As a physician who has a passion for global and humanitarian work, my MPH has always been a
goal on the horizon. Until recently though, I never quite knew how I would make it happen with
a busy work schedule that I wasn’t willing to compromise. When I heard about the option of
obtaining my MPH online with the flexibility to work with my schedule rather than around it,
this seemed like a natural fit for me. UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health attracted my
attention both because of its proximity of the main campus to my home as well as its unique
curriculum. The new Global Health focus in collaboration with the UCSF Global Health Sciences
program seemed as though it was designed to meet all of my personal and professional goals,
and I was eager to apply.
I have a background in education, which I then used to transition into medicine. I currently
work as an emergency physician in the Central Valley of California as well as with an
organization that provides humanitarian and medical relief to various locations internationally. I
have always hoped that, with an MPH, I will be able to increase the effectiveness of my work
through a greater breadth of knowledge.
The most important piece of advice I have to offer new applicants is one that I often have to
remind myself: the way you choose to spend your days will eventually be the way you choose
to live your life. The small steps you take toward a larger goal may seem like they are
inconsequential, but over time, they will add up. Time will pass regardless – choosing to fill your
moments with things that you are passionate about will bring you the greatest rewards.
Jessica Willett, MD is a current student with the UC Berkeley Online MPH program. You may find out more about her on her website.
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