You read a restaurant review on Yelp. You survey the menu and ask a friend about their favorite dish. You may even ask the waiter for more information about the ingredients. Who would have thought that going out to dinner would require so much research? Informally, we use research to help us make decisions in our daily lives. Formally, research is used to gather information and discover associations between topics. With an interest in learning more about underserved populations, I used research techniques to explore barriers to oral health for Latinos in eastern North Carolina from the perspective of community health workers.
Anacristina Chapa is more than just a dental student. She is also a poet — and a well-recognized one at that. She was named the 2016 Poetry Slam Champ of Laredo BorderSlam and has competed in various regional competitions. Last year, she was a member of Houston’s Write About Now poetry team and competed in the National Poetry Slam competition in Denver. She has received media attention for her work illustrating modern life, especially for college-age students and Latinos.
When applying to dental school, I wasn’t considered your traditional student. I attended community college, completed a post-bac program and did not have research experience–something many predental students have experience in. Although I graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a research heavy institution, I was never exposed research. And when I realized having a research background would help my application to dental school, it was too late. Once I matriculated at UCSF for dental school, I realized having research experience is not necessary and thought to myself, “I didn’t have to do research to get in and I never will have to do it.” Things changed very quickly.