Student Gains Valuable Experience Through Trinity’s Health Fellows Program

Neuroscience Major Ari Adamski ’17 Doing Research at Connecticut Children's Medical Center

​Hartford, Connecticut, April 14, 2016 – Ari Adamski ’17, a neuroscience major at Trinity College, is among eight undergraduates currently participating in the Health Fellows Program, a Trinity-sponsored research program offered each spring. Launched in 1999, the selective Health Fellows Program is an innovative academic program that gives students opportunities to explore the field of healthcare. In addition to their regular coursework, students spend 30 hours per week doing clinical research projects and building one-on-one relationships with clinical-care physicians who supervise them at area medical centers.

​Dr. Francis DiMario and Ari Adamski ’17 at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Photo courtesy of CCMC
The Health Fellows Program is designed for students who want to observe and participate in a variety of activities including research projects, clinical services, educational seminars, and medical rounds at Hartford Hospital, the Institute of Living, and Connecticut Children's Medical Center. For students like Adamski, the program provides valuable experience in a healthcare setting that may help guide their future career choices. “The clinical hours – and in particular, shadowing a few cases – have allowed me to see patients that the doctors take care of,” Adamski said. “The environment feels like organized chaos, which I enjoy. Initially I thought it would be depressing to see sick children, but I was able to see a few patients gradually get better, and that was really amazing to see.”

Adamski, who is from Westfield, Massachusetts, transferred to Trinity for its neuroscience program. “The school I was previously at didn't offer the rigor and exposure that I wanted,” she said. “The faculty in the neuroscience program are always encouraging us to read upcoming articles and research and are always letting us know what's relevant and changing. This aspect makes you stay on your toes.” In addition to participating in the Health Fellows Program, Adamski teaches yoga classes on campus and is an admissions tour guide. She also spent this past winter break teaching English in Costa Rica.

This semester, Adamski is paired with pediatric neurologist Dr. Francis DiMario, an expert in seizure disorders in children at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. She works with the doctor and his staff to research the effects of a high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein ketogenic diet that is often used to treat epilepsy in young patients who don’t respond well to traditional anti-epilepsy drugs.

Adamski also works at Trinity in the laboratory of Susan A. Masino, Vernon Roosa Professor of Applied Science. “It is wonderful that we have a clinical connection through the Health Fellows Program,” Masino said. “Ari has been involved in research on ketogenic diet in the laboratory, and now she can see its applications in the clinic of a pediatric neurologist. To have either experience is a great opportunity for a student, and to have both is really extraordinary for anyone in the field.”

For students interested in a career in medicine, demonstrating interest and relevant experience is often crucial when applying to medical school, which Adamski plans to do. This intensive research program can help give students a chance to experience what medical school may be like, and can help make the students more attractive to medical schools.

To learn more about the Health Fellows Program at Trinity College and how to apply, please click here

Written by Josh LeBlanc ’16