This month, I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to take an epidemiology course at Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The opportunity to study applied epidemiology and public health at such a renowned institution was absolutely amazing. Every professor for the course inspired me to continue to think about the world around me in a different way.
My fellow classmates were human physicians, CDC employees, epidemiology nurses, food safety inspectors and many other diverse public health professionals. Often, I live in a veterinary bubble (at least I have recently). It was so eye-opening to be able to experience other individual’s perspectives regarding various public health concerns and how to best approach problem-solving for issues that plague human, animal and environmental health. We learned about statistics, outbreak investigations, common approaches to managing acute and chronic disease within populations, and current challenges involving public health.
As I continue on in my education, I know that the broad outlook that I gained from my interactions with professors and other professionals in my course will stay with me, no matter what the situation is. Whenever I am faced with a problem, I will work diligently to prevent myself from succumbing to tunnel vision when faced with complex situations. By striving to think outside of the box and by critically evaluating facts, data, and observations that are gathered, I can reach the most positive end result. Nothing exists in isolation. We are part of a larger community and my time at the CDC served to reinforce just how important it is to keep the big picture in mind, no matter how small a problem may seem.