Applied Health Behavior Research Program Student Experiences

We asked some students in the Graduate Programs in Applied Health Behavior Research about their experiences. See below for their thoughts.

Marisel Ponton

(Health Behavior Research Concentration, Part Time)
Health Information Release Services Clerk
Faculty Practice Plan, Washington University School of Medicine

I entered the program because I’m planning to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology. I knew I needed more experience in research and the AHBR program provides the bridge needed between undergrad and medical school or a doctoral program. I’ve learned a lot and am more confident that I have the knowledge and experience necessary to be accepted into an advanced clinical psychology program.

Rahul Dey

(Health Behavior Research-Intensive Option, Full Time)
University of Missouri Medical School

I was looking for an opportunity to gain experience in clinical research during a gap year, while applying to medical schools.  That’s what attracted me to the program.

My medical school interviewers were very intrigued by the AHBR program and the research I was doing, and I had a lot to share with them about my experience. Because healthcare inequities and public health issues are becoming much more important in the field of medicine, and I was able to vouch for what I had already learned, so being in the AHBR program definitely enhanced my application. I was accepted into the University of Missouri School of Medicine for Summer 2017.

Maraya Camazine

(Health Behavior Research Concentration, Part Time)
Clinical Research Coordinator, Pediatrics Critical Care,
Washington University School of Medicine

I wanted to ramp up my resume for medical school applications because everything I currently do in my job is very clinical.  The AHBR program provided me with valuable research experience which will make me a more well-rounded applicant.

It also helped show my academic growth, especially since I worked 40 hours a week (sometimes more) while completing my degree.  An unexpected benefit I got from the program was learning how to better communicate and engage. I now have a more holistic view of how the work I’m doing in a clinical environment applies to the real world.

Tyler Frank

(Health Behavior Research Concentration, Part Time)
Research Technician, Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine

The AHBR program gives you these great opportunities to get involved and evolve. Whether you are more interested in research or in taking certain classes useful in building your professional knowledge, whatever it is, the program can meet your needs.

Whatever the students’ goals are, the teachers are there to help them and be a mentor, but ultimately they’re letting us construct our path and figure out what’s best for us.

Kim Cordia

(Health Education Program Planning and Evaluation Concentration, Part Time)
Nurse Manager, Orthopedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine

I come from a background in nursing, so AHBR was a bridge that I have used to increase my knowledge of what I’m doing now and move forward to what I want to do in the future.

With my degree I will be more marketable; when promotions/jobs are between me and another candidate, having the masters degree helps. I’ve already been able to move up the ladder from a Nurse Educator to Nurse Manager in my field.

Daniel Sheinbein

(Health Behavior Research Intensive Option, Full Time)
Clinical Research Study Assistant, Nutritional Science, Washington University School of Medicine; Medical School Applicant

I enrolled in the MS program to gain skills that I could use for medical school and eventually in a career. I wanted to gain more patient interaction and clinical exposure experience.

A lot of medicine now incorporates aspects of public health, and the AHBR program offers classes in health disparities and health behavior theories, so I learned how to address those concerns — not just in Missouri, but across the globe. Medical schools really value diversity and working with diverse populations and I was able to select elective classes focused on that.  In addition, my mentored research addressed the obesity epidemic and I did hands-on work with diverse populations.

I’ll admit I was hesitant about the program at first, but now I’m more well-rounded and versatile — not just as a medical school applicant but as a physician someday as well.