As she finished her first year of medical school at Central Michigan University, Chigozie Emetarom decided she wanted to find an opportunity to apply her research skills. The Anambra, Nigeria, native took to Google to find an internship where she could get hands-on in the research field in her area of interest: women's reproductive health.
What she found was an eight-week mentored research program at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachussetts. Emetarom was accepted into the program for the summer 2016.
"I knew I wanted to get involved in research somewhere, but I wasn't sure about anything after that," Emetarom said. "This program selects only six candidates from a nationwide applicant pool of first- and second- year medical students."
The program, Harvard Catalyst Visiting Research Internship Program, is designed to enrich medical students' interest in clinical and translational research and health-related careers. The match she made with her internship mentor was exactly what Emetarom was looking for.
"I was matched with a Harvard-affiliated translational researcher who conducts research focused on reproductive and sexual health topics," she said. "Through the internship, I conducted a systematic literature review on reproductive health outcomes among sexual minority women. I also received clinical simulation training and had opportunities to shadow physicians at some of the Harvard-affiliated hospitals."
Her work from the summer also will be published once the research project is completed.
Emetarom chose CMU because she is passionate about bridging the gap in health disparities among disadvantaged populations. Thanks to the knowledge she gained during her first year in the College of Medicine, her summer opportunity allowed her to make her passion a reality.
"CMU's College of Medicine really prepared me to achieve my goals and helped open the door for this opportunity," she said.