First 2 weeks down!
So, I’m starting my 3rd week and I’m getting a decent feel for classes. Not too many people, probably about 30. Much more DVM/MPH people than MD/MPH, and 4 people with MDs that came back to do the MPH. Things are completely different for me than my roommates, who are both in term 1 of their MD program. Haven’t seen too much of them since class started. MPH classes are much less stressful than medical school, and the focus is much different. In my case, the pace is pretty fast, as we’re covering 15 credits in 12 weeks. So midterms for me are actually not too far off…
My schedule looks like this. Monday and Wednesday we have class from 9-11, break for lunch, then go 1-5. Tuesday and Thursday we go 9-11, then have a long break, and have one more class 5-7. Fridays we have off, but I’ve been using that as a day to catch up on work. Saturdays seem to be my grocery days, and Sundays I usually just study. Oh and I did have some time to do a little meal prepping, lets see how long this lasts.
As far as the coursework goes, it started off a little boring but things are beginning to get a lot more interesting. The driest classes are biostats and epidemiology. There’s a lot of math and terms that you have to memorize to interpret data. Monday and Wednesdays are a little more fun, and overal the courseload is not too bad. Got to go explore more!
Now that we’ve kind of grasped the basics we’re moving into more discussion based type of classes. The classes on Mondays and Wednesdays focus a lot on how to enact changes, in terms of policy, leadership, community involvement, that kind of thing. We’ve been reading some case studies to discuss and are moving more towards doing a lot of presentations.
I gotta admit, public health is different then I imagined. It’s forcing me to learn more about how other countries do things, understand their cultures better, and just giving me a much broader perspective. If you can sum up public health in one word, it would probably be prevention. It focusses on the health of a whole population, in terms of social justice, the environment, spread of disease, cultural factors, and anything else that affects peoples health. While doing research and investigating are important, they seem to stress how you actually go about making a change, and put utmost importance on protecting a population over the individual, so in that way traditional medicine and public health are a little conflicted.
It’s challenging, but really makes you stop and think. Especially when you start to get a better understanding of the US healthcare system and compare that to other systems, and then look at the health problems seen in poor countries. As far as studying goes, a good chunk of my time is spent reading the articles and writing short essay type questions. I do like to read the books, for me it helps me understand a little better, but upper termers advise that pretty much everything you need to know is in the slides.
They did recently change over to doing the courses online, so if you can’t make it in person you can join the class online. And also on the plus side, you don’t need to buy any books! Digital copies were all provided to us except for one, and you can check that out in the library if you’re nerdy like me.
Anyway, to the Library!