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6 Reasons Students Should Engage in Research During their Medical Education

by May 30, 2018

Home » NUHS Blog » 6 Reasons Students Should Engage in Research During their Medical Education

National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) holds a highly respected position in evidence-based medical research, and as such, students are strongly encouraged to reap the rewards of participating in it during their time at the University.

Research offers numerous benefits and is a great way for students to further their understanding of a specific field, as well as any specialties in which they may be interested.

Here are 6 reasons why students may want to engage in research during their education:

1) Expands the professional field

Students contribute to the volume and quality of medical research by writing case studies, participating in research, and research design. They may also contribute to the advancement of health care by spreading what they’ve learned to their patients, friends, communities, and perhaps most importantly, to policy makers.

A commitment to solid research is one of the ways NUHS provides leadership for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professions worldwide. The research department at National University pursues collaborative research projects that integrate work from the different medical specialties represented on campus and with other universities.

2) Strengthens careers

Participating in research projects is valuable to help pave the way for success when applying to advanced and professional education programs, for building a professional practice, or for pursuing an academic career.

The practical aspect of research and its methodology helps students prepare for the joys–and demands–of a career. Students who practice their vocations using evidence and solid reasoning abilities are the ones who will succeed as health care continues to evolve. It also hones communications skills. Practitioners and policy-makers must speak the same language: policy makers make health care decisions–including how to pay for it–and they base those decisions on evidence supported by solid research from qualified medical professionals.

Dean Smith, MS, DC, PhD, class of 1997, learned his love of research as a student at National University. In fact, it’s shaped his career and earned him professional recognition. In addition to chiropractic practice, he has been a faculty member at Miami University of Ohio for many years, and earlier this year received the George B. McClelland, DC, Researcher of the Year Award from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) at its National Chiropractic Leadership Conference (NCLC). To find out more about Dr. Smith’s passion for research and his career advice for students, see ACA Names NUHS Alum Researcher of the Year.

3) Provides financial support

Students and their families are always seeking ways to offset the cost of tuition. Involvement in research projects as a Research Assistant provides some financial support for students, while preparing them for internships at the same time.

4) Improves academic performance

The joy of discovery helps nurture learning when it takes on an active vs. passive role. It allows students to take ownership of their work and offers real-world demonstration of the concepts and principles they might otherwise learn only in the classroom, in textbooks or online.

Students may not even realize they have a special interest in a particular area unless they have the benefit of participating in research. An active learning environment is an intellectually challenging one; that sense of challenge may lead students to pursue special interests within the CAM professions. For example, a student researcher may become intrigued with chiropractic, naturopathic, or oriental medicine, acupuncture, or massage therapy while engaged in a project outside his or her elected field of study.

5) Nurtures mentoring and professional relationships

Research, and the process of conducting it, should be a win-win prospect for students and faculty. Not only may faculty mentors become a great source of guidance and career references, the experience paves the way for a lifetime of collegiality and connectedness within the health care professions.

An important aspect of NUHS’ commitment to tomorrow’s practitioners is mentoring the next generation of researchers. Having residencies, fellowships and research assistant positions to offer students gives the University a means to do that.

6) Improves collaborative skills

Experience working with a group, interacting with classmates–who will one day become colleagues–and solid communications skills are highly sought after in the workplace. Being part of a research team provides a test ground for students to awaken, recognize and sharpen their collaborative abilities before actually entering the professional world.

Collaboration is the foundation of integrative health care, and ultimately about providing the highest standards of patient care. Because of the increasing scope of integrative medicine, learning to work well as a member of a team is critical for success no matter which CAM field students pursue.

Find out more about student success through NUHS research opportunities today. 

Explore your career and research opportunities in the field of integrative medicine by checking out our complimentary online resource library.


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About the Author

Dr. Gregory Cramer

Dr. Gregory Cramer

Gregory D. Cramer, DC, Ph.D., is the Dean of Research at National University of Health Sciences. He graduated from National in 1979. After receiving his Ph.D., he began teaching anatomy and conducting research at the University. Dr. Cramer has worked on over 25 externally funded, and over 10 NIH-funded projects. In 2005, he was honored by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) with its Researcher of the Year Award. He has published over 200 abstracts, papers, and book chapters, and is co-author of Basic and Clinical Anatomy of the Spine, Spinal Cord, and ANS.


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