January 19, 2021 UPDATE: This year's summer program will be a virtual format. More details forthcoming when available.
The experience in the Johns Hopkins University Cupid program exceeded my expectations. It was a summer surrounded by eminent professionals in the field of Medicine and Cancer research. I had the opportunity to work in an innovating laboratory where I could perceive the commitment of my mentor Dr. Young and his team of laboratory technicians as he shared his research, knowledge and experiences with me. I feel that I was able to collaborate and contribute in a research project with a real and important purpose. The Cupid program has provided me unforgettable academic experiences through its enriching lectures and shadowing opportunities with oncologists in their clinics. Moreover, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC to the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) conference and learn how to advocate for cancer patients and survivors before the US Congress. Thanks to the Cupid Program, I have been able to enjoy this complete and inspiring experience that will be immensely useful to complete my medical career.
I've always been asked how I would combine my passion for unserved cared and oncology. The CUPID program provided me with the perfect opportunity to do so. I was able to work on a basic science project addressing breast cancer care disparities globally. The program exposed me to important social determinants of oncological care domestically and provided me with a platform for forming my future career goals.
One of my favorite events in the program was getting the chance to go down to DC to advocate with the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship for their Cancer Policy and Team (CPAT) Symposium. During this event, we were able to interact with different members of the Coalition and hear their stories about the their experience dealing with cancer and navigating the health care system, in addition to lobbying to local congressmen about the PACT act. I couldn't have imagined a better summer program to have participated in this past summer! I previously had experience with research, public health, and medicine separately, but this program cohesively brought all my interest together. By conducting research, attending daily lunch lectures on public health topics, and shadowing oncologists, I was able to further define my career interests of pursuing an MPH and working with an underserved population. It was great to meet medical students from all over the country and to spend my free time exploring a new city!
The Cupid Program provides a well-rounded experience for medical students who don't have these opportunities at their own medical school. I am so grateful for those 7 weeks and would highly recommend this program to medical students interested in a unique research opportunity.