This program provides support for 50 third- and fourth-year medical students over a period of 5 years, competitively selected to participate in an elective 8-week complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) research rotation at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC), Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. The long-term goal of this training is to encourage medical students to enter the CAM physician scientist “pipeline” through short-term intensive exposure to a mentored, hands-on, hypothesis-driven research project, research didactics, and development of research presentation skills. Special recruiting efforts will be directed toward the brightest and most motivated students, with emphasis on minority recruitment.
The first component of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Short-Term Research Rotation (CAMSTRR) is 64 hours of general and CAM-specific research methodology course work presented by research faculty. Course work is designed to provide students with fundamentals of responsible conduct of research, research protocol development, state-of-the-art research techniques, and critical data evaluation. The second CAMSTRR program component is a hands-on, hypothesis-driven research project with a funded faculty member who has previously mentored students and has the time and desire to serve as a research mentor. The hands-on research experience is designed to expose medical students to contemporary research methods and challenges associated with CAM research. The third component of the CAMSTRR program involves scholarly activity through the development of a poster presentation to be made at the UNTHSC's Annual Research Appreciation Day.