This summer has been a great experience working in a laboratory through the medical school and collaborating with talented researchers and physicians, but as much as I’m able to interact with others in lab, I think the part I’m really missing out on is the human interaction. I really like meeting and talking to new people and I think the research lab doesn’t necessarily provide enough of that for me. The parts of working in a lab that I enjoy the most is when I get to meet to discuss a project with others, when a colleague is telling me about their work, or the weekly lab meetings. However much of the time spent in lab is in isolation, which for some people is great and somedays I really liked that environment. Having this experience was very important in being able to gauge what I really want out of my future career and what aspects I value most. I admire the work that the mentoring physicians get to participate in, working both in clinic as well as working with the lab, and I was able to see that type of career through this summer program in my lab as well. I think knowing what I want is sometimes difficult, but having experiences like this summer research program really help me to shape my goals for what I want and what I will find to be most fulfilling.
I think moving forward from here, I’m not sure if I want to go into a career or graduate program solely in research. I definitely still want to pursue something in the medical field and I think the SURF program was a great stepping stone in that direction. As I am a senior now trying to figure out what I want to do during my gap year before applying to medical school, I have gained a lot of insight about what I really want and I have grown and matured as well along the way.