A New World of Public Health Education: The Columbia MPH


I am completely and utterly thrilled to
be welcoming all of you here today for the beginning of what I think is
going to be a history-making journey together and an exceptional education
for all of you. I can tell you in all honesty that there
has never ever been a better time to be joining the field
of public health Dynamic Compelling Integrated I’m attending one of the best
institutions for public health I never worked as hard as I did last
semester I also have never learned as much. Our students are going to lead the world. They’re going to lead our country, they’re going to lead our state, they’re going to lead our city and creating health for all of us. We did not tweak. We radically changed about fifty percent of the courses
that we offer our master students I think it would be an absolutely great experience to go back in
time and be a master student in this new reimagined curriculum. Our students are going to leave here with
great disciplinary skills and the ability to work in interdisciplinary teams. They are, I think, being challenged at a much higher level than ever before uh… and
much to our delight they are living up to expectations and showing us they are
able to meet those challenges and even exceed them. In the cohorts, I was able
to make friends with people that were in a lot of different departments and I’m still
friends with them now, so that’s been really helpful not just being– I’m in the epidemiology department– not just being friends people in epidemiology and using their skills and their
expertise but also seeing people that are interested in social
aspects of health. This is the first time that we’ve really tried to combine the principles of epidemiology in the
principles of biostatistics into one class to really show students how these two
disciplines work together on as we often do when we actually practice public health science. Our new Core curriculum differs in myriad ways from
a traditional core curriculum, uh… in content, in goals, and even in
the delivery. The professors here are very great passionate about
what they do and what they teach and you can definitely see that passion come through in the conviction they have about the subject while they teach. I chose Columbia because of the Core,
especially how broad the topics were, and at the same time they’re really
integrated. How are we going to get this approved? Who are we going to go to get this approved? How are we going to design this study
ethically so we can do this? One of the things I think is really exciting about the integration of science and practice from a teaching standpoint as well as
from a student standpoint is that it brings together students from
across the different departments and just as they will have to do when they go into the
real world, the environmental health scientists are working with the sociomedical scientists
with the epidemiologists in a way that they can then have an
integrated approach to solving public health problems. Challenging innovation and integration–
these are the most important things
that we are learning here I think. As I think a lot of things that we do in
school are very focused on the academic components and this will actually give us more of a way to apply them, so we put what we learn in school to real life problems. The faculty does some amazing research
all around the world and as a global certificate
student I have had the opportunity to learn from
people like Margaret Kruk who’s in sub-Saharan Africa doing research projects
and program evaluation. I’m able to learn from some of the
professors who are top in their field. Faculty is really amazing. They’re accessible, they are very into helping their students learn I think what is remarkable about this place is that it’s a school with a tremendous depth
of history but it still has the will and the energy to launch a creative new project like this one. I think it’s unusual to be in an institution that’s both old and
well-established but still has the vigor to attempt bold innovative efforts like this one. Academic public health leaders know– We all know– that public health education has to evolve with the times. The twenty-first century demands are different than the twentieth century demands There’s no question that innovation is critical.

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