A new adventure

After a lot of research and spending much time weighing pros and cons of two great MPH programs I applied to and have been luckily admitted to both, I have decided to attend the MPH program focused on healthcare management at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

I am certainly excited about the opportunity to study at one of the most prestigious institutions in the world, but what makes the upcoming journey more intriguing is the era we live in and the subsequent implications brought by drastic social and technological revolutions to public health.

As a person who works in digital healthcare communication, I believe we are witnessing some of the most important changes in modern medicines. These changes, largely driven by technologies, are reshaping the landscape of public health on a global scale.  What come with the changes are tremendous opportunities to make a concrete impact on all fronts of public health. For example, “big data” have opened the door for the human society to a world full of yet-to-be-discovered answers to some of today’s fundamental questions about our health.

Every time when I think about what these data stored in probably trillions of chips around the world can bring to us and their potential to solve some of the most pressing public health issues in our society, my heart just can’t stop racing—this is the best time to enter public health and I have a first class ticket.

Without any systemic science or medical training, I knew very little about healthcare when I started my first job at Johnson & Johnson that offered me a rewarding fellowship opportunity through which I saw how multinational organizations can reshape the world’s healthcare landscape (in both good and bad ways) because of its significant financial power. My later experience at Chamberlain, a public relations division of the global healthcare business service company Inventive, taught me the importance of smart rhetoric and good story telling to penetrate messages among the general public. Building digital channels and collecting online data from patients and physicians for my pharmaceutical clients enabled me to comprehend the power of connection and its impact on clinical outcomes.

What I am trying to say here is healthcare is so complex and any stakeholder can change the trajectory of an individual’s health at any stage. What matters to people’s health is more than medications but also social relationships and institutions such as families, policies, technologies and socioeconomic forces. That is why public health is such a fascinating topic that I cannot wait to explore. I created this blog to document my thoughts while I am pursing my MPH. If you are reading, give me a shout out. 

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