As an undergraduate I participated in research and worked at a newborn screening lab. I enjoyed pursuing answers to basic science questions, so I thought I would pursue a PhD. However, during my junior year I realized that I also loved day-to-day contact with a variety of people, and research alone would not necessarily afford that.
It was incredibly positive. The Department of Microbiology and Immunology bends over backward to make sure you’re happy, help you find a lab and assist you with paperwork and anything else you need to accomplish during the program. There are meetings twice a semester to get student feedback and reevaluate the program.
Faculty and administrators spent significant time guiding me to find a lab that was a perfect fit, with the result being a happy placement in Dr. Kelvin Lee’s lab. Their personalized approach to help each student reach their potential shines through even in small details. In the first year of the program, they write a letter to each student evaluating your strengths and weaknesses and offering encouragement and advice. The hands-on guidance made me realize that UB was the perfect fit for me.
The medical school goes out of its way to include students on committees and panels that have a direct impact on how the school is run. The classes are well coordinated and interesting, and the fact that you have contact with patients in your first year of training is invaluable.