In Focus: Brittney Davis '14
Tell us about your background and what led you to be interested in the field of health.
I received my undergraduate degree from Hampton University in Hampton, VA where I received my B.S. in Biology in 2011. I have always been interested in science, medicine and health from a very young age. In high school, I took a lot of advanced science courses and always enjoyed learning more. I went to college with goals to become a physician upon graduating. After I graduated in 2011, I anticipated my next step to be medical school. After taking a year off and studying for the MCAT exam, I began to explore other options for higher education. I always knew about Public Health but never quite understood it in its entirety until I went to visit a nearby university and attended a presentation and toured the School of Public Health. It was then I was able to make the connection between public health and medicine and understand how inter-connected they are.
What made you choose Hofstra University's MPH?
I was informed by a friend that Hofstra University had an MPH program. I knew absolutely nothing about the university or the program so I decided to do some research. After exploring the website, I decided to apply. I remained in constant contact with Dr. Kyriacou, who was more than helpful in the entire process. I also came for a visit to sit and speak with her about the program. After that I knew I would love it at Hofstra and soon after I was accepted. Within one month, I found an apartment, moved to New York and started my life as a Hofstra Graduate school student.
Tell us about work/activities you are involved in outside of the classroom.
I currently work part-time jobs and do some volunteer work here in Hempstead, NY at the Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN) . Being a grad school student, I did not want a demanding full time job that would potentially take away from my studies or make things even harder for myself. I love the volunteer work I do and it makes me feel great to help out in any way that I can.
What are your long-term professional goals?
My long-term professional goal is to become a physician. Coming into the MPH program, I told myself that upon completion, I would attend medical school. Now that I have completed my first semester, I am rethinking my plans. I would love to see where the MPH degree could take me. Public Health is such an interesting field and there are some many angles and career opportunities to fit all interests. My ultimate passion is to work with women and children. If I go to medical school, I plan to specialize in OBGYN. If I stay I stay in Public Health solely, I would love to incorporate global health initiatives into my work because that is a strong interest of mine too. I plan to wait and see how my internship goes my second year in the MPH program and what net working opportunities possibly come my way to decide what my ultimate fate is post-graduation. The MPH will help me better prepare for admission to medical school because in my opinion, I will be more knowledgeable on public health research and be able to offer another perspective. I will always have that global public health view and that foundation will ultimately complement my medical school education and give me a well-rounded approach to medicine.
How have you collaborated with peers in the program so far?
I have collaborated with peers in the program thus far through volunteering opportunities and organized meetings/social events. A group of peers and I are currently developing ideas to possibly start a MPH/MSCH organization, which would be student run and tailored to the specific interests of our fields.
Have you found mentors in the Department of Health Professions?
I had the pleasure of having Dr. Hackett for Introduction to Public Health Fall semester and I loved her class. I’ve had the opportunity to sit and talk with her and discuss possible networking experiences and opportunities to work with her on ongoing projects she has. She’s an awesome professor and always encourages me to come and talk to her. I love her energy and how enthusiastic she is about public health, what it’s done for her and just how to become more involved. I can definitely see myself working with her throughout my matriculation in this program.
What is your advice to prospective students looking for a degree in health?
My advice for prospective students looking for a degree in public health is to just go for it. Even if you’re on the fence about medical school vs. MPH, you cannot go wrong. An MPH degree will only help you. Public Health is a great field to be in and continues to grow. Many people do not know what public health is or how it affects them personally. Public Health offers more career opportunities for those interested in science, health and medicine. It is definitely something to consider in furthering your education.