Many Fords have interned, worked, or conducted research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the first pediatric hospital in America—and one of the best—over the years. Psychology major and neuroscience minor Keri Cronin ’18, who was awarded departmental honors for her thesis, is the latest to join its workforce. An aspiring pediatric surgeon, she’s excited to be working with a variety of different patient populations “ranging from asthma patients to patients with chronic complex conditions to patients in the NICU” in her capacity as a clinical research assistant. And she couldn’t have foreseen that she’d be getting a crash course in current events along the way.
“[Besides] working with patients and their families, I am [conducting studies] that explore the relationship of different healthcare policies, such as trauma designations and perinatal policy, to socioeconomic disparities and patient outcomes,” Cronin explains. “[So, when not] recruiting patients for the studies, I do research…on Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage and the outcomes of mass-shooting victims.”
For her part, Cronin welcomes the chance to familiarize herself with the facts behind such newsworthy intersections of medicine and politics, which affect her as both an aspiring physician and as a citizen of the United States.
“The experience has definitely increased my personal understanding of topics like ACA coverage and gun-control laws in terms of the magnitude of people who are affected by these policies,” she says. “It has also increased my desire to explore these topics outside the realm of my research. For example, I will be shadowing [a Haverford alumnus] in CHOP’s emergency department this Wednesday night and am hoping to have the opportunity to learn more about care in response to trauma.”
And, in true Ford fashion, she is eager to share her newfound knowledge with those in the larger community as well.
“It would be great to take the information I have learned and apply it through a service opportunity,” she says, “whether that’s educating children about gun violence or helping underserved populations navigate the complexities of healthcare in the context of ACA coverage.”
“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.
Keri Cronin ’18 was photographed in front of CHOP by Alexandra Iglesia ’21.