Week 6: Early Reflections

May 26, 2020

Hi everyone! Today I will be going over my reflections on my short tenure at USUHS. 

First of all, I am very grateful to have worked so closely with researchers in the lab. Though I have worked with doctors before during internships, I have never worked so closely with experts like I have with my short time at USUHS. While I was there, I felt like I have learned more than I have at any other internship I have participated in. This is because each small interaction that I have with my mentors is so much more meaningful because I was so involved with their research and I was going to work there long term. I have learned many different lab techniques that will definitely give me an edge when I work in labs in college. 

Perhaps a less tangible observation that I had was that the general experimentation process is much different than what I thought it would be. Working around such qualified and experienced doctors, I assumed that they would have very thoughtful, planned out experimentation plans that they prepare well in advance. Therefore, I thought my job would be to mainly learn about the intricacies of different lab techniques and the science behind the different reactions within the kidney. Though I have been doing all of these things, I learned very quickly that what makes these distinguished PhDs so great is their ability to think on their feet. In other words, they are able to use their top of the line logical reasoning to quickly come up with high quality solutions. 

With that being said, even though these doctors have some of the brightest minds in the world, the process for writing a complete research paper is still a long and strenuous one because of the sheer amount of trial and error testing and error. A paper could take up to ten years to complete. This project, however, is in a very early stage of testing and I am grateful that I am able to be a part of this quick on your feet problem solving process. With the baseline knowledge I gathered from research papers and my different chemistry courses, I felt like I was able to begin to make meaningful contributions to their initial findings.

The more that I think about my time at USUHS, the more I miss it. It truly was a once in a lifetime experience, and reflecting upon it and sharing my thoughts now helps me to truly appreciate it. Until next week!

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