For most students in the medical school, summer means more than sand and sun. It's also a time to explore experiences beyond the walls of the medical school and hospital.

Research, conferences and internships took center stage for a handful of students highlighted below. Read on to see how they spent their summer days.


Sarah AndrewSarah Andrew

M2 Sarah Andrew participated in a one-week, immersive Summer Institute for Medical Students at the Hazelden Betty Ford Center, the nation's largest nonprofit addiction treatment provider. At the center's Rancho Mirage, California, location, Andrew and other medical students shadowed patients undergoing treatment for addiction. "I hope that through this program, I will be able to approach [those struggling with addiction] with a bit more understanding and compassion, and that I will be able to provide resources and tools to aid them in their recovery process."


Justin ChangJustin Chang

M2 Justin Chang participated in the National Institutes of Health Summer Internship Program studying a common cause of blindness. The internship was an opportunity for Chang to return to the National Eye Institute where he continued research he'd begun as a post-baccalaureate fellow. He hopes the research could prevent the growth of scar tissue that causes the detachment of the retina -- and, for many, blindness.


Cockburn and Schwienteck cropChelsea Cockburn and Katie Schwienteck

M.D.-Ph.D student Chelsea Cockburn and Ph.D. candidate Katie Schwienteck attended this year's prestigious Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany. Dedicated to physiology and medicine, the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, held in June, gathered an all-time record 43 Nobel Laureates. "One common theme at the meeting was to never make winning a Nobel Prize the goal of your career. Do what you love that will benefit humanity. That is more important than any award."


Mark FegerMark Feger

M4 Mark Feger, Ph.D., received the National Athletic Trainers Association's Perrin Doctoral Dissertation Award in June for his research on ankle injury rehabilitation. That background serves the future orthopaedic surgeon well. "Orthopaedic surgeons help people do the things they love. That means going for a walk or a run, spending time with their families, or going back to their job. We help people maintain their function and do the things they enjoy doing."


Audra InessAudra Iness

In July, M.D.-Ph.D. student Audra Iness took the reins for a one-year term as president of the American Physician Scientists Association, an organization led by trainees, for trainees. As APSA president, Iness promotes key initiatives including mentorship and establishing an international consortium of physician-scientist trainee organizations. She recently returned from a conference in Canada and regularly speaks with M.D.-Ph.D. students across the globe about the challenges they face and ways to learn from one another.


Paulius Mui Paulius Mui

Through his research, M2 Paulius Mui hopes to capture what happens to patients when a rural physician leaves the community and use their perspective to inform policy and recruit physicians to low-population areas. In June, the fmSTAT student presented his early findings to a group of leaders from the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health and the Collaborative for Rural Primary care, Research, Education and Practice (Rural PREP). It was really an incredible opportunity for me to get guidance in very targeted ways to make this project more successful."