COLUMBUS, Ohio – Before making her debut in Scarlet & Gray, redshirt sophomore transfer Jordan Fry spent her summer participating in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
The program exposes undergraduates to clinical and basic laboratory research in the Department of Pediatrics. Each student is assigned to a research division and aids the medical doctors and research coordinators in the lab’s ongoing projects. In addition to lab work, students can attend various social and academic events, such as seminars and presentations. The ten-week internship concludes with a poster session where students present their research.
The application process is extremely competitive with students applying from all over the country. This past year, the SURF program received over 1,300 applications and under 130 students were accepted, including Fry.
“I wanted to participate in the SURF program because I knew I would be challenged by my research and mentored by the best medical professionals in the country,” Fry said. “I worked in the Division of Adolescent and Transition Medicine. The study I worked on analyzed the correlation between low Vitamin D levels and the occurrence of fractures among adolescents of varying weight groups. My responsibilities consisted of analyzing the collected data and designing a database to manage and upload the data. I also had database training, attended weekly seminars and presentations, shadowed the teen health clinic weekly and created a PowerPoint on functional hypothalamic amenorrhea.”
“My favorite part of my internship was shadowing the inpatient eating disorder unit,” Fry said. “Each morning, the medical staff convened to discuss potential treatment plans for the admitted patients. Similar to the dynamics of a sports team, the hospital environment consists of different professionals working together to achieve the same goal. It was exciting to observe such teamwork in the hospital environment and the individualized approaches taken for each patient.”
“This internship taught me how to utilize my voice,” Fry admitted. “As a SURF student, I was located at the bottom of the hospital food chain. At first, I chose not to speak up for fear of appearing unintelligent or bothersome by my experienced peers. However, many opportunities for learning can be lost by not asking questions. This summer, I worked to overcome this fear and learned how to be confident and voice my opinions.”
A career in the medical field runs in the family and Fry knew this opportunity would be a great first step in the right direction.
“My dream is to attend the University of Cincinnati medical school,” said Fry. “Not only is it located in my hometown, but it’s also where my parents and brother all earned their medical degrees. The SURF program helped me foster relationships and network in Cincinnati’s medical community, thus laying the foundation for my future career.”