Santiago Internship Stories: Medical Student’s Research on Hospital Admissions Following October Protests

August 22, 2020

Thomas Daniel Wagner is a second year medical student at Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons doing an online internship at the Society and Health Research Center (CISS by its acronym in Spanish) at Chile’s Universidad Mayor.

Chile erupted in social protest in October 2019, and working with Álvaro Castillo Carniglia - an associate professor at CISS, adjunct assistant professor of population health at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and an affiliated faculty at the Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy at NYU -Wagner is studying the effects of the social protests on hospital consultations and admissions in Santiago. Through this, he has developed a greater understanding of the intricate process of public health and epidemiology research. He has learned how to select, clean, and analyze large datasets to understand how events and policies can impact public health. The combination of his research and the global pandemic has increased his appreciation for the importance of epidemiology.

Wagner’s interests at Vagelos include aerospace medicine and public health, both of which he plans to pursue as careers. Outside of school, he enjoys outdoor activities such as running, hiking, and fishing, as well as songwriting, among other hobbies.