A Glimpse Into the Future of Healthcare Delivery

KPSOM students showcase research projects focused on an array of health conditions and challenges

October 11, 2023

KPSOM student Kelly Shriver displays her project at the Student Scholarship Symposium.

KPSOM student Kelly Shriver displays her project at the Student Scholarship Symposium.

The Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine (KPSOM) recently held its inaugural Student Scholarship Symposium to celebrate the scholarly achievements of its class of 2024 students. The symposium featured an impressive array of research projects covering diverse health conditions, medical education, and health equity, and provided a platform for students to share their work with the school's community. The event marked the culmination of three years of dedicated research by the students. 

“The first KPSOM Student Scholarship Symposium was a resounding success,” said Jonathan Finkelstein, MD, MPH, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship. “It emphasized our school's commitment to fostering excellence in medical research and education, as well as providing a glimpse into the promising future of healthcare delivery, driven by the passion and dedication of these aspiring physicians.”

Founding Dean and CEO Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, and Finkelstein delivered introductory remarks, setting the stage for a day of intellectual exchange and discovery. The event was carefully scheduled to allow students from other classes to interact with the presenting students, fostering dialogue and a deeper understanding of the research.

One of the unique aspects of the symposium was the opportunity for faculty, staff, and invited guests from outside the school to engage with the students and their research. The day included two in-person poster presentation sessions as well as a virtual poster session enabling colleagues from Kaiser Permanente research units in different regions to participate and share their insights.

“I spent time during the event looking at all the work and taking in the ‘buzz’ of this brilliant event,” said Chileshe Nkonde Price, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Clinical Science and Research Mentor for the Student Scholarly Project.

Faculty, students, and visitors peruse the scholarly projects on display at the symposium.

Faculty, students, and visitors peruse the scholarly projects on display at the symposium.

“Although several of the students were not my mentees, I have had the privilege of teaching them (in my role as a Phase 1 Small Group Facilitator) and so had spent time with several of the students early on in their med school careers, when their ideas, identities, and passions were forming,” Price added. “I was wholeheartedly unsurprised by the variety, excellence, and innovation they demonstrated. Truly inspiring!”

The symposium was not just about showcasing research but also about celebrating the students' commitment to addressing critical healthcare questions. Many projects delved into underrepresented areas of medical research, such as LGBTQ+ health and other topics that often receive limited attention. These projects utilized diverse data sources, including the Kaiser Permanente system, to seek answers to pressing healthcare delivery challenges.

The event also fostered mentorship and collaboration. Students had the opportunity to receive feedback, engage in meaningful discussions, and present their findings to the broader community. Anonymous student comments about mentors were displayed, recognizing the valuable guidance provided throughout the research process.

“KPSOM is especially focused on making real the idea of a learning health system: Deepening our understanding of health from the perspective of patients and communities, collecting data as we engage in healthcare, and directly applying it to improve healthcare systems,” Finkelstein said in his remarks at the symposium. “We also focus on looking carefully at what we do in medical education and learning from that as well, all the while thinking critically about evidence that is handed to us, and thinking with humility about the evidence we contribute.”