Statement Of Purpose
by Americans,The Public Health Studies Student
if people lived healthier lives, practiced preventive medicine,
and took precautions against illness and disease? My days in the
physical therapy department often made me think about the
prevention of injuries as well as the injuries themselves. I was
already doubting my future career choice as a physical therapist.
Although I loved the science of it and helping people, the lack of
variety within the field and its limited options for growth
bothered me. I needed a career that helped a large number of
people, emphasized prevention and primary care rather than
tertiary care, and would continually challenge and motivate me to
improve. Knowing that I really did not want to pursue physical
therapy as I had originally planned, my thoughts wandered to the
area of public health, particularly health management.
My first true introduction to the public health arena came in a
class offered through the Big U School of Public Health. As I
listened to experts speak about contemporary health issues, I was
intrigued. The world of "capitation," "rationing of
care," and Medicaid fascinated me as I saw the range of
problems that public health professionals were trying to solve in
innovative ways. This one semester class provided me with a basic
but thorough understanding of the issues faced in health care
today. In the last two years I have continued to learn about
public health both through coursework and work in the field.
Because field experience is such a valuable learning tool, I
searched for a research assistant position that would allow me to
view public health at a different level. I worked on a project at
a county health clinic in Englewood, a low-income, minority
community. The program attempted to increase treatment compliance
rates for adolescents diagnosed with tuberculosis who must
complete a six-month medical program. Working for the county
exposed me to a different side of health care that I had
previously seen. Service and organization were not assets of the
county and yet its role in the public health "ecosystem"
was and is critical. Its job of immunizing thousands and
interacting with all members of the community is often forgotten,
but is important for keeping an entire community healthy.
My work at the county health clinic as well as my knowledge of
some areas of public health led me to accept an internship in
Washington D.C. this past summer. The internship provided me with
a greater understanding of a federal public health agency’s
operations and allowed me to contribute in a variety of ways to
the XYZ Department in which I worked. Most importantly I worked on
"policy issues" which involved identifying and
summarizing problems that were out of the ordinary as well as
documenting resolved issues in order to establish protocols to
increase the department’s efficiency. In addition I served on a
scientific review panel which was responsible for editing a
seventy-page proposed regulation before its submission.
Along with my duties at XYZ, I attended seminars and met with
public health leaders at different functions and events. All these
activities confirmed my growing interest in preventive medicine,
outcomes and effectiveness, and quality of care, particularly
within the private/managed care sector. These are my strongest
interests because I believe they are fundamental to our nation’s
health. We must achieve efficiency and access without sacrificing
The University of ____ would help me achieve my goals of
furthering my public health education through the specialize
coursework offered as part of its health administration program.
[The person provides specifics here about the program’s specific
appeal and strengths]
Since rejecting physical therapy as a career possibility my
interest in public health has only grown. I welcome the challenge
of serving a large community and participating in such a dynamic
and challenging field. What if an aspirin a day could prevent
heart attacks? What if abandoning unnecessary procedures saved
thousands of dollars, which then allowed a hospital to treat other
patients needing care? What if every person was guaranteed care
and that care was good? I would like to find answers for these
questions during my career as a public health graduate student and
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