What inspired you to study public health?
I have always wanted to help people. In undergrad, behavior change theories and epidemiology classes fascinated me. Public health quickly became a way to combine my academic interest with my passion for serving others and fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves.
What has been the single most rewarding experience of your career/studies so far?
Working as a graduate assistant for the epidemiology team at our local health district during Covid has been such an amazing experience. I have learned so much already, and I look forward to continuing to learn more as we move into a post-pandemic world.
Don’t be discouraged; remember who you are fighting for. I have found it is easy to get lost in the political nature of public health sometimes, and it easy to focus on numbers and policies. It is important to get out into the community and remember who it is all for. Remind yourself why you do want to be in public health.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?
Public health and primary care need to work together. The pandemic has placed a spotlight on the holes in our system, how primary care was left out of the pandemic response and how public health was slow to catch on to the warning signs of a new disease coming through clinics. Primary care and public health should inform each other, and we need to focus on building up a new system in which this is possible.