My STEP Project was gain clinical research experience with healthcare professionals here at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. I was able to work in a neural anesthesiology research group that had multitude of different projects going on. I was allowed to interact with patients and had the responsibility of gathering patient information and data for certain projects. The specific project I worked on, was the idea of providing third degree patients with mepilex (a type of dressing for burn victims) before they had surgery and see if applying mapilex before the surgery increased the chances of the patient needing less skin graphs.
My understanding of the world specifically the world of research changed as the project went on. In the beginning of the project, I did not think a career in research would be something that I would consider as a job. As the project continued and I was able to connect with patients and doctors, I was able to see that the research that they do can ultimately change someone’s prognosis and change the way healthcare is provided. Understanding that certain types of research can be the forefront of changing the medical field or the way we go about our lives, really intrigued me. Now that my project is over, I believe that a career in research whether it be in chemistry, microbiology or clinical research is something that I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.
The interactions and relationships during my STEP project were a vital key to my transformation. First, the interaction and relationship with my STEP mentor Dr. Chris Callam was one of the most important interactions. Dr. Callam was able to provide me with key insights into what research was like for someone studying a science. He was also able to help me with certain skills that have made me a better student and person overall. One of the most important skills, I was able to work on while having Dr. Callam as my mentor was the importance of being able to indecently think for yourself and ask your own questions. This key skill helped me tremendously while I was working on the research project. I was able to finish a certain task and continue on to the next one without asking if what I had done was correct or if I had done something wrong. This was able to show that I was responsible with my work and allowed me to take on more responsibilities as time had gone on.
The next relationship that helped that change my view on research as a career was one of the doctors in the research group Dr. Uribe. I was able to meet Dr. Uribe before joining the research group while interviewing for the volunteer research position. Dr. Uribe allowed me to go on patient consults for the experiment that I was apart of and showed me what it was like to interview patients for a spot in the experiment and to help a patient understand what the experiment was about and how their contribution could help other patients with the same condition. Having this special connection with patients and being able to interact with them on a daily basis showed me that you can have a career as a clinical research and stair have that patient doctor interaction that most people want when pursing the field of medicine. I could not thank Dr. Uribe enough for such a great experience, this special relationship that I had and the opportunity that allowed me to see the interaction of patients and doctors truly changed my outlook on clinical research and what I could see myself doing after graduation.
The change that I had while doing my STEP project is significant before having done the research project, I had never thought of a career in research. I did not think that research was my calling nor did I have the slightest clue that research could involve interacting with patients on a daily basis. This has greatly changed my thoughts on what I want be and what I see myself doing with my life. I am now more interested in conducting research and have plans in place this summer to conduct organic chemistry research with one of my professors. I can not thank Ohio State, Dr. Callam and Dr. Uribe for helping me through this process and showing me what research and a career in science could do.