Reading Research Papers

This blog series helps students to read through interesting research papers and learn how to evaluate important topics, understand jargon, read graphs, and ask educated questions. You can first go through these papers and try to get an idea of what the researchers intended to find, and what their study concluded. Then, watch the associated YouTube video to see how well you understood the paper! In the videos, I show how to dissect a research paper and what main ideas you should be looking for. This is one of the most important skills you can possibly have to succeed on the MCAT and in medical school.


There are many different types of research papers we will explore clinical trials, bench science, epidemiological studies, double-blind interventions, meta-analyses, etc. I will explain more about the types of research in an upcoming blog post. I will also ensure to explain this characteristic about the specific papers we do.


To answer a question you may have: YES I will be asking you questions about these papers in the videos (doing questions = active learning.) If you are trying to learn how to read research for the MCAT, I will be asking 2-3 questions based on each paper that require critical thinking to answer. I will release these typically after the live session so you have the chance to really think through these questions and answer them. They will be very similar to MCAT questions -- so use them to your advantage.

Please feel free to send me research papers that you would like dissected and I will do my best to make a video!

Week 1: CPAP in children with undifferentiated respiratory distress. in Ghana: open-label, cluster, crossover  trial

  • Watch Video Explanation

Week 2: Acylcarnitine Profiles in HIV-Exposed, Uninfected Neonates in the United States

  • Watch Video Explanation

Week 3: Examination of  HPRT as a biomarker for colorectal cancer patients

  • Watch Video Explaination

Week 4: Nutrient sensing nuclear receptors PPARa and FXR control liver energy balance