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AMCAS Most Meaningful Experience Sample #9

Experience Type: Research/Lab

Experience Name: Research Student at NeuroLabs

Contact Name & Title: Dr. Adrian Patella, Supervisor

Contact Email[email protected]

Contact Phone: 3110904354

Organization Name: NeuroLabs

City/State/Country: Oxnard / California / United States

Most Meaningful Experience: Yes

Dates: 05/20XX-06/20XX

Total Hours: 100

Experience Description: I participated in a summer research program for neuroscience undergraduates in which I explored brain damage caused by substance abuse. The aim of this project was to develop a map of brain activity associated with the neurobiology of substance abuse, misuse, and addiction. I was involved in neuroimaging of the control group and our experimental group, which included patients who were in their first week of rehabilitation. Our primary method of data collection was MRI and subject interviews. (497 characters, with spaces)

Most Meaningful Experiences Remarks: Working on this project was the primary reason I decided to apply for the MD/PhD program. My job was to interview subjects for qualitative findings and also operate an MRI machine to image the brains of our subjects. I had to learn how to ask questions that would reflect the intent of the study and evoke answers that would increase the precision of our results, all while trying to minimize bias. The research itself was very fulfilling. I had several acquaintances who had struggled with substance abuse at different times in their lives, and I knew that research like this could potentially increase the efficacy of future treatment if we successfully develop a more accurate model of neuropsychological correlates of drug abuse. Learning about in vivo research presented challenges in cooperation and consistency. To circumvent this concern, I included a statement of sample size calculation and conflicts of interest in the report, of which there were none. The results of this study made me hopeful that future research might corroborate the neural correlates of substance abuse vulnerability and damage with the aim of increasing the precision of diagnostics and treatment. (1,181 characters, with spaces)

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