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Cynthia Sprenger
Western Medical Research Conference logo
March 11, 2024

Training the next generation of scholars

Volunteers help medical students prepare research abstracts, provide feedback.
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Education Research

Many students have never given a formal oral or poster presentation or had the opportunity to defend their research in front of an audience comprised of researchers, faculty, residents, and fellow students. Additionally, traditional medical school training doesn't provide much direction as to how to best prepare for such experiences.

The annual Western Medical Research Conference (WMRC) provides an opportunity for students to receive mentorship and feedback prior to submitting their abstracts, and demonstrate ownership of their medical research via presentation and defense of their research in a formal yet relaxing environment where they can be supported by faculty and fellow residents and students.

Dr. Cynthia Sprenger, research assistant professor (Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine) and Director of Medical Student Scholarship for the UW School of Medicine, provides an annual seminar to University of Washington medical students on how to prepare an abstract.

Students submit abstracts of their Independent, Investigative, Inquiry (Triple I) projects to her and she has faculty members from across WWAMI who volunteer their time to review the abstracts and provide feedback. This feedback is then shared with the students, so they have a chance to revise their abstracts before submitting them to the conference.

This year, a record number of MS2 students were accepted to give presentations at the conference - 51 oral presentations and 13 poster presentations.

In addition, 7 students were selected by WMRC to receive specialty awards, including the Edwin O. Osgood award given to the student with the highest scoring abstract overall.  


The Western Medical Research Conference (WMRC) is a forum of combined Western professional societies: Western Association for Physicians/Western Society for Clinical Investigation (WAP/WSCI), Western Section, American Federation for Medical Research (WAFMR), Western Students and Resident Medical Research Forum (WSMRF), and Western Society for Pediatric Research (WSPR). It is held in annually in January in Carmel, CA.