The beautiful thing about medicine is that there are so many ways to go about helping people. It takes many different careers to maneuver the healthcare infrastructure in this country. I have always been interested in learning more about the various factors that influence how people interact with their health. I believe this is what drew me to getting a Master of Public Health (MPH).
Getting a second degree in four years of medical school was certainly a lesson in time management, but it can be done. One of the most profound lessons that I took away was that there are many barriers to accessing healthcare for a lot of people, especially minorities. There are the obvious barriers such as distance to a provider and financial obstacles. Furthermore, a lot of the minority population in this country have a (warranted) distrust of hospitals and physicians. It is important for physicians to recognize these limitations and adjust the way they interact with patients. Moreover, it is important to develop community health programs to meet patients where they are.
“Now more than ever, understanding epidemiology, implementing biostatistics, and analyzing research is vital.”Dr. Patricia Oby Ekwueme, Contributor, Med Student Edge
Through my public health courses, I was also able to see how public health experts provide insights to shape public policy. Now more than ever, understanding epidemiology, implementing biostatistics, and analyzing research is vital. This information allows healthcare professionals to provide appropriate primary prevention of disease and address negative consequences of disease. Additionally, having a degree in public health gives more credence to a voice when discussing these issues.
My MPH degree has allowed me to learn from impressive physicians who have dedicated their lives to working in community settings. I will take these lessons into my career to provide more informed care to my patients, within the hospital and beyond.
Are you interested in getting an MPH? What interests you about public health?