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Areas of Concentration

The Areas of Concentration (AOC) Program is a major component of the medical school curriculum. It is designed to provide opportunity for each student to select an Area of Concentration in which they can obtain in-depth knowledge, skills, and scholarly effort, culminating in 6 months of dedicated time to conduct a scholarly project under direction of a faculty mentor.

AOCs have been developed and are offered by numerous departments encompassing many areas of medicine including laboratory science, clinical practice, population research, health information technology and medical education.

Each student will be assigned to one of the AOC core faculty advisers with whom they will regularly meet through the course of the program. These AOC advisors will facilitate the student’s choice of AOC and choosing a scholarly project mentor.

During their first 18 months, students can explore the AOCs, attend various Core Activities in the AOC communities and identify a faculty mentor for their independent Scholarly Project. 

Students will work with their SP Mentors to develop and submit a project proposal in the latter part of the first semester of the third year. The project is peer reviewed by AOC and other faculty members.

Students will begin the scholarly project term in the 2nd semester of the 3rd year (after the Clinical Clerkships year), with 6 months of dedicated time to focus on their individual Scholarly Project. After completion of the last scholarly work block, students are required to submit a Final Written Report and demonstrate completion of the Core Activities, upon which they will receive their AOC grade.

Aims of the AOC Program are to stimulate our students to:

  • EXPLORE an area of interdisciplinary medical scholarship and to begin to develop in-depth expertise in it
  • CREATE and COMMUNICATE new medical knowledge
  • Be INSPIRED to a lifelong appreciation of the vital importance of translational research, from bench-to-bedside and from bedside-to-bench, in order to provide the patients we serve with the best possible care
  • INCORPORATE the skills learned in developing and completing a scholarly research project as a key part of the process of lifelong learning

Student Canvas Access      Faculty Canvas Access

AOC Leadership and Administration

Philip O. Katz, M.D.
AOC Program Director
phk9009@med.cornell.edu

Sydney Gilbert Emmer
Areas Of Concentration Program 
Medical Student Research Coordinator
srg2013@med.cornell.edu
(646) 962-9660

Kelli Ruttle
Areas Of Concentration Program 
Medical Student Research Assistant
ker3005@med.cornell.edu 
(646) 962-9660

Caryn Davi
Foundational Curriculum Manager
cad2006@med.cornell.edu
(646) 962-9661

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