STAR-EM graduates
(L to R) The first group of STAR-EM graduates include Mary Freymond, David Wiercigroch, Abi Kirubarajan and Arshia Javidan, pictured with Dr. Steven Friedman (Program Director) and Danielle Porplycia (Program Co-Lead). Sampreeth Rao, not pictured, also completed the 10-week program. (Photo: UHN)

UHN's Emergency Departments (EDs) are providing a unique research opportunity for the next generation of emergency physicians.

The Summer Training and Research in Emergency Medicine (STAR-EM) program concluded its inaugural year this month with a cohort of five undergraduate University of Toronto medical students.

The 10-week focused research program, led by Dr. Steven Friedman and Danielle Porplycia, empowers aspiring EM researchers and clinicians who are currently enrolled in a Canadian undergraduate MD program. Students are invited to undertake work on their own summer research project under the mentorship of a UHN STAR-EM research faculty, attend in the ED to support ongoing emergency medicine projects, shadow ED physicians and attend weekly STAR-EM academic curriculum sessions.

"The success of this program is evident not just from the very positive evaluations, but from the scholarly output," says Dr. Friedman, Research Director of UHN Emergency Medicine.

Each student completed a project to the point of presentable results at a peer-reviewed scientific meeting and/or publishable manuscript, he says.

"STAR-EM was a wonderful opportunity to learn from mentors in the field, as well as contribute meaningfully to research culture," says Abi Kirubarajan, a recent STAR-EM graduate.

"There were opportunities every week to expand our understanding of emergency medicine."

Learning from the successes of its first year, the program is already in planning for its second year.

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