What inspired you to study public health?
Initially my plan was to become a Registered Dietitian, but after realizing how deep rooted the problem of food insecurity was I knew that the field was not enough for me. It felt insensitive for me to teach low income communities how to eat better when I knew that they did not even have somewhere to live. Fortunately, with the help of my professors they opened my eyes to the broad field of public health. Seeing the many different topics that contribute to health outcomes such as policy, education, socioeconomic status, etc. I knew that this was a field I was very passionate about! Everyday I am in awe at the great work that public health does for different communities.
What has been the single most rewarding experience of your career/studies so far?
Seeing the impact that interventions can have on communities is so amazing to see! It’s fascinating applying a theory that you learned in class to a real life intervention or policy and watching it improve the health outcomes in real time.
It’s okay to not know exactly what area you interested in right away. It may seem like everyone has their 5 year plan together, but really a lot of people are still finding their way.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?
Health literacy is a big challenge that a lot of public health professionals forget about. It’s not enough to be literate, we have to make sure that populations we are serving are understanding the information given so that their health outcomes are being improved. For example, what is the point of prescribing medications if the person doesn’t know how much to take? Making sure that communities are given the correct health education in advance will only benefit them in the long run.