An Early Start on Medical School Research

Name: Mallika Patel

Year: Senior

Major: Neuroscience & Flute Performance

CFS Class: Field Studies in Public Health

Employer: Affective Sciences and Treatment Lab


I am working with Dr. Jackie Gollan in Feinberg’s Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders. Though I am only here one day a week, I have gotten to hear sessions that participants with depression in the BA study have had with Jackie and recruit more participants for the expansion of this study. I have started learning how to do structured clinical interviews for psychiatry which is a good head start for clinical interview training I will do in medical school next year. I also helped review a paper that was submitted to the Journal of Women’s Health and have started figuring out how to use REDCap.

This is the first time I have come downtown regularly for research after a few years doing research on campus and in my hometown. I think it’s been hard on my sleep schedule to wake up early one day a week rather than if I were consistently wake up at 6:30AM time on weekdays. Still, it has been valuable to work on the Chicago campus especially since I will be here for medical school next year. I’m more excited about being in busy Streeterville and feel more comfortable walking around inside the massive hospital complex. I have a better idea of the culture of the medical school, which is understandably more formal than the undergraduate campus. I have also gotten to attend many interesting talks, such as OBGYN Grand Rounds and Margaret Atwood’s roundtable discussion with OBGYN professors on The Handmaid’s Tale.

Overall, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to do this internship with Dr. Gollan. Some research faculty are unwilling to take on 1 credit CFS students because they don’t think training you for ~10 days of work is worthwhile. I have always felt welcome and involved in this lab from my phone interview to now, and I know that this internship (as far as the research topic, my mentor and labmates, location, time commitment) was the right fit for me.