the M.S.C.I. Program at meharry

The Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program at Meharry Medical College is a two-year curriculum designed to prepare clinical faculty and fellows for careers in clinical research. The curriculum has two concentrations: Patient-Oriented Research (Track 1) and Epidemiology/Health Service Research (Track 2). Instruction includes core courses, electives, and experimental design sessions for research that spans the spectrum of translational science, ranging from molecular medicine to epidemiology to qualitative research. Each trainee, during the first year, develops a research project and establishes a mentoring committee, which reviews the project and assists the trainee with design and implementation. The trainee then conducts the research trial and analyzes the data to present a seminar and prepare a research paper.

The didactic phase has now been extended to include a mentoring component until the graduate is a successfully funded, independent clinical investigator. Program candidates must be doctoral candidates or have their doctoral degrees and must have sufficient time to commit to the course of studies. Relevant doctoral degrees are M.D., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.O., N.D., Ph.D., or Pharm.D. Trainees commit substantial time to the program but can still continue their routine clinical work, although on a reduced level.

Some of the projects currently undertaken by M.S.C.I. scholars are:

  • Numeracy disparities in diabetes: Hispanics and children
  • Evaluation of Raman spectroscopy to facilitate screening of women for cervical cancer
  • Acculturation of dietary changes in gestational diabetes
  • HPV serotypes in Africa and Nashville subjects with HIV
  • Disparities in pneumococcal antibody response to vaccine
  • Evaluating racial and age disparities in rehabilitation medicine
  • Prevalence/associations of urinary incontinence in underserved populations
  • Mortality and readmission rate of diastolic heart failure in African Americans
  • Motivational interviews to improve diabetes care in rural minorities
  • Disparities in mammography screening
  • Race-specific factors in occupational exposure in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Smoking cessation prognosticators in VA outpatient population
  • Asthma disparities in underserved populations: perception of symptoms
  • Disparities in motivation for obesity education
  • Oral pathology impact on systemic health

The M.S.C.I. Program is a multidisciplinary curriculum designed to provide: (1) a broad set of understandings and capabilities that enable collaboration across a wide range of disciplines and (2) a disciplinary depth to the scholar's chosen area of concentration. The curriculum emphasizes health care disparities affecting minority and underserved populations to resonate with the mission of the College. The first year is intensive for this instruction; additional instruction is also offered during the second year. The core curriculum consists of 25 hours of the 36 required for completion of the M.S.C.I. degree.