MGH Case-based In-depth Patient Investigations

Director(s): Pavan Bendapudi, Alberto Puig
Prerequisites: PCE
Offered: September - May
Location: MGH - Mass. General Hospital (3)
Open to Exclerks: US/Canadian Only
Description: Students participating in this one-month opportunity will perform a “deep-dive” scientific investigation of a complex case that falls outside traditional clinical areas. Activities include interview of the patient and their family/contacts, discussion with the clinical teams, and reviews of the case with experts in several fields. Students will demonstrate the ability to independently review and critically assess relevant literature; develop innovative approaches to address the clinical and basic science questions posed by the case; generate hypotheses; prepare and execute a clear case presentation; and develop an experimental plan with the goal of gaining mechanistic insights into the underlying disease process. Opportunities for scholarly output stemming from the rotation including case write-ups and abstracts as well as follow up scientific experiments are strongly encouraged. Students will be evaluated on their final presentation as well as their engagement with the MGH Pathways patients, expert faculty involved in the case, and the clinical team. This is an in-person rotation.
Incorporation of Basic Science Content and Evidence-Based Medicine:
In this elective, the focus of the independent study will be on developing and testing scientific hypotheses generated through the evaluation of unexplained diseases seen on the MGH inpatient medicine services. Students will have ongoing contact with the patient(s) of interest for a physical exam and history. Students will read and evaluate the relevant scientific literature and will meet with basic scientists and other experts to refine their hypotheses and design experiments. Throughout this exercise, students will extend their understanding of both disease mechanism and translational investigations in medicine. Depending on the case, there may be opportunity to conduct laboratory-based experiments with patient-derived samples to further test hypotheses.
Grade Criteria:
Honors with Distinction: Exemplary performance in the above listed elements of evaluation, including demonstration of a thorough knowledge of the involved cases as well as the ability to independently read and critically evaluate the literature, work well with all team members, and creatively design experiments.
Honors: Excels at the above listed elements of evaluation.
Satisfactory: Average performance at the above listed elements of evaluation.
Unsatisfactory: Poor performance at above listed elements of evaluation, particularly if the student is not able to work independently, function well as part of a team, or gain a thorough knowledge of the cases.