Public health is the holistic approach to addressing issues of social, mental, and physical health of a society over the course of a lifetime.
I was inspired to study public health in order to find a way to impact people on a grander scale. This means affecting not just the individual, but also the family, community, and society. I realized that there was a whole other aspect of addressing health and wellness that doesn’t focus purely on medicine. For example, vaccination campaigns, HIV/STI awareness, and nutrition are all crucial to health.
If I had to choose just one experience, planning for the National Public Health Week with the Public Health Student Association and implementing all the events for each day has been the most rewarding because we are helping people to better understand the idea of public health. People were given an opportunity to have a free yoga session, learn about mental health and breast cancer awareness, as well as conduct a total body prevention assessment.
There are opportunities everywhere! Even if you don’t know exactly what you want to focus on, don’t be afraid to ask. Much like business, networking is a huge part of public health. I realized that people who share the same passion and ideas are extremely willing to guide you in the right direction.
Public health needs to find ways to minimize health disparities. There is no reason why health outcomes differ between people of different socioeconomic statuses. Something I learned was that health is a right, not a privilege. However, the way health care is in the U.S. currently makes health seem like a privilege. Everyone should have access to care.