This summer research experience has opened my eyes to possibilities that I was not even aware of. Going into the summer project I felt like the underdog. I had just completed my first year of college and did not have any research experience like some of my peers. I learned that just because I did not have any research experience did not stop me from contributing and being an asset to this summer program. I was able to ask questions that most experts in research tend to look over. Also, my critical thinking skills have greatly improved. I never knew so much thought went into choosing a scientific question to attempt to answer.
I was apart of the Pregnancy and Cardiovascular Disease group and we worked well together to answer our scientific question that we put so much thought into. Our goal was to encourage women to identify risks, effects and preventive measures associated with hypertension during pregnancy in order to evaluate the risks present in their current lifestyles. There was a lot that went into configuring this goal as well as deciding how we were going to tackle achieving this goal. Some things we did to achieve this goal was through creating a video, creating a survey, and distributing the survey to the community to complete. After working with my group on our project I learned that there is much more to research than working in the lab and conducting experiments. A big part of research that most people tend to overlook is communication. After conducting experiments and obtaining the results, the findings have to be communicated to other scientists and the general public. You must relay the information to a scientific audience and general audience in different ways. The general audience will not understand your findings if you talk to them using scientific terms. You must relay the information in a way that they will understand but also not dumbed down. My critical thinking skills have evolved over time because now I put more thought into each aspect of my work. It is not the matter of finding the right answer but rather finding the right question to ask.
This program has made me change my way of thinking from simple to more in depth. These skills will definitely help me in the future starting with applying to medical school. Another piece of advice I learned from this program is the admissions process of medical and graduate school. Not only are they interviewing you, but we are also interviewing them. Also, further in my career these skills will help me work with a team, know how to communicate with different types of audiences, and take as much time needed to configure a concrete hypothesis question to attempt to answer.