The Collaboration of Practitioners and Researchers (CPR) Seminar Series is a collaborative project between medical students and graduate students in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry that was launched in the 2016-2017 academic year.
The project developed from the mutual belief of the co-organizers that medical students and graduate students at Schulich were isolated from one another, and that both groups would benefit from the opportunity to learn from and network with one another in a semi-structured setting. This core idea grew into a student-led seminar series that would involve a medical student and a graduate student presenting on a shared topic in medicine. The medical student would provide the clinical context, while the graduate student would provide an overview of basic research being done in the area. The presentations were followed by a moderated group discussion to engage the audience and have the presenters work together to answer questions.
This unique format of collaborative presentations enabled graduate students to develop a better understanding of the “bigger picture” of the disease entity they study, and medical students to develop an appreciation of basic science research which forms the basis for therapeutic of progress. Importantly, the sessions were run exclusively by students in the absence of faculty. This format was decided upon based on student responses to a pilot survey conducted in the early development stages of the series indicating that the absence of faculty at this event would help promote more free and open discussion amongst themselves.