Sanford School of Medicine Office of Medical Education

Scholarship Pathways Program

Great Opportunitynordquist

We provide an elective opportunity for you to enrich your education through rigorous independent scholarship and scholarly excellence. Those who complete the program will receive special commendation on their trancript, in their Dean's Letter, and at the graduation ceremony.

Scholarship Pathways
  • Education: For students with a special interest in academic medicine, teaching and the medical curriculum
  • Research: For students with a special interest in clinical or basic science research
  • Service: For students with a special interest in community service and leadership development
Program Elements
  • Scholarly work across all four years of medical school
  • Independent learning
  • Goal setting, prioritizing and time management
  • Critical thinking and data analysis
  • Practical experience
  • Faculty-mentor relationships
  • Reflective journaling
  • Periodic structured coursework and seminars
  • Abstract preparation
  • Poster presentation
  • Submission of a scholarly product

Participating students benefit from focused learning opportunities in their selected pathway. This is enhanced by a faculty mentor with similar interests who can share experiences and knowledge and offer guidance in the selected pathway learning.

Program Timeline

As many as five students per pathway are selected in Spring of the first year. Students are chosen by the Scholarship Pathways Program directors based on the merit of their project proposals. With the assistance of a faculty mentor, students develop plans for a paid summer externship and outline a longitudinal plan to complete requirements of a particular pathway.


Candace Zeigler, M.D.
Program Coordinator and Director, Service Pathway

Matt Bien, M.D.
Director, Education Pathway

Valeriy Kozmenko, M.D. 
Director, Research Pathway

Student Profiles
Project Gallery