As my summer internship at Mass General comes to an end, it comes time to look back on my experiences throughout these past couple of months. Time is a precious commodity that I have been guilty of taking for granted, as many people often realize once it’s too late.
Throughout my undergraduate experience at Brandeis, I prioritized my academic career almost to a fault; in other words, I did not fully appreciate the extent of research available right at my fingertips on campus. Perhaps that was because I was subconsciously avoiding the experience outright due to its intimidating aura. In any regard, this aside is relevant to my current reflection because it makes this past summer that much more meaningful in perspective. The immediate research setting and immediate team I worked with were inviting, thereby removing the anxiety
and foreboding stereotype I spoke about regarding research.
Another aspect of research that I found difficult to appreciate was the monotonous nature of counting colonies or the small scale of research over a specific protein in a mechanism. The purpose behind the study is relevant to a wide audience, which intrinsically made my contributing role feel meaningful. Unfortunately, extensive research on air pollution is
required, especially with problematic air quality that will only be worsening further in subsequent generations. Still, I respect and understand the relevance of the research being conducted on campus; I personally did not find it inherently fascinating enough to pursue. I was able to work on public EPA data curation from home or at the hospital campus
itself, which made the process of studying for the MCAT exam a little easier throughout the summer. However, on days designated for the research project, it was personally difficult to allocate time to both endeavors.
Handling large amounts of data was tedious but eventually rhythmic and felt like clockwork by the end of that step, despite difficulties that arose with the website sporadically. I saw firsthand how busy a doctor truly is, and I will always respect their dedication and time spent improving the lives of patients. I look forward to being in this position one day, allowing undergraduate students to shadow or assist in various research tasks to better others and themselves in the process. I am thankful that the Pre-Health advising team granted me this opportunity and will be in touch with those involved in the program for years to come as I continue the motions through medical school into becoming a practicing physician.