Summer research opportunities (SRO) through NW HERON are available to M.D. program students who are between their first and second year of medical school. SROs are intended for those who are willing to commit to a 4-week minimum immersion. The work done over the summer may count toward the Student Scholarly Project graduation requirement. No more than 160 hours of work is recommended to be completed on the project in the recess between the first and second years of medical school. Generally speaking, the commitment for a 4-week experience is 40 hours a week.
The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine currently has affiliation agreements with clinical practices across Washington that are interested in partnering on the education of health care professionals. One of the initial steps is to expand an emerging practice-based research network (PBRN), which is vested in collaborating with rural, tribal (Indian Health Service/Tribal/Urban), and urban underserved primary care practices to solve issues facing the practice and the communities served by those practices. The PBRN is housed within WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Institute for Research to Advance Community Health (IREACH), and Health Equity Research Center (HERC), and is known as The Northwest Health Education and Research Outcomes Network (NW HERON). The network’s clinics are predominantly based in central and eastern Washington state. Summer research opportunities with NW HERON will simultaneously provide research and training experiences that are incorporated into medical and graduate student education at WSU. To inform large funding proposals, we need to gather data across multiple clinical partner sites, interview providers to assess provider-specific needs, and create resources for our organizational function, such as the expansion of a protocol manual, draft reports, conference planning, and a website that will help connect network members and host maps of patient characteristics and health conditions pertinent to practice locations. These tasks will expose interested students to health care planning from the community level, including a focus on delivery, priorities, and strategic planning with a variety of community partners through secondary data analysis of existing public data. This is an important foundational activity to creating a much larger research enterprise that stands to benefit researchers across several WSU colleges, health care facilities throughout Washington, and the health and well-being of Washingtonians for years to come.