Dr. Ryan Nelson has spent time volunteering in Poland, finishing top 100 in marathons, and serving as captain of his ice hockey team in High School and College. Now, after getting his B.A. in Biological Sciences at Northwestern University and his M.D. at University of Chicago, he finds himself asking a question that most M.D.s face shortly after their residency: "How do I stay at the top of my field?" Of course continuing medical education is required, but that paradigm completely misses out on the wealth of information, sometimes right next door, that is being discovered in a lab and is years away from being published in a text book.
By embedding clinical fellows like Ryan into a research lab, the next generation of clinicians will be able to actively participate in cutting-edge research that will ultimately impact the patients they see on a daily basis. During this process they will come to understand the fundamental mechanisms that drive the diseases they are treating, and in turn, relay information from the clinic back to researchers in the lab, creating a virtuous loop of improvement in medical care. This can and should be the standard for creating the future leaders in medicine, but it can only happen with your support.
"Being involved in research not only makes it exciting to be at the cutting edge of medicine but also provides one with a unique clinical perspective that tends to be particularly valuable when patients are complex and do not completely follow the textbook."