Medical Student Research Projects

Fourth Year Medical Student Research Projects

The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health offers a number of research opportunities for fourth year medical students, including the university-wide Senior Scholars Program and a departmental Fourth Year Elective in Preventive Medicine and Public Health (both of these coordinated by Judy Savageau, MPH). The Senior Scholars Program allows the student a two- to three-month opportunity to participate, in depth, in a research project. Numerous departmental faculty offer a number of opportunities for these students to explore/expand their research interests in adolescent medicine, substance abuse, community oriented primary care, international health, health status of vulnerable populations, and many more. The Fourth Year Elective provides a month-long block rotation for students interested in Preventive Medicine and Public Health, during which time students spend 50% effort on a research project that they define and the remaining 50% effort encompasses many short-term clinical segments related to this field. Some of these include exercise physiology, dyslipidemias, nutrition, the history of public health, mental health and primary care, clinical preventive medicine, refugee health, and communicable diseases.

The following students participated in these research opportunities during the past two academic years.



Seth Curtis(with Allison Hargreaves, MD)
Slipping Through the Cracks: A Study of Communication Between Hospitalists and Primary Care Physicians

Shadi Miri (with Frank Domino, MD and Judy Savageau, MPH)
Patient Education Through Graphic Medicine: an Up-to-Date Standard Text vs. an Art Narrative

Megan Weeks (with Hugh Silk, MD, MPH and Judy Savageau, MPH)
Prenatal Oral Health Education in U.S. OB-GYN Residency Programs & Dental Schools


Elizabeth Butler (with Mick Godkin, PhD)
Evaluating the Efficacy of Training Programs for Community Health Workers in Rural Uganda

Paul Daniel (with Mick Godkin, PhD and Judy Savageau, MPH)
Assessing Patient-Provider Collaboration in Jamaican Type 2 Diabetics and Effects on Glycemic Control

Angela (Young) Higgins (with Chyke Doubeni, MD, MPH)
Accuracy of Electronic Databases in Identifying Cases of Colorectal Cancer

Kara Keating Bench, MPH (with Frank Domino, MD)
Publication of FDA-Approved New Molecular Entities in Peer Reviewed Literature: 2009-2011

Ronelle King(with Hugh Silk, MD, MPH and Judy Savageau, MPH)
Teaching Oral Health in US Family Medicine and Pediatric Residency Programs: A National Survey

Tom Peteet (with Mick Godkin, PhD)
Analysis of Integrated Clinic Case Management (ICCM) Teaching Methodology with Village Health Care Workers in Uganda

Noah Rosenberg (with Frank Domino, MD)
The Effects of a Customizable, Office-based Surgical Safety Checklist on the Rates of Key Patient Safety Indicators

Jennifer (Aborn) Russo (with Carole Upshur, EdD)
Health Care for the Homeless: Descriptions of Care Delivery from the Uniform Data System


Alexandra Marchetta (with Judy Savageau, MPH)
Patient Perspectives of Healthy Eating and Communication abour Healthy Diets with their Primary Care Providers

Matthew Lecuyer (with Judy Savageau, MPH and Phil Fournier, MD)
Interest in and Utilization of a Walk-in Service at UMass-Worcester's Student Health Services

Shadi Miri (with Judy Savageau, MPH)
Diabetes Prevention in Primary Care

Olivia Liff (with Judy Savageau, MPH, and Judy Ockene, PhD/Preventive and Behavioral Medicine)
Patient Views of How to Address Obesity in Practice