My Path to Public Health Essay

My Path to Public Health Essay

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“De donde viene su agua potable,” I asked. The eighty-something El Salvadorian said he obtained his drinking water from the river. It was the same river he and his neighbors bathed in, and the same river receiving run-off of excrement washed down the hillside along with pesticides from the local coffee plantation. I cringed at the thought of the numerous toxic and infectious agents lurking in every sip. My mind rushed through my knowledge base of water quality and safety. So far removed from safe water & water distribution systems, the thought of cross-connections & backflow was absolutely inconsequential. Only basic camping treatments like boiling and iodine would be applicable. From my experiences, my interest in health issues has been sparked and now I need the academic and professional training to become a leader in public health.
My education and professional background have adequately prepared me to excel in graduate studies at SUNY Albany, although my circuitous path has encountered a few bumps. During my undergraduate education I did not recognize the importance of performing well academically as I felt no strong passion in a particular field and lacked direction as reflected in classes taken and inconsistent grades. I studied Earth Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz. While I valued the science background and awareness of the environment my studies gave me, I knew I did not want to pursue a career in this field. I am not proud of my previous undergraduate performance and mistakes, but from them I have learned hard lessons and am now very focused and ambitious.
A couple of years after graduation while working at a professionally and intellectually unfulfilling job, following a close friend’s cancer ...


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...ality, sanitation, and infectious disease issues in developing countries gave me valuable insight into past issues in the U.S. and potential health problems associated with Central American immigrants.
With a Master of Public Health I hope to use my knowledge of environmental health and toxicology in practical applications. I would like to continue on to medical school so that I may understand contemporary health issues from the assessment of an entire population to treating an individual patient, specifically targeting marginalized populations. This will prepare me for boundless opportunities for a career with a non-profit agency, several government entities, or with an academic hospital. It would be an honor to study in such a prestigious institution as SUNY Albany. I look forward to working with your renowned faculty and representing your school in my efforts.

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