By Amy Philips, Public Health Registrar
1. Please can you give a brief history of your career since graduating from the MPH at the University of Birmingham:
I did the MPH as part of my first year as a registrar on the public health training scheme. Therefore throughout the time on the masters I also spent some time in a local authority public health department. After graduating from the MPH I went back to work full-time in the local authority for a year. I’ve now recently moved on to a placement with a health protection team.
2.What is your current job role and what does it involve?
At the moment I am midway through a 5 month placement as part of the training scheme with the health protection team. My role involves being on the rota for the acute desk, which means helping to provide the immediate public health and health protection response to diseases notified to the department and potential outbreaks or incidents, such as fires. This response includes contact tracing and liaising with other departments, such as Environmental Health. Around this my role also involves writing reports, for example on recent outbreaks, doing audits and some prevention and screening work.
3.How did the MPH help prepare you for your career?
The MPH was extremely helpful in preparing me for both the training programme and my future career in Public Health. The breadth of subjects covered on the Masters laid a good foundation in a number of the key areas of Public health where I may work, including health protection and health economics. I found the epidemiology and statistics modules particularly valuable as I am not originally from a mathematical background. The two health protection modules are also proving to be very useful in my current rotation with the health protection team, particularly in the management of specific diseases and incidents.
I had very little experience of health economics or sociology before joining the MPH and these modules provided a very interesting introduction and overview of the subjects.
Additionally, as part of the training scheme we have to take an exam, and the MPH covered a large amount of the syllabus for this, which was very helpful.
4. What inspired you most during your time at Birmingham?
I really enjoyed getting to know the other people on the MPH, who were from a very wide range of professional backgrounds.
5. How would you advise people to make the most of their time on the MPH course?
Throughout the MPH and after graduating there have been a number of interesting opportunities circulated, including for example additional lectures, guest speakers, teaching and PHD’s or placements, which are definitely worth making the most of.