Q&A with Stephanie Saey: Contributing to patient care through scientific innovation

Date: Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Stephanie Saey, a third-year medical student, is looking forward to the annual Medical Student Research Conference. Though not certain if she will present at this year’s conference due to data collection still underway, she is eager to see the projects her peers have been working on. Saey participated in the research conference as an M1 and M2 and is also pursuing the Research Distinction Track at the Carver College of Medicine.

Stephanie Saey
Third-year medical student Stephanie Saey

What sparked your interest in pursuing research during medical school?

I initially became involved in research during medical school to improve my critical thinking skills and explore whether I wanted to pursue research as part of my future career as a physician. My research experiences have been extremely rewarding thus far. Not only have I become a more competent and well-rounded student, but I have formed invaluable mentorships as well.

What do you enjoy most about performing research in medical school?

Participating in research during medical school has been an additional avenue for me to serve others, especially during the didactic semesters. The time in the classroom can feel long as you await starting clinical rotations, and sometimes it is easy to lose sight of why you chose to pursue medicine in the first place. Being a part of research allows me to contribute to patient care through scientific innovation and exploration. It has challenged me to nurture my curiosity and passion for life-long learning that will serve me well as a physician. At the forefront of advancements in medical practice is research, and to be an extraordinary physician one must continually engage with primary research literature.

What advice do you have for others interested in doing research throughout their medical education?

My biggest piece of advice is to get involved with research if you want to. Research is not for everyone, but I would strongly encourage at least giving it a try if you have not yet already. If anything, you can make some great connections and practice critical thinking and presentation skills. Don’t focus on joining just one lab and cranking out research publications. If your heart desires, bounce around to different labs and help with a variety of projects that interest you! This is your time to take advantage of the endless opportunities to explore research!