Medical Tutorials are semester-long mentorship experiences offered through, and sponsored by, faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Students earn academic credit for the experience.

Completion of one semester of a medical tutorial is a requirement of the program. Each student works alongside a mentor in one of the following broad categories:

  • Clinical research
  • Basic laboratory research
  • Educational research
  • Translational research
  • Clinical trials
  • Community outreach and awareness
  • Hospital quality improvement

Medical tutorials provide the opportunity for students to explore areas within medicine. Students who want to gain either introductory or more advanced research experience may find opportunities in various departments within the School of Medicine.

Students can participate in common tutorials that are offered annually for postbac students or create their own to complement their previous experiences or investigate new interests. Students may continue in the same tutorial for two successive semesters, or they may enroll in one tutorial in the fall and another in the spring to maximize their view of the possibilities within the medical profession. 

Example Tutorials

The following examples of Medical Tutorials show the range of areas in medicine that our students have experienced:

  • Clinical Research in Voice and Voice Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders: Basic Concept of Behavioral Phenotypes
  • Conducting Clinical Research in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • Molecular Genetics of Sudden Cardiac Death
  • Structural Biology of Pathways Altered in Cancer
  • Substance Addiction Consultation Service Clinical & Research Practicum
  • Biomedical Engineering Applications in Cancer
  • Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Disease
  • Clinical Care of Patients with Movement Disorders
  • Medical Microbiology/Antibiotics Research
  • Functional Imaging of Bacterial Infection
  • Clinical Pediatric Neurosurgery
  • Protein Quality Control in Yeast; a Model for Neurodegenerative Disorders

Faculty Mentors

Charlotte Sumner

Charlotte Sumner, M.D., Professor of Neurology

Students in Dr. Sumner’s lab work work side-by-side with lab staff on projects related to advancing treatments for genetic diseases of motor neurons and peripheral nerves, such as spinal muscular atrophy and Charcot Marie Tooth disease. Some students also attend clinic to see the direct translational relevance of the laboratory work.  

“I particularly enjoy interacting with postbac students because they often have a previous experience that provides a unique view of medicine. [A recent student’s] decision to stay on in the lab after the formal postbac program was particularly exciting as he came from a finance background and had not previously done any biomedical research. He became a true leader in the laboratory, presented his work at an international SMA meeting and is currently completing a manuscript on which he is an author.”

Panagis Galiatsatos

Panagis Galiatsatos, MD, MHS, Co-director, Medicine for Greater Good

Medicine for Greater Good has hosted almost 40 postbac students since 2015. They focus on teaching the students the science of community engagement and its ability to mitigate health disparities. They train students in public speaking, dissemination of public health, and grassroots engagement with communities. All MGG faculty attempt to meet with students 2 times a year, with a focus on career goals and how to best advocate for their careers.

All of the students who have enrolled in our tutorial have asked, and have received, letters of support and mock interviews for graduate school programs. We are invested in their career! They are key members to MGG’s work and a few have even been hired afterwards by our community partners.

Student Experiences

We asked our students to tell us about their Medical Tutorial.

“I got to spend time in the ICU, and learn more about infectious disease. The team was so supportive and always willing to answer questions. It could not have been a better experience.”

“My tutorial provided me with great insight into the lives of doctors, residents, and medical students. It served as a much-needed break in my week to step away from school work and remind myself of what I’m working toward.”

“I learned essential lab skills in my tutorial, skills that will translate to other research. I was also given a lot of independence and entrusted with valuable responsibility. My mentor was a great teacher!”