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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Searching for Out the Scary Experiences

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Hailey standing in a lab coat on the steps of a medical building
Hailey Hoog is an Honors Faculty Fellow learning biomedical engineering from Jenks, Oklahoma. She can be a Heart for the Examine of the Presidency and Congress Presidential Fellow, Indian Well being Service Scholar, a Harry S. Truman Scholarship Finalist and two-time Udall Basis Honorable Point out.

This summer time, Hailey accomplished an internship with Harvard Medical Faculty and Brigham and Ladies’s Hospital as a part of the 4 Instructions Summer season Analysis Program. Right here, she gained readability about her future profession objectives and discovered to navigate life in a brand new metropolis.

This previous summer time, I lived within the vibrant metropolis of Boston and accomplished an internship facilitated by Harvard Medical Faculty and Brigham and Ladies’s Hospital. My participation within the 4 Instructions Summer season Analysis Program, which is tailor-made to Native American and Alaska Native college students concerned with medication and analysis, was pivotal in my tutorial and private progress. I had the privilege of becoming a member of a dynamic laboratory at Boston Kids’s Hospital, devoted to understanding the genetic pathways governing the patterning, progress, and upkeep of the skeletal system.

I labored with a post-doctoral fellow to develop a plasmid to create a conditional Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) mouse mannequin. Primarily, this mannequin flip OI on or off in a mouse, facilitating the research of its affect on particular tissue sorts past the skeletal system. We used conventional bacterial transformation to introduce a brand new fragment of DNA into micro organism, which was then injected into mouse embryos, and I lately discovered that this DNA inserted appropriately into a number of of the mice. The journey to this consequence was full of our fair proportion of failures and humorous moments, significantly semi-regular self-deprecative jokes about being caught “elbow-deep” in E. coli all summer time. Nonetheless, witnessing a method I had beforehand discovered in my biomolecular engineering class achieved in an actual research was immensely gratifying. I’ll always remember the second we found that we had accomplished the plasmid: my post-doc, Giulia, jumped across the room however I simply sat there dumbfounded–we had fairly actually constructed a mouse. Not unhealthy for a random child from Oklahoma!

The 2023 Four Directions Summer Research Program Cohort.

The 2023 4 Instructions Summer season Analysis Program Cohort.

Whereas I don’t love the time period “Imposter Syndrome,” I definitely struggled with self-doubt within the esteemed tutorial circle of Boston. I felt like an outsider surrounded by famend scientists; there’s no world the place that isn’t intimidating as all get-out. Giulia was unimaginable, although, and persistently challenged me with questions on what we have been doing and why we have been doing it. I gained’t lie and say it wasn’t terrifying, nevertheless it pushed me to be taught extra in eight weeks that I ever imagined doable. This internship additionally allowed me to type invaluable connections with seven different Indigenous college students from throughout the nation, who grew to become expensive pals and taught me a lot about their very own cultures. We met a number of physicians and engaged in enriching conversations that candidly addressed systematic racism in greater schooling and medication, the complexities of preserving one’s cultural identification whereas away from house and the way to navigate the balancing act between a rigorous profession and household life. It was these people that made the expertise fulfilling, resulting in borderline embarrassing emotional farewells on the road in Coolidge Nook, my Uber to the airport and maybe my departure gate at Boston Logan (however I’ll publicly deny this.)

This system was extremely clarifying. Whereas initially inclined in direction of pursuing an MD/PhD program upon commencement, my time within the lab led me to the conclusion that this path won’t be for me. Consequently, I gave myself the liberty to discover the varied methods wherein I might use my profession to contribute to the advance of well being and well-being in Indigenous communities. Past my skilled progress, this summer time allowed me to discover life in a big metropolis. It was so international to me at first, however I got here to like my morning walks by means of the Boston Commons, an almond milk latte from Dunkin’ Donuts, and public transportation (lengthy dwell the T!) I couldn’t have been farther from my consolation zone, and it modified my life–my confidence in making use of to medical faculty skyrocketed, and the checklist of faculties I’m making use of to most likely would’ve given me a coronary heart assault even simply six months in the past.

With 4 Instructions management and my lab’s principal investigator and post-doctoral fellow at my culminating presentation.

My recommendation? Go for the loopy, far-out alternatives. If you happen to had instructed my freshman self that I might full an internship at Harvard College, I feel I might’ve laughed in your face. The worry of being under-qualified mustn’t deter you; your distinctive experiences and perspective have geared up you way over you suppose. And don’t be afraid to confess if you don’t know one thing. The very best praise I acquired in Boston was that my love for studying was evident by the questions I requested. Let your pure curiosity information you. As I mirror on this summer time, I do know I’ll cherish it without end, from the Subway within the hospital cafeteria to the foolish errors I made, and particularly to my newfound appreciation for buck-a-shuck oyster pleased hours. Hunt down experiences that make you’re feeling scared and excited and fulfilled.  

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