Tips for Conquering the Literature

Alex Sundermann (G3)
September 28, 2017

As a new graduate student, I struggled with identifying the most relevant papers, organizing interesting publications, and remembering why I flagged an article as “Super Important!!!” months after I read it. I’ve synthesized a few tips for taming the task.

Transitioning to Medical School: Advice from the M2 Class

Danny Sack (M2)
September 28, 2017

The uniqueness of the Foundations of Medical Knowledge (FMK) phase makes it a challenge to offer advice without falling into clichés: “it’ll all be okay in the end,” “you’re doing fine,” and “just keep swimming.” Most of you have arrived in a new environment, have new responsibilities, and have left another life behind you, all before school starts.

Alumni Profile: James Atkinson, M.D., Ph.D.

Rachel Brown (G1)
September 28, 2017
Posted in Alumni Profiles

After growing up in Alabama, Dr. Atkinson attended Vanderbilt University, where he received a B.A. in Biology. He then entered the Vanderbilt M.D.- Ph.D. program with a Vivian B. Allen Medical Scientist Scholarship. He worked in the laboratory of Virgil LeQuire, M.D. and Larry Swift, Ph.D., where he studied the sarcoplasmic reticulum in the muscle disorder myotonia congenita using a unique animal model in goats (known as “fainting” or “nervous” goats). He completed a residency program in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at Vanderbilt, where he served as Chief Resident. He then joined the faculty in the Department of Pathology, serving as Director of the Autopsy Service at Vanderbilt and the VA and Director of Surgical Pathology, successfully attaining the rank of Professor. 

MSTPets: Part 6

Rachel Brown (G1)
September 28, 2017

Here’s an ode to our furry (or not so furry) friends who have helped us study for anatomy practicals, kept us company while we wrote our papers and thesis dissertations, and welcomed us home after a long shift on surgery.

Creation of the Alumni Committee

Matt De Niear (M4)
September 13, 2017

This past year, the MSTP Alumni Committee was created to engage former graduates of the program, maintain connections between former MSTP classmates, and provide networking opportunities for current and former students. Including the newly graduated Class of 2017, 267 students have earned MD-PhD degrees from the Vanderbilt University MSTP.  As Vanderbilt’s program has produced a remarkable number of alumni in academic and leadership positions, we believe that engagement between alumni and current students will help promote the success of the program and its graduates. Our committee looks forward to developing new programs and initiatives in connection with alumni of the Vanderbilt MSTP.

The Surgeon Scientist: A Conversation with Alumni

J-N Gallant (M3)
August 28, 2017
Posted in Alumni Profiles

As I slogged through my cancer biology PhD I felt a constant and vague unease about the future: what was I going to “do,” clinically? My PhD was coming along, as well as it could, and return to clinic seemed ever closer. I knew I wanted to be involved in the care of cancer patients; but, I wanted to approach the problem from a different angle and to use my time in another way. To these ends, I explored oncology-related surgical subspecialties during my PhD. Spending more time with each of these services led to my current passion for otolaryngology, which is what I intend to match into next year. However, now that I’m sold on a surgical career, I’m faced with the daunting prospects of life as a surgeon-scientist. There’s a clear need for basic science research in otolaryngology, especially when it comes to tumor biology. I am well positioned to make immediate impacts on people’s lives, surgically, and to make lasting contributions to the field by leading a molecular biology lab. In order learn more about what’s ahead of me, I reached out to alumni from our program who are completing or have completed surgical residencies.