What type of career would you like to pursue after earning your MPH?
I would like to pursue a career in epidemiology, health care and public health consulting, and/or policy and prevention projects.
Where did you complete your practicum?
I completed my practicum at the North Dakota Department of Health, Division of Disease Control in Bismarck, North Dakota.
What skills did you gain during your practicum?
I gained skills in evaluation, data analysis, epidemiology practice and research, policy, management, health department organization, prevention, community health and social marketing. I’ve used these skills in subsequent classes, projects and in medical school. And I can say with certainty that those skills will come in handy in the near future!
What was your favorite aspect of your practicum experience?
My favorite part of practicum was getting some real-world experience. I’ve been a student my entire life — with minimal public health practice — so this was a wonderful time for me to get my hands dirty in epidemiology and in state and local public health endeavors. Additionally, my colleagues let me get involved with projects outside of my practicum, so I was able to see a bit more of other local health department endeavors.
I wish I had more time at my practicum. Once I started my project, the time disappeared, and it seemed like it was over in days. I guess time flies when you're having fun.
What was your experience like working with your preceptor?
I had two preceptors who were wonderful. They allowed me the freedom to apply my skills and be a part of the team, but they also gave me direction when I felt lost and answered any questions I had. I also keep in touch with both of them, and they have asked me to help on additional projects since the end of my practicum.
Would you like to pursue a career with an organization similar to your practicum site?
Absolutely! I believe the work of state and local health departments is pivotal for providing care and developing healthy communities, and one of my goals is to make sure that the communities we live in are safe, healthy places to live and grow. State health departments provide opportunities for all public health practitioners, whether you’re interested in community health, disease control, epidemiology, data analysis, quality control, policy, etc. And without their help, the communities we live in wouldn’t be as healthy.
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