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Pulse - Winter 2016 Dean's Message: A Brilliant Discovery

Discovery Day, our annual day of research, is the modern version of research days long held by our legacy institutions, Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann Medical College. In the late 1990s, three MD/PhD students at the merged MCPHU School of Medicine wanted to resurrect the concept, and Discovery Day was born. The first edition drew 35 abstracts and was held in the basement of MCP Hospital's Ann Preston Hall. Later the event found its home at the Queen Lane Campus; ever since, the number of people, presentations and activities has grown.

Daniel V. Schidlow, MD

Daniel V. Schidlow, MD

This year, for the first time in its history Discovery Day moved off campus, to a grand space: the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This was very exciting. The venue gave the whole proceedings a sense of relevance or gravitas that we could not have achieved having the event "at home." There was a great sense of enthusiasm — you could feel the vibrancy.

What was very impressive — beyond the quantity of poster abstracts — was that we had research that ranged from urban health community-based studies to education issues to molecular biology and very refined science, all presented by trainees — students, residents, post-docs. It was an enormous array of subjects and represented great involvement by our faculty. I thought: This is who we really are, a community of questioning, a community of learning.

One thing that was particularly gratifying for me was that alumni came to act as judges of the poster presentations — it served to link our alumni with our current students. Also the L.M. "Bill" Stephenson Lecture was given by a fascinating speaker — a neurosurgeon who straddles the worlds of basic science and clinical medicine, with a background in engineering, too.

All in all, Discovery 2016 set a new standard for showcasing our research education efforts and their success.

Here I would like to make a plug for faculty to sponsor medical student research projects. The students' interest in participating in research continues to grow, and we want to continue to increase the number of research opportunities available to them. If you have a research project — ongoing or a new idea — in which you are willing to mentor a student, please respond to the annual email call.

We continue to be excited by the kinds of students that are coming into our College in all programs. I've gotten to speak with quite a few of them at lunch or in the corridors, and I am always impressed with how thoughtful and insightful our students are and how motivated they seem.

Daniel V. Schidlow, MD
Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Dean
Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs

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