Marek Lisek ’17, a biology major and chemistry minor, is spending his summer interning at the Cornea Research Foundation of America (CRFA).
Marek applied for the internship because he wanted a more hands-on experience in the medical field—he plans to apply to medical school after graduating in December.
During his internship, Lisek has done everything from updating a database, to working with patients, to participating in research.
“I have learned a ton. Before this internship, I had a very limited knowledge about eyes and all of their components,” Lisek said. “Now, I have learned about all aspects of the eye, what all the various words, acronyms, and numbers mean when you get a prescription for glasses or contacts, and the different types of procedures you can have done, from a cataract surgery to a DMEK corneal transplant.”
The highlight of his internship has been participating in a research study that evaluated the potential association between donor and recipient diabetes status and Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) outcomes.
“I think that being able to do research allowed me to understand the other side of things. Some people always ask, ‘Are you sure you want to go into medicine? Have you thought about other things?’ But being able to do research showed me the importance of people working hard to discover unanswered questions about medicine, or discover new things to help patients in a different way,” Lisek said. “Healthcare and treating people aren’t just about doctors seeing patients in an office; it's all a massive team effort, and every single person, whether a nurse, a laboratory researcher, or even someone crunching data plays a big role in it.”
Lisek is currently studying for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and plans to start medical school in August 2018.