One thing I would tell prospective students is to consider Public Health, especially if you’re interested in medical school. It will enable you to develop a different approach to treating patients.
Why did you choose to study Public Health at WVU?
I developed an interest in public health while earning a merit badge for Eagle Scouts. I always thought that I would major in Biology or Chemistry and then go to medical school, but then I discovered Public Health. With Public Health, I can focus on both my interests in the sciences and in government. I chose WVU for the high level of one-on-one interactions and because the Public Health undergraduate program is still relatively new, allowing me to maximize my learning experience.
What does public health mean to you?
To me, public health means helping an entire population versus a single patient. It means preventing issues from occurring rather than treating the issue at hand.
What about the Public Health major interests you the most?
I was raised in a medical household. My dad is an anesthesiologist, and my mom is a registered nurse. They would always teach me about medicine, and I learned a lot about the subject over the years. When I got to WVU and began to learn more about public health, I was introduced to a whole different perspective on medicine. I now have a better understanding of how prevention comes into medicine and how public health and medicine go hand-in-hand.
What made you choose your area of emphasis?
I chose Public Health Sciences as my area of emphasis because it will allow me to be a better physician. I will be able to learn more about the one-on-one interactions, emergency preparedness and other elements that I would not have focused on if I picked Biology or Chemistry as my major.
Have you had any particular professors or faculty members who have made an impact on you while at WVU?
Dean Hunt, Chasity Mayhew and Dr. McCawley. Both Dean Hunt and my advisor, Chasity Mayhew, have made me feel so welcomed and have been instrumental in guiding me. It is easy to go talk to them about my studies and my future study abroad program and get their feedback. Dr. McCawley is the ultimate teacher; his passion for his field, Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, is contagious and something I admire.
What would you tell prospective students about WVU and the School of Public Health?
One thing I would tell prospective students is to consider Public Health, especially if you’re interested in medical school. Public Health will allow you to fulfill that dream. With the program, you are able to not only get all the prerequisites for medical school, but also develop a different approach to treating patients. Public Health will also allow you many different career opportunities if you decide medical school is not necessarily right for you. It still enables you to help individuals and communities as a whole.
What are your plans upon the completion of your degree?
At the moment, I want to pursue medical school to become a surgeon. More specifically, I would like to find a medical school that also allows me to obtain my MPH. I am also considering law school as an alternative option.
How does public health influence your daily life?
I’m a very service-oriented person. I’ve set a challenge for myself to fund-raise for a different charity project each year I’m in school. This year, I’m raising funds for an orphanage in India through GoFundMe.
How are you involved with SAPH?
The Student Association of Public Health (SAPH) is a group of students and faculty members who are dedicated to promoting public health issues throughout WVU and the community. I recently obtained the title of Undergraduate Committee Co-Chair for SAPH. Since I am a freshman, I am lucky enough to have all four years to make a difference through volunteering and being of service to the community. I will also be studying abroad during the summer of 2018 in South Africa through a public health program focusing on HIV.