Briana Buckner

How does Mayo education compare to previous education that you have received at other institutions?

This has been hands-on learning. I have learned from doing and from seeing the way that Mayo approaches medicine.

What opportunities have you been introduced to since being at Mayo?

I have shadowed in the Breast Clinic, pulmonary service, cardiology service and cardiovascular surgery. I have also enjoyed seminars and Grand Rounds. The clinical presentations have exposed me to the topics that are at the forefront of a leading medical institution. My most valuable opportunity has been participating in basic science research, and realizing that I enjoy it. Research allows me to ask probing questions, and has taught me to value the progress of medicine made through medical research.

Why did you choose Mayo Clinic over other medical institutions?

Mayo was willing to give me an opportunity and that is why I chose it. Before arriving here, I had no research experience and was looking for a place that would embrace my lack of experience as an opportunity to really engage a curious student. I was eager to be introduced to what could be and will be an integral part of my career. I think I will see other medical institutions differently after spending a summer at Mayo. I have met wonderful, and caring physicians, learned from brilliant researchers and met great mentors.

What is your program like? What sorts of projects/workshops have you done?

I am a medical student participating in the summer research program. Students are paired with a mentor, who then provides guidance on a particular research project. I am working in a pulmonary lab and have learned so much about the physiology of the lungs. My work is focused on creating an additional working model that resembles the damage inflicted on the epithelial cells of the airways. Once the model system is perfected, varying osmotic gradients will be administered to the cells to see what prevents further injury.

How would you describe the atmosphere of Mayo Clinic?

It's very professional, focused and efficient. Everyone who works here — from the doctors to the cafeteria workers — seems proud to be a part of the Mayo way.

What is your everyday life like in Rochester?

I get up early and go to lab where I run my experiments and further my research endeavors. For lunch I usually go to the Harwick cafeteria, where I get a nice hot meal and then I return to my lab. Often I attend morning Grand Rounds or an afternoon seminar. My favorite seminars have been the cardiac imaging Grand Rounds and the medical Grand Rounds. After lab I head to the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center to work out. From there I go home to eat dinner, relax, read or watch television.

What are your plans for the future?

To finish medical school, possibly apply for a research fellowship, and pursue an internal medicine residency program.

If you could describe Mayo in one word, what would it be?


With what kinds of activities are you involved in Rochester?

Reading, going to the library, and working out.

How does Rochester differ from your hometown? College community?

Rochester is smaller than my hometown and college. In my hometown and college community there are major attractions such as museums, theme parks and theaters. In Rochester, I find that the residents enjoy the small things such as a weekend on the lake, a picnic in the park or a good night of bowling.

Nov. 11, 2010