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Research: Literature Review and Analysis

A unique and integral part of the SMU curriculum is our "Research: Literature Review and Analysis" module. Its purpose is to further develop students’ abilities to evaluate and assimilate scientific evidence and to reinforce the skills required to critically appraise the ever-changing body of medical knowledge.

Consistent with the university’s goals and objectives, these skills are essential to modern practicing physicians who will have to continuously improve their medical knowledge and clinical skills over the course of their career.

In addition, SMU students find that gaining formal research skills during their medical school studies helps distinguish them from other applicants when they enter the residency match program. During the research module, students are expected to apply the knowledge and understanding from their Basic Sciences courses to analyze a current and complex medical care question, using evidence from published medical literature. As part of this course, students are required to develop a hypothesis based on the research questions, critically analyze the literature, and write a paper that is evaluated by a faculty committee.

While working independently, students interact on a regular basis with a faculty research mentor who provides oversight throughout the project, including selection of an appropriate topic, identification of relevant literature, formulating conclusions, and the preparation of a final paper. The mentor will also review the written paper to ensure that it meets university standards prior to submission to the faculty committee for review.