|Ariel Lowrey with one of her mentors in Michelle Monje's lab at Stanford University. She submitted this photo to our #CIRMStemCellLab Instagram feed.|
I applied to a medical internship program because I know that I am interested in working in medicine, but I was unsure what part I want to play in the medical field, from being a practicing doctor to being a lab based researcher or something in between. After this internship I am still sure that I want to work in medicine, but I am still not sure where. I really enjoyed doing research, but I don't see myself doing only research for the rest of my life. I would like to look into what it would be like to be a practicing doctor. I know that if I go to medical school I will be able to continue doing research, so I won’t have to make a final decision for a while.
One thing that I found surprising about working in the lab was the amount of time I spent waiting. There was always a PCR machine or for a gel to finish running. For some reason I expected to be working nonstop from 9‐5 every day and it was actually very nice to find that in reality things don't work that way. There were some days when I was working constantly and stayed a bit later than I expected and there were days when I only had a few things to do because the next steps were time sensitive, for example when I was doing all the preliminary steps for cloning on a Friday and I couldn't do transformation (putting vectors with inserted DNA into bacteria) until Monday because I couldn't come in on Saturday to check the colonies. That said, I know that if I were not an intern I would probably just come in on the weekends to do things; a lot of the other researchers in the lab do.
In all it was a great experience and I'm really happy I decided to apply to research internships this summer.
Ariel sent us these videos of her experience: