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Current MD-PhD Student - Rimma Osipov

Jonathan Lee

Name: Rimma Osipov

Year in Program: GY3

Undergrad University: University of California-Los Angeles

Mentor: Jason E. Glenn, Ph.D.

Graduate Program: Institute for Medical Humanities


    Research Interests

  • Medical humanities, history of medicine, narrative and medicine, and medical education

    Honors & Awards

  • Blocker/Herzog scholar (2009)
  • Dr. David C. Eiland, Jr. Scholarship Award in Health Care and Humanities (2011)
  • UTMB President’s Cabinet Award grant for STS student service projects (2012)
  • Chester R. Burns Institute for the Medical Humanities Alumni Award (2012)


  • "Healing Narrative—Ethics and Writing about Patients" Virtual Mentor. 2011; 13:420-424
  • "You are what your grandmother ate": Epigenetics in Popular Science; Presented at the National Conference for Physician Scholars in the Social Sciences and Humanities, 2009.


  • American Society for Bioethics and Humanities: Panel presenter: Military Medical Ethics: Standing at the Medico-Military Intersection (2012)
  • American Society for Bioethics and Humanities: Paper presentation: Medicine’s Favorite Doctor: "Oslermania," Bioethics, and the Medical Humanities (2012)
  • UTMB Institutional Ethics committee presentation: Helping Patients, Helping Learners: an exercise in developing a palliative Care, hospice, and end-of-life care curriculum for medical students (2012)
  • 13th annual UTMB student Colloquium Local Actions, National Concerns: Human Radiation Experiments at UTMB 1949-1963 (2012)
  • American Physician Scientists Association 2011, South Regional Meeting Panelist: Social Sciences and Humanities Panel (2011)
  • UTMB Bow Tie Social Club The Fruit Fly and the New Soviet Man: Ideology and Genetics in the USSR (2011)
  • 12th annual IMH student colloquium Medicine’s Favorite Doctor: William Osler’s Posthumous Career (2011)
  • National Conference for Physician Scholars in the Social Sciences and Humanities; Philadelphia, PA; presenter and panel member (2009)
  • IMH Brown Bag presenter; original research: "You are what your Grandmother Ate:" Epigenetics in Popular Science (2009)

    Hobbies or just something about yourself in general:

  • Rimma first became interested in the medical humanities/history of medicine as an intern at the Smithsonian institution in Washington D.C. Her undergraduate research focused on the NIH and the impact of the War on Cancer. Outside of school, Rimma enjoys traveling and fixing up her old Galveston house.

Career Development

The career development of an MD-PhD student is critically important and extends out well past the date of graduation with the dual degrees. The UTMB MD-PhD Program carefully guides and nurtures students throughout the Program. Early in the Program, critical issues are mentor selection and choice of a graduate program. MD-PhD students meet regularly with a faculty advisor, a student "big sibling" and members of the advisory committee. Opportunities to be exposed to research opportunities are provided through Program activities as well as the scientific activities on campus. Most students do their initial laboratory rotation during the summer before starting medical school. Additional laboratory rotations can be completed during the summer before the first and second years of medical school and after the second year of medical school. Once students are established in their labs, they are guided through their research by a mentor and dissertation committee.

For MD-PhD students, selection of the dissertation committee is essential and our Program requires students to include a member who is an MD scientist who can provide guidance on career progress and residency selections. As thesis defense approaches, students design their optimal clinical experiences with members of the MD-PhD committee to maximize chances to obtain the types of residency training that will be most compatible with further development as a physician scientist. The Program runs career guidance seminars to alert students to many of the important issues, pitfalls and milestones that they will need to navigate in the future. These include the pros and cons of short-track residencies, the need for additional postdoctoral training, and how to select and negotiate a first faculty appointment. The UTMB MD-PhD graduate is thus well positioned to make the most out of the advantages that MD-PhD careers offer.