Medical Student Summer Research Program

Vanderbilt Orthopaedics Medical Student Summer Research Program

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery has a medical student summer research program for students between the first and second year or second and third year of medical school.  

This 8-week program will allow medical students to conduct clinical, basic, or translational research in the Department under the direction of an established mentor.  In addition to working on a research project, students will observe clinical patient care and attend weekly seminars on research skills and/or orthopaedic hands-on skills.  

At the conclusion of the summer, each student will present a brief summary of his/her work at a scientific symposium.

Things to Know

A $4,000 stipend will be provided to all accepted applicants.

Housing will be available on the Vanderbilt University campus for those interested.

Program Dates

The program runs from June 5th, 2023 to July 28th, 2023.

The application deadline is January 1st, 2023.

How to Apply

Applications open October 1, 2022 and will close January 1, 2023. Please use the Redcap link below to submit your application.

Summer Research Program Redcap Application

Student Testimonials


"The interview process allowed me to get to know the faculty and their research interests. By the end of the interviews, I understood what each physician wanted to do and what would be expected of me. These expectations and research interests aligned with what I wanted to pursue this summer."

"I chose to attend VUMC's program because it aligned most with my goals for the summer - gaining clinical exposure while conducting research in orthopedic surgery and meeting orthopedic surgeons and residents. In addition I believed it would offer me the chance to get to know the VUMC residency program early on."

"Vanderbilt's program was at the top of my list because this was the only program where I felt like there was an emphasis on the clinical side of Orthopedics along with research.  I already had quite a bit of research experience coming into this summer and I felt like I was lacking very much in how much time I'd spent in the clinic and OR. This program has given me more clinic and OR time in one month than what I've been able to do at my home program during the entire last year. I think that will make a big difference come 2nd and 3rd year when I begin my clinical rotations."

"VUMC was most attractive to me since it seemed that there would be the best mix of research and clinical experiences. Also, most other programs don't even do interviews and I like that VUMC took the time to conduct interviews with both the program directors and potential PI's. It makes the application experience more personal so that it doesn't feel like you are being judged just by what is on a piece of paper."

"The support I have received from others in the program has been amazing. Dr. Coronado has been an excellent resource in addition to my mentor."

"I LOVE this program. I can't sing it's praises enough, each day I learn a ton, whether it's terminology in the resident conferences, conversing with students and residents in between cases, observing different treatments and conditions in the clinic and in the OR, and how to use different casts for different problems. In short, everything has been fascinating!"

"I can't emphasize enough how easy it has been to reach my mentors. That has been my favorite part. Having them available to answer my questions has made my research work much easier and also has given me a good support system here. The connection all of us students have been able to build with our mentors is probably the biggest plus of the program."

"Resident conferences have been really engaging, even though they are complicated, and gives us a glimpse into what education and learning will be like as a resident. Shadowing has been great since it is often difficult to find time during school to do so or to even get sessions set up with surgeons since they are so busy. I'm a very hands-on learning type of person so I especially have enjoyed the casting sessions and the sawbones workshop."