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J La State Med Soc. 2016 Sep-Oct;168(5):166. Epub 2016 Oct 15.

Medical Student Journals: Teaching The Peer-Review Process and Promoting Academic Mentorship.

Author information

Brown University School of Medicine in Providence, RI.
Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO.
Department of Medicine at the Louisiana State Univeristy Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA.
Professor of Pediatrics and cheif of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Louisiana State University Health Shreveport.


Early exposure to research and longitudinal academic mentorship encourages medical student interest in academic careers and postgraduate research productivity. There are various ways for students to gain exposure to research in medical school; however, there are very few opportunities for medical students to participate in the peer-review process as a reviewer or editor for an academic journal. One potential method to supply such educational experiences is the creation of scientific journals specifically for medical students. Medical student research journals provide a platform for students to develop a scholarly voice as authors, reviewers, and editors. As the corresponding author of their own work, student authors learn to communicate professionally to address reviewer concerns. As peer-reviewers in training, students learn to analyze manuscripts for quality and document their concerns in a cohesive manner under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The authors elected to model the reviewer and editor education process in the spirit of traditional medical education, with student reviewers and editors "presenting" their assessments to the "attending" faculty advisor to obtain feedback on performance. Student journals have the potential to bolster critical thinking and communication skills, provide longitudinal faculty mentorship opportunities, and promote interest in physician-scientist and academic medical careers.

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