Objective: Medical student research involvement has evolved to be a core component of medical education and is becoming increasingly vital to success in the United States residency match. We sought to develop a research website allowing students and research faculty to collaborate and complete projects online.
Methods: The Medical Student Research Institute (MSRI) was developed by the St George’s University School of Medicine in 2009 to encourage, support, facilitate and centralize medical student research.
Results: There are 63 active students in the MSRI (22 students in basic science and 41 students in clinical rotations). The mean GPA for basic science student members was 3.81 ± 0.27 and was 3.80 ± 0.20 for clinical student members. The mean United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 score was 241.6 ± 17.5. Since 2009, MSRI students have published 87 manuscripts in 33 different journals and have presented at 14 different national and international conferences.
Conclusion: A web-based MSRI provides a virtual, entirely online resource for coordinating remote research collaboration between medical students and faculty whose opportunities would be otherwise limited. Initial experiences with the programme have been positive and the framework and concept of the MSRI provides a platform for university and medical schools to provide research opportunities to students who may not have face-to-face access to research faculty.