Economics Major and Biophysics Minor: Prescription for Success
Economics Major and Biophysics Minor: Prescription for Success

Having direct access to faculty in both the Heider College of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences was what drew junior Molly Myers to Creighton.

“It’s unparalleled,” the economics major and mathematics and biophysics minor says.

Her Creighton experience has also been remarkable for its focus on research. The research Myers conducts in both economics and the sciences has depth and purpose. She enjoys autonomy, controlling her own projects. She runs her own experiments, writes her own abstracts, attends conferences and presents her own posters.

“I am part of the entire process from start to finish,” she says.

Myers is a Gail Werner-Robertson scholar and Business Research Fellow with the Institute for Economic Inquiry at the Heider College of Business. She leads a team of nine students in the institute’s finance research group, and she also works on her own projects concerning Certificate of Need (CON) laws, emergency department wait times, and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores.

“Health care in general is such an interesting market because it breaks almost every economic rule and should be a market failure, and yet it continues on,” says Myers, who hopes to have her research on how CON laws could potentially affect emergency department wait times published in the near future. “I plan to pivot into other areas of health care policy that can add value to the existing body of literature. Participating in the institute really has catapulted me into areas of research I never would have considered before.”

As an IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) scholar, Myers worked in a cancer biology lab at the University of Nebraska Medical Center this past summer. She also participated in the annual Holland Future Scientist Competition, giving a 12- minute presentation on molecular targets for therapy-resistant prostate cancer that earned her an honorable mention.

Currently, she works in Creighton’s cancer biology lab with professor of physics Michael Nichols, PhD, is a Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURAS) ambassador and serves as a teaching assistant for the general chemistry lab. She says Creighton offers extensive opportunity for undergraduates to participate in research and develop career-building skills.

“I volunteer in all of my research areas to do more presentations, write more papers and go to more conferences. A lot of people would not get these opportunities until late in grad school,” she says.

Myers is on the pre-med track but originally intended to pursue pre-law. The Omaha native is working toward a dual MD/PhD degree. It will take eight years to complete but will result in both an MD and PhD in either cancer biology or health care economics. She has yet to decide.

Regarding her choice to join the pre-med path, Myers believes you have to love what you do. “I fundamentally love economics, and I believe I am more invested and happier taking classes that I love than I would be taking a ‘traditional’ route to get a medical degree,” she says. “I would absolutely recommend mixing business and science for those who want to enter medical school or even to those who want to pursue a PhD. Doctors are expected to work in an atmosphere where business and bureaucracy play a large role, and navigating this complex environment is vital to be successful.

“Also, as jobs in academia diminish – currently only around 16 percent of science PhDs become professors – having business skills, from networking to communication to basic financial principles, will become more important to sinking or swimming in the job market,” Myers adds.