Can medical schools teach high school students to be scientists?

James T. Rosenbaum, Tammy M. Martin, Kendra H. Farris, Richard B. Rosenbaum, Edward A. Neuwelt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The preeminence of science in the United States is endangered for multiple reasons, including mediocre achievement in science education by secondary school students. A group of scientists at Oregon Health and Science University has established a class to teach the process of scientific inquiry to local high school students. Prominent aspects of the class include pairing of the student with a mentor; use of a journal club format; preparation of a referenced, hypothesis driven research proposal; and a "hands-on" laboratory experience. A survey of our graduates found that 73% were planning careers in health or science. In comparison to conventional science classes, including chemistry, biology, and algebra, our students were 7 times more likely to rank the scientific inquiry class as influencing career or life choices. Medical schools should make research opportunities widely available to teenagers because this experience dramatically affects one's attitude toward science and the likelihood that a student will pursue a career in science or medicine. A federal initiative could facilitate student opportunities to pursue research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1954-1957
Number of pages4
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Education
  • Science
  • Scientific inquiry
  • Secondary school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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