MPH, One Health (ONE)
“I practiced as a primary care physician for three years, then took a job at an occupational medicine clinic at a community hospital where I worked for 15 years, eventually becoming the medical director. During my time at the clinic I would often be asked to evaluate hospital employees who might have been exposed to an infectious disease and I learned firsthand the importance of actively preventing exposures in the workplace.
I moved across the country to pursue an MPH in One Health largely because of Dr. Peter Rabinowitz. He is well known in the field and has been an amazing mentor. For example, coming from the health care world I didn’t know anything about collecting samples on a farm. Dr. Rabinowitz’s group arranged for me to spend a Saturday in the field with one of their research coordinators, visiting several farms in the Yakima Valley and learning how and where to collect samples.
As an older student returning to school, I entered the program with much trepidation, but quickly found that the department had a broad range of services to support me in my studies. For example, I needed to learn to program in R, and was able to find a mentor in the department who could help me. Trina Sterry, the Manager of Student and Academic Services for the department, has also been an amazing source of support, helping me navigate being back in school.
For my practicum project I’m working with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Vietnam team to help explore their PREDICT-2 project data. PREDICT-2 seeks to strengthen the international community’s capacity to detect and discover viruses that can be transmitted from animals to humans and study the biological, behavioral, and environmental factors associated with viral spillovers (when a virus moves from one species to another). I’ve been reviewing and analyzing transcripts in Vietnamese from interviews and focus groups with wildlife traders and, when that work is completed, I’ll be working with a researcher at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology analyzing viral surveillance data on rat traders in Vietnam. After graduation I would like to work for an agency that uses the One Health model to solve problems. I would like to find a job where I could work to find solutions that would lower the risk of infections to workers.”