Since I am new to the world of public health, I haven't learned much about epidemiology or how it applies to our daily lives or modern policies. So I know this experience will not only give me an in-depth understanding of the subject but also an experience to see how the subject is practiced globally.
As of now, I'm aspiring to become a doctor or PA. When my family and friends ask me why I'm willing to put myself through more schooling and probably much more debt, I say it's because health is a human right and I want to be able to provide that service to people who are disadvantaged. However, I'm starting to see that one doesn't have to be a doctor to provide healthcare. In fact, public and global health offer a wide array of opportunities to improve the health of communities and general populations.
This experience will help me determine which parts of public health I could see myself pursuing. As of now, I'm extremely interested in maternal and public health because I've seen the importance of this aspect of health in a community. But the history of epidemiology is definitely going to be interesting. Seeing the relics of this subject, first hand, could possibly inspire me to focus my public health track on disease prevention.
My mom wants me to work at the CDC, but I've always said I don't know if I ever could because, outside of movies, I have no idea what the subject of epidemiology is really about. So when I return home, I can give her a more clear direction about my career path and if it involves the CDC.
On the other hand, my conversations with Londoners might steer me in the direction of health policy, especially with the fate of the NHS in the balance. Overall, I'm grateful to learn more about who I am and what I could see myself doing for 20 or 30 more years as it relates to public health.