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UC Davis undergraduates get research experience through health equity-focused internship | Center for Healthcare Policy and Research

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April 1, 2024

The UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research (CHPR) hosted four undergraduate students interested in health equity. The students interned at CHPR from January through March as part of the Quarter at Aggie Square’s Advancing Health Care Equity experience.

The students worked with Melissa Gosdin, a qualitative research analyst at CHPR, to learn about qualitative data collection and analysis. During the internship, students familiarized themselves with one of two topics: access to abortion care and treatment for people with opioid use disorder.

Two of the students are part of the College of Letters and Sciences, one majoring in Sociocultural Anthropology and the other in Science and Technology Studies. The third student is part of Biological Sciences majoring in Molecular Medical Microbiology and the fourth student is part of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences majoring in Global Disease Biology.

While these students have differing career trajectories, all four were interested in learning and conducting qualitative research pertaining to reproductive justice and/or harm reduction. Gosdin will continue working with at least two of the students throughout the spring quarter. She wants to continue mentoring undergraduate students both formally as part of the Quarter at Aggie Square program and informally as demand increases.

Melissa Gosdin from CHPR.

I look forward to seeing what our interns do next and continuing the Center’s education and mentorship mission through the Quarter at Aggie Square program.Melissa Gosdin, a qualitative research analyst at the Center for Healthcare Policy and Research

“Hosting the students this winter was incredibly beneficial for myself and the Center – and I think it was a great experience for the students too,” said Gosdin, who has also mentored graduate and medical students at UC Davis. “I look forward to seeing what our interns do next and continuing the Center’s education and mentorship mission through the Quarter at Aggie Square program.”

Gosdin and Bethney Bonilla-Herrera, a clinical research analyst at CHPR, are also working with Na’amah Razon, an assistant professor of family and community medicine at UC Davis Health, to supervise and mentor another UC Davis undergraduate student majoring in Global Disease Biology. That student’s research practicum is a qualitative project exploring nephrologists’ perceptions of home kidney dialysis.

Additionally, Gosdin is currently working with three UC Davis medical students as part of the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program (MCRTP). The medical students in MCRTP are designing a qualitative study exploring barriers that prevent patients with pressure injuries from receiving regular wound care.

The Center for Healthcare Policy and Research’s mission is to facilitate research, promote education, and inform policy about health and health care. The goal is to improve the health of the public by contributing new knowledge about access, delivery, cost, quality and outcomes related to health care and providing rigorous evidence to policymakers and other stakeholders. CHPR executes its mission through interdisciplinary and collaborative research; education and career development; and research synthesis and dissemination. 

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