Pandemic spurs new interest in public health field

COVID-19 is driving a surge of new students to pursue a public health degree, even as the pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to those in the profession, including overwhelming demand and threats to workers’ safety. (Nov. 17)

Video Transcript

- Why is the Black community being impacted disproportionately by the pandemic?

[MUSIC PLAYING]

[? BRIAN SCHULTZ: ?] [? Back ?] [INAUDIBLE]. OK. I think that, for me, the coronavirus pandemic definitely did sharpen my interest in public health and start-- put it in a little bit more perspective.

KELSIE CAMPBELL: [? Thing ?] is definitely something that I'm interested in now and, particularly, as I said, helping my own community.

PATRICIA PITTMAN: There has been such a polarization around the public health practices and recommendations that I think that our students have been both indignant and also energized by what it means to become a public health professional.

MARY JO TREPKA: Whenever you're dealing with people, politics are involved. But I think, in general, public health functions well when we stick to the science.

BRIAN CASTRUCCI: What we have to make sure of is that the governmental public health workforce is a destination job for the best and the brightest coming out of our schools of public health. And if we're not going after the best and the brightest, it means the best and brightest aren't protecting our nation from those threats that can clearly not only devastate from a human perspective, but from an economic perspective.

BRIAN SCHULTZ: No, no, no. No, no--

I think it'll help me, allow me to look at data better, do better research, ask better questions, and ultimately provide better care, be a better doctor.

KELSIE CAMPBELL: One thing I learned from this pandemic is that I don't know as much as I think I know. And when people are asking me questions about my opinions on this and that and, you know, what should be done in this situation, like, I want to have these answers. I want to be able to give you an answer.