our vision for a comprehensive medical research program, but also demonstrated the synergy and excellence of our teaching, mentoring and training efforts.”

Second year medical student Elizabeth Baker presented a poster detailing work she did with clinical Internal Medicine professor Dr. Michael Wagner around the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis via a pocket-sized ultrasound device.

“I’m excited about the ability to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical research,” said Baker. “Making that connection will help current and future physicians provide the most advanced and best possible care for South Carolina patients.”

Medical student Elizabeth Baker presents her poster with faculty mentor Dr. Michael Wagner.

“I look forward to participating in our school’s expanding opportunities for research,” Baker added.

The day included a luncheon and keynote talk by School of Medicine Executive Dean Dr. Les Hall, who stressed the importance of interdisciplinary partnerships and inquiry designed to ultimately transform the way patient care is delivered.

“Constantly searching for better ways to practice medicine is not just a research goal, but an overarching goal of any high caliber medical institution,” said Hall.

“Through the integration of basic medical science, translational research and state of the art clinical trials, we will be able to provide a pathway by which innovative and novel concepts and ideas regarding health care delivery can be tested, developed and recognized,” he continued.

“Today is a concrete example of progress toward the realization of this vision and purpose.”

Toward the end of his talk, Hall presented fourth year (since graduated) medical student Dr. Sarah Battle with the 2016 Dean’s Integrated Research Award.

Battle’s project, which included contributions from the School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases and the South Carolina College of Pharmacy, focused on how different antibiotics can affect the length of hospital stay for patients with bloodstream infections. These common infections affect 100,000 individuals in the U.S. each year.

Dr. Sarah Battle explains aspects of her project to Dr. Darian Davda.

“The Dean’s Integrated Research Award emphasizes the importance of collaboration between the different areas of expertise in the medical field,” said Battle. “We all have unique perspectives. Only through working together can we achieve the ultimate goal – improved patient outcomes.”

“To me, this award also signifies the importance that our school and administration place on research and clinical investigation, which is vital for the continued progress of all academic centers. I am very proud to have earned my M.D. from the USC School of Medicine.”

School of Medicine Executive Dean Dr. Les Hall with Dr. Sarah Battle.

Battle is looking forward to continuing her training in Columbia, as she will begin a residency in internal medicine at Palmetto Health Richland later this year.

View more photos from the 2016 Medical Scholarship Day of Focus here and here.

The 2016 Medical Scholarship Day of Focus was sponsored by the USC School of Medicine, Palmetto Health, and the Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group.

May 19th, 2016