In one sentence, what is public health to you?
As a clinician, public health is what we do to promote health and well-being for more than one person; if it was only for one person, it would be clinical practice.
What inspired you to study public health?
I recognized, during my clinical program, that, because athletic trainers have such deep relationships with their patients, they are in a position to have a strong influence on their holistic health. An athletic trainer who discusses public health topics with their patients is likely to have a meaningful impact on the health behaviors and knowledge in that population. This is not something that most athletic trainers are taking advantage of, and I want to help bridge that gap.
What has been the single most rewarding experience of your career/studies so far?
I recently had my first study published in a scientific journal. It wasn’t perfect and there is still work to be done in the area before any strong conclusions can be made but I am proud of the work that I did and the contribution that I have made to improving the way that we deliver medical care.
The scope of public health is enormous. Having a strong background in a lot of different topics (biology, chemistry, physics, English, history, etc) will make it a lot easier to solve the multidisciplinary problems found in public health.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?
Like so many other types of gaps, we have a widening health outcomes gap where some communities are benefiting from public health programming and others are not. This problem must be addressed so that all people can live healthy, happy lives.