Comprehensive Opportunities for Research and Teaching Experience (CORTEX): A mentorship program

Neurology. 2015 Jun 9;84(23):2372-6. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001663. Epub 2015 May 8.


Objective: We developed a program to promote medical student interest in pursuing a career in neurology. This program focuses on medical student mentorship. It also offers opportunities in teaching and clinical research in order to provide students with marketable skills for an academic career in neurology.

Methods: Through this program, students are provided with guidance in developing a fourth-year clerkship schedule and an application package for residency programs. Students are involved and mentored in clinical research. Opportunities are also provided for students to teach their peers, with sessions focusing on examination preparation.

Results: Since the implementation of this program in 2010, the number of students entering into the field of neurology from our institution significantly increased from 14 students between 2006 and 2010, to 30 students between 2011 and 2014 (p < 0.05). Medical student research productivity increased from 7 publications during 2006-2010, to 22 publications, 14 poster presentations, and a book chapter after implementation of this program in 2010 (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: In this mentoring program, students are prepared for residency application and provided with research and teaching opportunities. Students develop a highly desirable academic skill set for residency and have matched at top-ranked institutions. This program has been successful in improving student productivity in clinical research and garnering student interest in neurology.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / education*
  • Career Choice*
  • Clinical Clerkship
  • Curriculum / standards*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / standards*
  • Humans
  • Mentors*
  • Neurology / education*
  • Program Development
  • Teaching
  • Vocational Guidance / methods
  • Vocational Guidance / standards