Curricular Flexibility in the Pre-Clinical Years Promotes Medical Student Scholarship

Justin G. Peacock, Lindsay L. Warner, Linda B. Drozdowicz, Brad A. Martin, Rahul Suresh, Bonnie J. Denzer, Ashley B. Wentworth, Jessica A. Adefusika, Maria J. Bachman, Joseph P. Grande

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Medical student research is recognized as a critical component of undergraduate medical education. Current studies focusing on curricular improvements to promote student research are limited by lack of objective outcome data. At the Mayo Medical School, research has been an integral component of the curriculum since its inception in 1972. In 2006, selectives (periods of time free from competing didactic or clinical responsibilities) were implemented, which permitted students flexibility in their pre-clinical years to pursue service projects, research endeavors, and career exploration. The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of this curricular revision on research productivity by Mayo medical students. Publications by Mayo medical students graduating in the 2004–2011 time period were queried in the PubMed database. The number, impact factor, and time to publication for these publications was assembled and analyzed in a cohort of students that graduated before and after selectives were implemented. We found that students who participated in selectives published more papers, papers with a higher impact factor, and published papers earlier in their training than students who graduated prior to the implementation of selectives. We propose that selectives are an effective means to increase research productivity in the Mayo medical school curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-98
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Science Educator
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013


  • Pre-clinical
  • elective time
  • medical student
  • research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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