Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) involve students in scientific research projects. CUREs may improve student retention, critical thinking and gender and racial diversity in the sciences. Undergraduates who participate in the design, conduct and dissemination of research results report positive outcomes including the intention to pursue graduate education or careers in science. In 2012, the UNM Department of Emergency Medicine began offering the Research in Acute Care (RAC) course track, a clinic-based CURE in human subject research (HSR). This research evaluates the impact of RAC course track on student career plans. We asked 193 current and former RAC students to complete a survey including 5 point Likert scale questions on course experiences, current employment and education statuses, and future career plans. The survey was distributed by email and responses were recorded anonymously. Sixty-nine students completed the survey resulting in a 37% response rate. Respondents were 54% female, with a median age 24 years, 74% were white, 16 % Asian, 4% black, with 35% identifying as Hispanic. Almost all respondents reported they were satisfied with course and that the RAC course track developed their ability to think critically about research. Fifty-nine percent were subsequently accepted to graduate programs, including clinical doctoral programs (N = 33) and non-clinical doctoral programs (N = 5). Ninety-three percent said knowledge and experience gained in the course was valuable for their chosen career and 67% reported the course influenced their education/career choice. Twenty-eight percent reported current employment in a research occupation. Students reported the RAC course track influenced their education and employment intentions and improved their critical thinking skills. The RAC track provides a confluence of clinical observation and HSR experience not available in any other undergraduate context.
Bussmann, Silas; Danielle Albright; and Lynne Fullerton. "The Influence of a Clinical Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience on Career Choice." (2019). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hsc_ed_day/43