In one sentence, what is public health to you?
A field that strives to ensure complete well being of the population at large (all people without discrimination).
What inspired you to study public health?
My background as a dentist from India helped me a lot to understand the lack of access to health information and health care among people from rural areas with low socioeconomic status through various dental camps. I was also able to comprehend the health disparities among different groups of people. I was keen to expand my vision to provide healthcare to people beyond just a clinic where we treat patients one-on-one. I wanted to explore the public health field and to help people at large attain complete well being which every human rightfully deserves. The satisfaction and smiles that I received from treating patients was a driving force to pursue my career at the population level.
What has been the single most rewarding experience of your career/studies so far?
More than any monetary or materialistic rewards the smiles on the faces of patients and those in need are the most blessed rewards. When I had participated in dental camps, I had the opportunity to perform dental procedures like scaling on the rural people who did not have knowledge about oral health. After removing all stains and calculus, they loved the appearance of their teeth. I have had comments and compliments when they told it really boosted up their social and self-confidence. That is a true reward that every doctor would yearn for.
Believe in yourself to be the change of something big! Our little voices today will serve as the power to change the lives of bigger population tomorrow!
What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?
Systems thinking and advocacy are two important arts in public health that every public health professional needs to master. Public health is not always about research and data. It is beyond those little bubbles. Identifying a population in need, analyzing a problem, finding a solution, finding stakeholders, advocating for change, bringing policy changes, and much more. So always be aware and focus on every tiny detail possible.Find an Academic Program in Epidemiology, TIPH Student Ambassador