Discovering My “Fit” in Public Health

December 3, 2014 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

By Leah Taub, BA

Public health is a new field for me. Prior to making the transition to New Orleans to pursue my Master of Public Health at Tulane earlier this year, I worked for four years in television production and broadcast media in Washington, D.C. My college education in International Studies and Women’s Studies and my volunteer experience led to my decision to pursue a public health career.

However, public health is a very broad field, and although I had some understanding of my specific interests before starting at Tulane and have worked on narrowing these interests throughout my first semester, APHA helped me fine-tune these and in general, figure out where I “fit” in the field.

One topic that caught my attention while I was planning my schedule for the conference was the integration of media in public health promotion and prevention in the U.S. and abroad, especially in women’s and adolescent health. I attended one presentation on a multimedia campaign that used various forms of media including television spots and reality television programming to promote birth preparedness and healthy pregnancy among women in Tanzania, and another presentation on the use of an all-Latino cast teen drama series based in Los Angeles on Hulu to promote sex education and prevent teen pregnancies among the Latina population in the U.S. In addition to these presentations, the importance of communications and media, including social media, text messaging, television, and radio, in today’s public health field was reiterated throughout the panels and presentations I attended and in one-on-one conversations I had with professionals in the field at the conference, in part because of media’s ability to reach and impact the masses.

Overall, these sessions and discussions allowed me to further explore a professional niche within public health that I am interested in pursuing, and helped me to understand the skills I already have from my past media career that can be further developed to create an impact on my new career and the lives of the populations with whom I will work. One comment from a speaker at an MCH Professional Leadership Skills panel I attended was the importance of understanding “who is me” to the point where “who is me” is no longer a question. I haven’t completely figured “who is me” in the world of public health yet, but it is opportunities like APHA that are an invaluable part of this path to professional self-discovery that I am currently a part of.

Leah Taub is a first-year MPH student and MCHLT Scholar, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. She plans to graduate in May 2016. Her interests include women’s and adolescent health, sexual and reproductive health, immigrant and refugee health, violence prevention and social behavior change communication. Originally from Washington, DC, Leah also enjoys running, yoga, cooking, and exploring all that New Orleans has to offer.

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