This summer I was an intern in the Indiana State Department of Health Chemistry Laboratories. I worked on an opioid surveillance project which will assist ISDH in compiling demographic data and gaining more information on opioid use in Indiana and the drugs that are most prevalent. During my internship my main responsibility was to prepare urine samples for mass spectrometry analysis. I also assisted in researching opioid overdose reporting laws in other states to support a legislation proposal in Indiana. In addition to the opioid project, I also assisted with other tasks in the lab including receiving and logging blood lead samples and maintaining chemical logs.
I chose to apply to this internship because I became interested in public health after participating in a comparative public health systems study abroad program in 2018. I also plan to attend medical school after completing my undergraduate degree, so learning more about opioids and the public health measures being taken to address the crisis appealed to me as well. This internship also gave me the opportunity to apply concepts and techniques I have learned through my chemistry courses and labs to real life problems. I’m grateful for the chance to have gained more background on the opioid crisis and I think this experience will aid me in my future career as a physician.