Dana had been a Rutgers College student double majoring in Biology and Public Health. During the course of her internship, Dana realized the valuable role of research as it facilitates social change and informs clinical practice.
Dana’s aspiration to become a physician has been enhanced by the variety of experiences she has attained over the course of her undergraduate experience. Dana has been involved in numerous training programs. She has interned at the New Jersey Women’s and AIDS Network through the Citizenship and Service Education (CASE) program at Rutgers, where she served as a Service Learning Advocate. She also participated in the Biomedical Careers Program at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, as well as a program in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Medical School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). Dana says, “Out of all my experiences at Rutgers, Project L/EARN has been the most beneficial to me due to the hands-on research experience I have gained that has prepared me for graduate studies in medicine and health care policy.” The importance of the research conducted at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research has left a lasting impression on Dana and she feels has a lot more to offer as a result of her experience in Project L/EARN.
One of the key motivating factors for Dana to participate in Project L/EARN had been the opportunity to work with her faculty mentor, Dr. Shawna Hudson, individually. Their study on the potential barriers that hinder physicians from referring patients, particularly minorities, to cancer clinical trials has led to the finding that the low amount of referrals is mostly due to the lack of structural support for physicians and the lack of awareness of available clinical trials in New Jersey.