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Summer Scholar Program

The Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Children’s Mercy is offering a summer research experience to 2 medical students with an interest in orthopedic surgery. This program allows the students to build critical skills to be a successful clinician, through education about and participation in the research process. Additionally, this program allows promising medical students to the exposure to the fields of pediatric and adolescent orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. The research projects performed address important clinical questions that affect the musculoskeletal health of the children and adolescent patients.


  • Provide education and experience in the depth and breadth of the research process early in the student’s career.
  • Provide clinical experience and knowledge of orthopedic surgery and sports medicine.
  • Provide experience that supports the student to enter competitive residency programs.
  • Provide mentorship with an academic staff member(s).
  • Encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and research among our trainees and professional staff.
  • Support and encourage the pursuit of orthopedic surgery as a career for women and underrepresented minorities.

Program structure

Research projects. In order to experience the entirety of the research process required for project completion, each summer scholar will work on a minimum of 2 projects:

  1. Retrospective study which has had IRB approval prior to arrival. Data collection and statistical analysis will be performed with the goal of an abstract prepared for submission. Completion of manuscript is encouraged but not required.
  2. Second project will involve a literature search, project development and IRB submission.
  3. Additional projects as time allows.

Teamwork. The key to successful research is teamwork! Scholars will be dedicated to specific projects and will be paired with a resident or fellow on each research project, in addition to a faculty member. Expect to work together as a team during their time at Children’s Mercy Hospital toward project completion.

Weekly structure. In addition to participation in individual research projects, the scholars will have various opportunities for research and orthopedic education. This includes a recorded lecture series on various research topics, orthopedic didactic teaching sessions for residents, clinical exposure through shadowing in both the clinic and the operating room.

Mentors. The student will work with several mentors on staff in the Children’s Mercy Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Department. A project will be a collaborative effort between the student, resident and the mentor.

Requirements for application

Eligible students.
 Medical students who have completed their first year of medical school and are in good standing, from both allopathic and osteopathic schools are eligible. Students from outside of the Kansas City area are considered and encouraged to apply.

The successful applicant will be motivated, intellectually curious, diverse in experiences of community service and leadership and work well with a team.

Program duration. The summer scholar positions are aimed at the time between the first and second year of medical school, with the expectation of 8-10 weeks of participation. 30 hours/week is required or a comparable amount of time during the summer between May and August. Project start dates will generally be May 15, based upon completion date of the academic year.

The recipient of this award will receive a $3,000 stipend to cover living and travel (if necessary) expenses for the summer.

Submission of application:

  • CV
  • Essay expressing experience and/or interest in program

Please send required documents to:

Julia Leamon, RN MSN, CPN
Clinical Research Coordinator
Department of Orthopedic Surgery
(816) 460-1036

Application timeline

Application submission: Nov. 30, 2023
Interview offers extended: Dec. 20, 2023
Virtual interviews: First week of January, 2024