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Annual research symposium helps Eastern Campus students and residents build vital research skills

Annual research symposium helps Eastern Campus students and residents build vital research skills

For more than a decade, the annual research symposium at the WVU School of Medicine’s Eastern Campus has provided learners with a platform to conduct vital research while building their investigative and presentation skills.

Associate professor William Lewis, M.D., who oversees the symposium, said the purpose of the event is twofold – to provide students and residents with crucial research experience and to showcase all of the great work being done across the campus.

“Medicine is a constantly evolving field, and research is the engine that expands our knowledge,” Dr. Lewis said. “Having an understanding of how to conduct detailed research and communicate those outcomes is crucial for anyone in healthcare, and that is exactly what we offer our learners through this symposium.”

Participation in the symposium is open to all third- and fourth-year medical students at the Eastern Campus, as well as residents in the Rural Family Medicine Residency Program and members of the Eastern Campus faculty. Participants are required to conduct a full-scale research project and produce a poster and an abstract summarizing their results. They then formally present their project to a panel of faculty judges, and winners are honored at the next faculty development meeting.

Lewis explained that participants can select their own research topics, which typically fall into broad categories such as quality improvement projects, retrospective chart reviews, case reports and educational initiatives.

“Allowing our learners to pursue topics that they are passionate about not only increases their engagement throughout each step of the research process, but it also ensures that a variety of unique projects across a wide range of research topics will be showcased at the symposium,” he said.

Lewis added that several past projects have led to significant improvements in care throughout the area, including an increase in access to hepatitis C treatment and changes being made to antibiotic prescriptions to reduce complications.

The 13th annual Eastern Campus Research Symposium will be held on Friday, March 22, at the Health Sciences Center Eastern Division in Martinsburg, and will feature more than 30 research posters from students and residents.

To learn more about the Eastern Campus, visit