Student Research Profile: Tom Borecky

Here at PUC, biology students have countless opportunities to get involved with research, oftentimes working alongside professors on projects. Programs are specially curated to not only prepare students academically but also to equip them with real-world experience for success in future endeavors.

Here’s one student’s experience and how they feel PUC helped prepare them.

Who are you?

My name is Tom Borecky, and I am a senior biology major. I will be attending medical school in the fall and hope to get a master’s degree in public health as well.

What did you do?

I had the privilege of participating in a research project examining the impact of the Affordable Care Act on colonoscopy cancellation rates. I was responsible for organizing and collecting data from over 400 cases to analyze the specifics of the reasons for cancellations, such as demographic information and insurance type.

When and where did you do this work?

I did this work when I returned home from my gap year as a student missionary in Uganda in March 2018. This research was done at the Sierra Nevada Gastroenterology practice in Grass Valley, California. We spent a few weeks collecting and organizing all the data, and had the opportunity to present a poster of the findings at the American College of Gastroenterology annual conference in Philadelphia the following October.

What did you learn?

Throughout my experience, I learned the intricate process of research, which can be extremely detail-oriented and tedious, is essential to produce accurate information that will guide and help people. Also, the skill of learning how to work with others as a team to accomplish a goal was a major achievement from my research experience. These skills have impacted my life beyond the research in tremendous ways.

How did your experience at PUC help you prepare for this experience?

Throughout my time at PUC in the department of biology, the basic skills I have developed through lab such as organizing and processing data in Excel was extremely useful in aiding me in the research process. Also, classes such as Systems Physiology and BIOL 113 allowed me to have a sufficient understanding of the digestive system, which helped guide the conceptual understanding of “why” this research was meaningful.

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