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Passion fuels research for clinical psychology Ph.D. student

Lauren Mehok | Clinical Psychology, Graduate | Department of Psychology A supportive environment with plenty of opportunities was what Mehok found at IUPUI’s clinical psychology program.

By: Dustin Ryder

Gratification rushed over Lauren Mehok when she received her master’s degree in clinical psychology. Months of working on her thesis had paid off—she learned a variety of skills that have and will prove valuable. Her master’s was just a milestone, her pathway already determined. Hard work and determination paid off, but there was still more to Mehok’s plan.

A supportive environment with plenty of opportunities was what Mehok found at IUPUI’s clinical psychology program. Through the program she could focus on her passion—health psychology. Providing her with research opportunities, clinical experiences, and classes, IUPUI’s Ph.D. program was what drove Mehok’s move from Arizona. A sense of community through mentors and Ph.D. students strengthened her passion at IUPUI. 

Photo courtesy of Lauren Mehok


Researching for the future

Mehok is currently conducting research with associate professor Adam Hirsh, Ph.D., whose research is focused on chronic pain patients and improving their lives. To understand this better, Mehok evaluates the chronic pain experience through the role of the patient. Poor care and more symptoms have been reported in minority patients, sparking Mehok’s thesis. Her thesis project investigated the belief on how race differences in pain sensitivity may be related to literal race differences in pain tolerance. Recently, she has begun exploring new treatment methods for chronic pain patients during her clinical practice.

Comprehending the role of characteristics in patients, Mehok was able to explore how factors like race, gender, and weight cause a difference in recommendations. By doing so, research conducted in the future can invest in discovering targeted interventions that improve treatment for a variety of chronic pain patients.