Providing premedical students with quality clinical and research experience: the Tobacco Science Scholars Program.

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Undergraduate premedical students face a formidable decision as they work to determine whether to pursue a profession in medicine. Exposure to clinical medicine and research is essential to inform students what it might be like to be a physician. Undergraduates, however, face a number of obstacles to obtaining the kind of quality clinical and research experience needed to make an informed decision. Growing regulations designed to protect patient confidentiality, though undeniably important, pose a barrier to students seeking patient contact. Traditional passive physician shadowing often does not provide ample opportunities for one-on-one patient interaction or problem solving. Finally, research opportunities available to students typically are not associated with clinical work and therefore do not provide an experiential model of how empirical evidence informs medical practice. This report describes the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health's Tobacco Science Scholars Program, a pilot program designed to address some of these barriers. While fulfilling institutional requirements for patient contact, the program provides students with an active model of clinical patient interaction and problem solving, with a research experience integrated into these clinical experiences so that undergraduates better understand how research informs clinical medicine.







James Davis

Associate Professor of Medicine

Dr. James Davis is a practicing physician of Internal Medicine, and serves as the Medical Director for Duke Center for Smoking Cessation, Director of the Duke Smoking Cessation Program and Co-Director of the Duke-UNC Tobacco Treatment Specialist Credentialing Program.  His research focuses on development of new pharmaceutical treatments for smoking cessation.  He is principal investigator on several trials including a study on “adaptive” smoking cessation and several trials on new medications for smoking cessation. The new medications leverage more novel neurobiological mechanisms - NMDA receptor antagonism, nicotinic receptor antagonism, which impact addiction-based learning and cue response. Additionally, Dr. Davis serves as co-investigator on trials on lung cancer screening, e-cigarettes, minor nicotine alkaloids, imaging trials, lung function trials and others. Dr. Davis leads the Duke Smoke-Free Policy Initiative, is co-author on a national  tobacco dependence treatment guideline, and provides training in tobacco dependence treatment for the Duke School of Medicine, Duke Internal Medicine, Family Practice and Psychiatry residency programs.

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