Medical students as researchers

Brandenburg an der Havel, 4 February 2019

47 medical students presented posters on the Brandenburg campus last Friday, to illustrate research projects and findings from 25 different disciplines which they developed within the 8-week scientific internship. Five winners (not four as originally planned) received poster prizes of 100 EUR respectively.

René Mantke, MHB Vice Dean for Research and Academic Affairs: “The idea behind the 8-week module in the Brandenburg medical model curriculum is to familiarize students with methods and procedures required in scientific projects, in the critical evaluation and assessment of specialist literature and also in the summary and presentation of research results. The best way to learn this is to develop and implement one’s own research project.”

As part of the scheduled revision of medical training in Germany, the Federal Government’s Science Council and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research have demanded a stronger focus on training in academic methods and research. The MHB already meets this demand with the scientific internship in the 6th semester and a module on “methods of scientific work” over several preceding semesters. Mantke points out with some pride that this format as an integral part of the medical curriculum is unique in Germany and sets standards.

MHB president Prof. Dr. Edmund Neugebauer and Prof. Mantke acted as presenters of the student-organized scientific meeting in conclusion of the internship, where a total of four student groups presented their posters to three expert reviewers respectively. Prof. Neugebauer underlined the practical relevance and interdisciplinary character of the Brandenburg medical model curriculum on the one hand, and its scientific orientation on the other. Apart from the skills and competences required in professional practice, the curriculum also conveys the scientific foundations of university medicine, so Neugebauer: “In this way we ensure the quality of future health care. It is our mission to educate future physicians and researchers and to establish standards of good scientific practice.”

Following each poster presentation of 10 minutes respectively, reviewers asked detailed questions about the project. Criteria in the subsequent evaluation were comprehensibility of research question, methods and results, appealing layout and design of the poster, and its eye-catching effect. Another factor was the quality of oral presentation.

Prof. Mantke praised the wide range of topics addressed, and the lively and stimulating debates among students and colleagues. He declared himself pleased with the generally high standard of projects and the quality of the posters. No easy task for the reviewers, so Mantke, to select the award-winning projects and posters.

Other than in the previous year, no ranking between awards was to be implied, and the prizes were to go to the best of each group. However, one expert group with Prof. Christian Butter, Dr. Meike Hoffmeister and PD Dr. Erik Glocker found two projects to be equally qualified; the reviewers decided on the spot to endow an additional prize, so that the total number of awards – the four others were again financed by the MHB donors association - came up to five.

This year’s poster award winners (for original titles of posters/projects see German website and the abstract compendium/link below): Lukas Einhäupl, Julia Gleumes, Sebastian Kersten, Frederick Kolb, Sophie Sandner.

Here you find an abstract compendium with overviews of all projects.