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Day 26 of #30daysofMD Andrea Lane and a Career In Biostatistics One advantage of being diagnosed with LGMD at age 11, as opposed to later in life, is that I had time to plan. When it came time to make big decisions about higher education and my career, I already knew I had to consider my disability. I decided to pursue a PhD in biostatistics for three reasons, two of which are disability-related: (1) the field combines my interests in math and public health, (2) career opportunities are flexible and often lucrative enough to ensure independence (having a disability is an expensive adventure), and (3) biostatistics jobs are nearly always sedentary. Pursuing higher education has shaped many areas of my life (finances, social, etc.) and led to several enriching opportunities. The SSA Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) program has allowed me to be financially independent as a graduate student. I have traveled to various conferences across the country (for free!) specifically for underrepresented minorities and students with disabilities in my field. I recently joined AccessComputing, an organization that provides a network of students, professionals, and academics with disabilities in computer science or related fields. AccessComputing provides resources including a scholarship database, conference funding, internship assistance, and professional development. Knowing that organizations like this exist give me so much hope that scientific fields will continue to become more diverse and inclusive for those of us with disabilities.
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