By Suhtling Wong | March 4, 2024 9:36 am
Second Year Medical Student Ariana Johnson with her research poster on cochlear implants.

Medical student Ariana Johnson who studied how family dynamics help children navigate cochlear implants will present her research at the at the American Cochlear Implant Alliance Conference in Vancouver, Canada in July.

Working with the Nemours’ pediatric cochlear implantation team, her research revealed that Caucasian children tended to receive their first cochlear implants at a younger age compared to black children. Non-Hispanic patients were seen earlier at 19 months of age compared to 28 months for Hispanic children.  Two-parent families were also more likely to seek ENT care sooner than those with one parent.

She recently had a chance to present the same research as a poster presentation at the annual UCF College of Medicine FIRE Conference. 

Her findings suggest that more outreach and support for families seeking ENT hearing loss care could improve early cochlear implantation numbers. 

Dr. Cedric Pritchett, a pediatric otolaryngologist at Nemours Children’s Hospital who mentored Johnson, encouraged her interest in the specialty and to apply for a podium presentation at the Vancouver conference. 

Johnson, a second-year student, became interested in hearing loss during her gap year when she worked as a medical assistant at an ear, nose and throat clinic in Fort Myers. 

“It really drew me into the field,” said Johnson, “the surgery aspect, patient care and follow-up with patients.” 

Although she sees herself more of a clinician and enjoys interacting with patients, research has opened new areas of interest she previously had never considered. “It pushes you to do things that you would never think of,” she said.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Ariana to present her work internationally and to contribute meaningfully to the advancement of medical knowledge.  We are proud of her work and excited to see her represent UCF College of Medicine at the American Cochlear Implant Alliance Conference,” said Dr. Marcy Verduin, associate dean of students.

The scholarship covers partial costs to attend the conference and includes membership to the American Alliance of Cochlear implants.

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