Personal Contributions in Health Research

I have been interning with the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Public Health for a few weeks now.  Even though I have not been working very long, I have had numerous opportunities to make personal contributions to the main mammography screening research project that I am working on.  I appreciate that my supervisor respects my opinions and has never shot my ideas down.  This has created a very inclusive environment that has allowed me to thrive.  Last week, my supervisor and I were discussing ways to run our regression and create publication-suitable graphs out of these regressions.  I suggested that we use this one software created by the National Institutes of Health called “Joinpoint” that was specifically created for cancer epidemiological research, thus applying to us.  I told her that I had never used it before, but I had seen its use in various publications.  She allowed me to play around with the software on my own and figure out how to run the regression and create visually-appealing graphs displaying our data in a clear manner.   She ended up being very pleased with the results and agreed that these would be the figures that we use in our final paper that we will submit for publication (our final product)!  She thanked me for introducing her to this relatively new software and told me that she will likely utilize it for running regression in her future work.  This week, I have also been researching various research conferences that we could submit our paper to and hopefully present at the conference.  I brought up this possibility of presenting at a conference with my supervisor recently, and she loved the idea and thought it would be helpful for me to learn about how submitting papers for conferences works-as well as hopefully attending one!  Attending and presenting at a conference would allow others to learn about our research.  It will also allow me to learn about what others in the field of mammography screening research have published and to have discussions about this topics with experts in the field.  Broadening my knowledge of the research in this field and meeting experts will allow our research to become more collaborative and comparative in the future.  Denmark is typically the “ideal model” for epidemiological research due to the excellent quality of their health registers, so I would love the opportunity for others to learn about this research and hopefully apply our model it to other countries to increase global understanding of the benefits and harms of mammography screening.

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