Shivani Iyer

Shivani Iyer

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Class of 2027

Major: Dental Medicine

Shivani Iyer is a dental student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, where she is pursuing her doctorate in Dental Medicine. Iyer is a recent graduate of Muhlenberg College (May 2023) where she earned her Bachelor’s in Science in Biology, minored in Public Health and was a member of the Dana Scholars Honors Program. During her time at Muhlenberg, one of her most rewarding experiences was her time collaborating with mentor Dr. Kathleen Bachynski on a multidisciplinary research project that was published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine Focus which centered around concussions, injury prevention and protective headgear usage in girl’s lacrosse. Through this experience, Iyer developed a deep interest in public health research and hopes that by engaging in research that identified the many social, financial, and structural barriers patients face daily, she will have a stronger foreground to deliver thoughtful, patient-centered care as a future dental provider. Iyer was grateful for the opportunity to pursue the LDI/SUMR Fellowship for this reason, and was excited to broaden her skillset and deepen her understanding of health inequities and policy. 

During the SUMR 2023 Fellowship, Iyer worked on two research projects. The first project she worked with Dr. Jaya Aysola and Dr. Mihir Kakara on a project that aimed to understand the accessibility barriers for people with disabilities in clinical environments. The study utilized the qualitative research methodology of “walking interviews” to better captivate the lived experiences of these patients. The second project was under the guidance of Dr. Emily Vail and Dr. Caiomhe Duffy. They worked on a project that examined the unique challenges female academic anesthesiologists encounter during pregnancy, childbirth, recovery, and breastfeeding.

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