University of Southern California

What is (Keck) Scholarly Project?

The Scholarly Project (SP) Course was designed to provide medical students the opportunity to become engaged in hypothesis-driven research to promote analytical thinking skills and physician leaders. The aim of the SP is to expose students to the process of scientific inquiry, teaching them how to formulate an answerable question and the requisite methodology in seeking appropriate answers. Each student undertakes a faculty-mentored research project in a discipline of his or her choice. Viable disciplines encompass a wide spectrum to include: biomedical research, from discovery to application, and healthcare. The SP is interwoven with the curriculum, which includes didactic instruction on topics such as study design and biostatistics. The SP is a longitudinal experience, with successful completion being required for graduation.

How does it benefit students, Keck and patients?

Analytical thinking skills are crucial to the practice of medicine. The SP will serve to foster the development of original, independent and critical-thinking skills. Additionally, the SP will contribute to the Keck mission and vision; to improve the quality of life for individuals and society by promoting health, preventing and curing disease, advancing biomedical research and educating tomorrow’s physicians and scientists as we strive to become among the top private research medical school in the nation. Hence, fulfillment of the SP will result in physicians with better analytical skills leading to better patient care and treatment and fuel future discoveries. 

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