FLAGSHIP, UCF’s online research journal channel for the College of Medicine, is expanding to medical schools across Florida to increase submissions from students, medical residents and faculty.
Since opening in 2016 within the Cureus.com platform, FLAGSHIP has published 135 articles with nearly 60,000 content views. Its research — from basic sciences to clinical case reports — can be searched on PubMed and Google Scholar.
Juan Cendan, the College of Medicine’s chair of medical education, says all five public medical schools in Florida — University of Florida, Florida State, University of South Florida, Florida Atlantic and Florida International — have agreed to participate in FLAGSHIP along with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. FIU expects to be the first to join FLAGSHIP soon.
“This is a unique opportunity to take a breath and be introspective about something that interests you.” – Juan Cendan, COM’s chair of medical education
As students, faculty and staff work remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cendan and other medical school leaders have urged colleagues to use the time away from campus to do research and other scholarly activity. “This is a unique opportunity to take a breath and be introspective about something that interests you,” Cendan says, “to reflect on what’s happening in the world at large and study it.”
The societal impact of COVID-19 offers myriad research opportunities, he added, noting that Cureus.com added 35 new research studies on the pandemic in just the past two weeks. Topics ranged from how COVID-19 had impacted subway ridership in Seoul, South Korea to research on muscle breakdown in patients suffering from the virus.
“With this pandemic, we have an opportunity, if not a duty, to study its effects on our work,” Cendan says. “And FLAGSHIP can be the platform for sharing that information with our state and the world.”
UCF’s new Academic Health Sciences Center — which brings together the colleges of Nursing, Medicine, and Health Professions and Sciences — offers unique opportunities for interdisciplinary research, as does the College of Medicine’s new Department of Public Health Sciences and other colleges such as Engineering, he says.
“With this pandemic, we have an opportunity, if not a duty, to study its effects on our work.” – Juan Cendan, COM’s chair of medical education
Many of FLAGSHIP’s current studies are case reports, where students and residents examine a case they encountered where the patient had unique symptoms or reacted to treatment in an atypical way. Cendan used COVID-19 as an example of the critical thinking residents and students need in their approach to care and research. “At first we thought this was some kind of flu,” he says. “And then someone asked, ‘What makes these patients different? They’re not falling into the typical patterns we see with a respiratory virus. What’s going on?’ ”
Research submissions to FLAGSHIP are peer-reviewed. It usually takes several months from submission for the research to be reviewed, edited and published. Such publications can help distinguish medical students for residencies and residents for fellowships, Cendan says.