Erica Crew, M.S. Community Health ‘12
Resident, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Valley Stream, NY
What drew you to Hofstra University for graduate study?
Hofstra was an awesome experience for me. I chose the Community Health program because I wanted to become an extraordinary Family Medicine Practitioner and believe the program would enhance my career. The location of the school was also one key player. Hofstra has afternoon and evening classes, which catered to working individuals as well as some opportunities for online classes. When I began the program, I was doing an externship in Pediatrics as well as research work, so the afternoon classes were a blessing. Balancing commitment to courses and my family required lots of time management.
How has your degree connected with the work you do as a Physician?
When applying to programs, I believed that a Community Health degree would enhance my career as well as give me the background to understand the dynamics of the community and how it impacts individuals' personal health and well being. I was impressed by the faculty; they were real people with our best interests at heart and the most impressive part of the program was that they knew the students' name and connected with their needs. When I started residency, my first month's rotation was a Community Health rotation. This was when I saw the real importance of the program I had just completed and was quite at ease with my first exposure.
Describe your experience with faculty.
Some faculty members I remember having an impact on me by way of motivation and encouragement were Professors Kyriacou, Haman, Vogel, Hackett and Sullivan. Motivation is really about how others make you feel and these people made me feel that I could be and do anything I wanted to. Following a less than satisfactory undergraduate experience, the support of these faculty members was so important. The projects and small classes also help to foster a good working relationship among students, many of whom will push you to be the best you can be and to drive you and keep you motivated.
What is your advice for those considering a graduate degree in health?
I really want others wanting to pursue this course (especially busy working mothers) to know that there could be no fear as to whether or not it is possible. It is challenging but doable and if I could, anyone else can. The support is definitely there and the professors want you to succeed. One advice is to know early what internship exposure you are looking for. Dr. Hackett is approachable and flexible and will work with you, in finding an internship that best suits your needs.