Mr. Naveed Sadiq, a doctoral candidate in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, became a dentist so he could help people who have lost their teeth — people like his grandmother and others who live in rural villages throughout his native Pakistan. During his dental residency, Mr. Sadiq learned that many of these individuals had misconceptions. Rural residents assumed that if their parents did not have teeth at 40 years of age, it was normal for they themselves to lose most or all of their teeth by middle age. He could not understand why they did not follow his practical advice, which was backed by his clinical training. “Was it purely a misconception problem?” he wondered. “Was it an access problem and the patient didn’t want to travel from a rural village to an urban town?”
Mr. Sadiq joined a master of public health program to find the answers. Then he applied for a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue his PhD. “I wanted to quench my thirst in learning more about public health,” he says. “Specifically, I wanted to observe the systems of developed countries — how they address the problems and how they solve them.”
As a Fulbright Scholar, Mr. Sadiq was matched with the Arnold School of Public Health. He joined the “wonderful, skillful and competent faculty of the University of South Carolina” in the department of health services policy and management. Scheduled to graduate in August, Mr. Sadiq plans to return to Pakistan where he will join a university and start a doctoral program. “I want to train students to conduct research and optimize the healthcare system by providing solutions that are tailored to local needs and culturally appropriate,” he says.