Drew Barra is a rising senior at Rutgers University majoring in Public Health with a minor in Biology.
Andrew was motivated to apply to Project L/EARN because he thought the program would enable him to have hands on, real world experience in the health field. His exposure to research in the program has given him the confidence to pursue graduate studies and he is now considering obtaining a dual M.D./ Ph.D. in his future. Andrew hopes to one day become a heart surgeon with his own private practice.
As a founder of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), a nationally recognized organization, Andrew helps guide many other students into health fields. Project L/EARN has given Andrew an enhanced perspective of the health field and he hopes to spread this knowledge to his HOSA peers. In the future, as a heart surgeon, Andrew hopes to become an example of how HOSA and Project L/EARN can help students become successful in the medical field.
Over the course of the summer, Andrew worked with Dr. Shawna Hudson and Dr. Heather Lee assessing how patient factors are associated with the receipt of comprehensive cancer follow-up care among breast and prostate cancer survivors. Andrew expresses that the best part of working one on one with his mentors was that he was able to work with people with multiple years of experience in a field he would like to be involved in.
Although Andrew found it difficult to be away from his family during the course of the summer, he appreciates the opportunity to be exposed to research. Andrew believes that the program has made him become a better student. He appreciated the level of support he received while in Project L/EARN. He says “everyone in Project L/EARN is helpful and they truly want to see you succeed, and they will do everything possible to get you where you want to be.”