A collage showing the members of the Journal of Medical Sciences.

Ignite | Fall 2022

Showcasing Student Research and Innovation


Trinity Samson

Trinity Samson, a Ph.D./M.D. student and chief editor, president and founder of the Journal of Medical Sciences: “Perseverance has been key and keeping our vision in mind.”

During her admissions interview for the NEOMED College of Medicine, Trinity Samson discussed her vision for a student-led medical journal.

With the help of Fayez Safadi, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and neurobiology and Ohio research scholar, Samson turned her dream into a reality.

Now a Ph.D./M.D. student, Samson is chief editor, president and founder of the Journal of Medical Sciences at NEOMED, an online, student-led, peer-reviewed scholarly journal that provides a platform for NEOMED students, faculty and affiliates to publish original research, opinion pieces, editorials, reviews, abstracts and other research.

Volume 1, Issue 1 of the journal was published in Fall 2022 and includes 11 manuscripts, highlighting research projects led by NEOMED students, faculty and alumni.


After Samson was accepted into the College of Medicine in 2020, she and Dr. Safadi met for many hours to begin the process of creating the journal. They researched existing journals and their processes, worked collaboratively with various departments across the University, and considered all ethical components of creating a medical journal. They also crafted journal guidelines, workflows, required documentation such as author’s publishing agreements and copyright agreements, and acquired all legal approvals with the support of NEOMED legal counsel.

Initially, there was some pushback on the creation of the journal.

“We learned creating a new scholarly peer-reviewed journal is a lengthy and cumbersome process,” Samson said, noting the many hurdles that needed to be overcome before the journal could publish. “We are determined to make it happen, continuing to enhance our processes. Perseverance has been key and keeping our vision in mind. Hard work has paid off.”

The final hurdle was funding for the project. The idea of the new journal was submitted for strategic initiative funds – a pool of resources available to faculty, staff and students to finance innovative projects that align with the University’s Strategic Plan. Samson and Dr. Safadi received a total of $11,050 to launch the new journal.


“There is incredible and noteworthy research at NEOMED being conducted by students, faculty and health care affiliates that is currently not being published,” Dr. Safadi noted. “The JMS highlights our University and the research being completed at our institution and at NEOMED affiliates. It is an incredible opportunity for students, faculty and affiliates to take on leadership positions, to be responsible for overseeing articles through the peer-review process and be part of reviewing articles.”

The growing journal team continually works to improve the publication’s processes. Samson and second-year medicine student Max Gilliland, who serves as a vice president on the editorial board, completed a Yellow Belt Lean Six Sigma project to develop an enhanced and expedited workflow for articles as they move through the review process. They continue to update other processes to enhance the quality of the publication and to improve the experience of student peer reviewers by updating the management team structure, providing additional mentoring and education opportunities and continued assessment of processes.

Among the improvements made, faculty and affiliates are now more extensively involved in the publication as editorial board members. This enables student editors and reviewers to work directly with faculty and other health professionals who provide mentorship and expertise.

“All student executive board members are required to attend our manuscript writing workshops and complete the Course on Fundamental of Peer Review by Springer Nature,” Samson noted.

The writing workshops are delivered by experts in the field who share their experience and knowledge regarding how to write and shape different aspects of a manuscript and discuss other considerations such as statistical analysis and the ethics of research. Dr. Safadi led the first workshop in November 2021, exploring scientific manuscript writing and submission as well as the logistics of shaping and writing each section of a manuscript. Other workshops have focused on the dos and don’ts of writing a manuscript’s introduction and the process of providing a peer review.

The Journal of Medical Sciences has already grown since its first edition was published. The student executive board has increased from 13 to 26 members, with an increasingly diverse group of students participating.  

“Moving forward we will be expanding to include an innovation edition of the journal and are currently working toward indexing,” Samson noted.

The JMS leadership are also sharing their work outside the walls of NEOMED. The team presented during a Women in Medicine and Science poster reception at Learn Serve Lead 2022, the annual conference of the Association of American Medical Colleges held in Nashville in Nov. 2022 and at NEOMED's Annual Student Research Symposium.