May 2, 2013

Film festival highlights medical students’ work

Replica Oscars were presented at the first annual "Stories in Science" film screening. (Photo by Susan Urmy)

First-year Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) students presented their first projects on April 25 at the Student Life Center, as part of a new program at VUSM. The projects were video documentaries about the “what and the why” of being a physician scientist. The film presentations were the culmination of the first year of the new Research Curriculum program at the School of Medicine, focused on the importance of discovery in medicine.

The Research Curriculum’s project received a Curb Creative Campus Innovation Grant Award from the Curb Programs in Creative Enterprise & Public Leadership, to support the work both financially and intellectually. Beginning in August 2012, the students shot videotape, interviewed physician scientists, staff and faculty, to discover and tell Vanderbilt’s stories of science within their four College groups. The students will also use these stories as part of their service-learning focus on research in their fourth year.

Vanderbilt Film Studies students were recruited to edit the final projects into 10-to-15 minute documentaries, complete with visual effects, music and narration. The films were presented at the “Stories of Science” celebration, which included tongue-in-cheek awards for “most inspiring video” and the documentary “most likely to be a Vanderbilt commercial.”

The Research Curriculum, which now spans all four years of medical school, falls within the larger VUSM Office of Medical Student Research, directed by Tina Hartert, M.D., MPH, associate dean for Physician-Researcher Training. For more information about the program, go to