Friday, September 16, 2016

Developing a diverse workforce

ON THE FRONTIER OF MEDICINE: Students from the 2016 Summer Research Trainee Program

“While clinicians have an opportunity to affect the lives of the thousands of patients they serve throughout their career, a physician-scientist has the potential to influence millions of lives – directly and indirectly – through the implications of their research, which transcend the length of their career,” said Andrea Alonso, second year student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and research student in the 2016 MGH Summer Research Trainee Program (SRTP). “Research offers the indescribable feeling of knowing that you are on the frontier of medicine.”

The trainee program exposes underrepresented college and medical students to biomedical research and provides mentorship, hands-on experience and an introduction to potential future career opportunities. Students worked with MGH investigators on a number of clinical, basic science, translational and health services/policy research projects and attended didactic and career mentorship meetings with Center for Diversity and Inclusion staff and hospital leadership.  

“Through the SRTP, students underrepresented in medicine are provided not only with research experience and inspiration, but also with role models, mentors and a community upon which they can draw for a long time,” says William Curry, MD, of the MGH Department of Neurosurgery Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology, who was Alonso’s preceptor.

“Research offers the indescribable feeling of knowing that you are on the frontier of medicine.” -Andrea Alonso

Alonso says Curry’s trust in her abilities has inspired confidence, and she now believes academic medicine will be part of her future. “The most important lessons that I learned from Dr. Curry are that a successful physician takes the initiative to pursue what they want, is confident in themselves and their capabilities and demonstrates persistence through the most challenging obstacles,” she says. “The program reassured me of my potential as future physician and researcher.”  

Read more articles from the 09/16/16 Hotline issue.

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