Did you know that the hairs on your body help to regulate your body temperature? Or that you currently have nine organ systems working hard to keep you alive? These are just two facts from a plethora I learned from my year long course in Anatomy and Physiology. Although an expertise in the human body is not a necessity for my pursuit of a Masters of Health Administration, I haven't been able to let these lessons drift to the back of my mind to accompany all the dates I had to recite in my history class. Making note cards of hundreds of body parts and bones and studying their functions definitely made out to be one of the most time consuming and complicated coursework I have taken yet it turned out to be my most enjoyed course. Until last year, I did not give my proclivity to the subject matter much thought.
I would have never predicted my strong interest in a subject like Anatomy and Physiology just three years earlier. Before entering my undergraduate studies I had figured the path to my future was set as a teacher. This conclusion was reached once I laid out how compatible this career and I were, with my teaching experience, strong communication skills and my overall enjoyment with teaching. Ever since middle school I have shown a natural ability to teach others and have strengthened those abilities through teaching diverse classes. I exuded confidence as I taught, eloquence in my speech, and an understanding of people which allowed me to connect with any person and help them achieve their goal. However, once feeling too comfortable with and unchallenged by my premature career choice, I decided to take my teaching skills and apply them to a field in which I took greater interest in, and that field was Public Health. I realized my attachment to teaching was simply the joy I received when I helped others to help themselves; empowering them.
This passion could be pursued in a career in Public Health, which I officially declared as my major after being introduced to the health arena in a few courses offered through the School of Public Health. My professors spoke about contemporary health issues and growing concerns that left me intrigued. The world of Medicare, "Health Care Rationing" and health disparities fascinated me as I saw the range of problems that public health professionals were tackling in innovative ways. The wide range of electives offered at the university allowed me to further explore the depths of the health field in courses like Health of an Aging Population, Research in Community Health, as well as in an independent experiential learning course where I planned and taught health lessons to young children at a charter school in Washington D.C. As a teacher, I was able to observe the positive impact students and their families received once learning and implementing simple ways they can take care of their own bodies. In the last three years I have continued to learn about public health both through coursework and work in the field.
Because field experience is such a valuable learning tool especially in administration, I searched for opportunities that would allow me to gain various perspectives of the health field, including policy. I applied for and was accepted into a limited enrollment program known as the Federal Semester: Health Policy. This program seemed to have been tailored for me, where I was enrolled in an accelerated health policy course for the first semester and the following semester would be spent in a part time health policy internship. My internship at the National Research Center for Women and Families has broadened and continues to refine my understanding of the complex interactions of systems within healthcare. I was able to gain insights of the structure of a nonprofit organization with staff members who had a strong influence on larger corporations, policy makers and small businesses. My responsibilities were to conduct research on current studies and journals and present all of the facts without biases. This is where I learned how to apply my research skills and my communication abilities. I put to practice my ability to present information catered to an audience's needs by translating studies into a language that could be easily understood by individuals who did not have a research or medical background. The research was fascinating; and although very tedious, my interest in health research was transformed. I read extensively, trying to keep myself informed about current health findings and health policies.
(Need to write paragraphs that will transition to my point of why I am interested in pursuing an MHA even though I don't have extensive knowledge on the subject)
Although I felt my initial draw to a career in administration of health systems due to my interest in the health field and leadership, I knew there was something more that intrigued me. Similarly to my interest in Anatomy and Physiology, my fascination with health systems stems from my propensity towards understanding how a system functions and how to make it work more efficiently amidst internal changes as well as those in the surrounding environment. Studying and working through a complicated system is a challenge I desire to take especially when the outcome of a well running system is a saved life.