Since early childhood, I always believed I would choose a career in the medical field. When I was five years old, I was asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up”? I always responded by saying: “I want to become a dentist”. I began to pursue my lifelong goal of becoming a dentist or doctor after enrolling at the University of Georgia majoring in biology. I interviewed and shadowed many doctors, all of whom specialized in different areas. I learned about the education process of becoming a doctor, daily tasks, their lifestyle, and the hours they worked.
However, the more time I spent shadowing and working with people in those fields; the less I believed that a career as a doctor was right for me. I became more interested with why a certain patient had got the disease, how it was spreading, and what could be done to prevent the next person from getting the disease. Although I once thought the idea of becoming a doctor seemed fantastic, I knew it did not fit the criteria I was looking for. This led to an interest in the study of public health.
Throughout my undergraduate education, I was exposed to a wide range of classes; however, I was most interested in the science classes. After deciding dental school was not for me, I knew I wanted to continue my science education by enrolling in a graduate school program. I remained uncertain which program would be right for me until the end of my senior year. My first introduction to public health was during a biology seminar for students interested in becoming a doctor. A guest lecturer from the school of public health gave a presentation over attending the graduate program.
The idea of finding out what causes a disease and how it spreads and then using that information to save lives and money convinced me to look further into the M. P. H program. I attended more seminars and met with public health leaders at many events. These activities confirmed my strong interest, and I was convinced the field of public health was exactly what I had been looking for. I was drawn to the idea of not only focusing on one-on-one patient care that doctors provide, but also solving problems that affect the health of entire populations.
The study of disease and health within populations; for instance, preventing disease, promoting health, and reducing health problems between groups are the main reasons I want to pursue an M. P. H focusing on epidemiology. These are my strongest interests because I believe they are important in improving our world’s health. One of the most appealing aspects of becoming a public health professional is the wide range of careers available to choose from. My career goals coincide with the range of opportunities; however, ultimately I want to work with an organization similar to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
I want to focus on the social and medical aspects of disease, and examine the disproportionate rates of disease and disability among minorities. I also want to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS that is rapidly destroying so many countries. My passion to help others around me has sparked a desire to work with clinics around the world in order to promote change in the treatment and prevention of devastating diseases like HIV/AIDS.
Attending the University of Georgia’s School of Public Health will allow me to achieve my goals of furthering my public health education through the coursework offered as part of its M. P. H program. I have researched the opportunities available with public health and it has only increased my interest in epidemiology. I want to challenge myself to promote change and end the spread of preventable diseases. With my commitment, work ethic, and desire to help others— I am confident I will succeed in the school of public health and strive to improve our world’s health care.