As an undergraduate student at UCLA, Sophie majored in Psychobiology. The DiSH lab was her first research experience and was formative in realizing she very much enjoys research, and the innovation behind asking questions that people have not asked before, alongside her interest in medicine. As study coordinator for a 2-week randomized controlled trial, she gained fundamental skills in conducting literature reviews, creating study documents, managing data acquisition, training research assistants, using SPSS for statistical analyses, presenting at conferences, and helping prepare a manuscript for publication. All of these provided her with a solid foundation in how research works and a broad sense of how she wants her research to examine health using a biopsychosocial lens.
She chose to apply for MD-PhD because she wants a career as a physician-scientist, both practicing as a physician and leading research at an academic institution. The dual degree provides an integrated experience of both research and medical training. She hopes that her practice as a physician can better inform her research and vice versa. The dual degree will help her understand both perspectives of developing new scientific knowledge and medical practice to combine into a career as a physician-scientist. She hopes to develop the skills to design high-quality studies, tackle research questions that directly impact her patients, write fundable grants, and practice as a physician.