Global Perspectives in Public Health/Medicine

As a Biological Sciences major on the pre-med track, I knew I was interested in a public health minor to understand more about how social, economic, environmental, and community factors play a role in an individual or community’s health. I decided to minor in Global Public Health during my 2nd year at Drexel University, after realizing I that I would love to explore how global human rights and current events play a role in healthcare systems, as well as the role of the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations.

Coming to Trinity College Dublin, my main focus was to enroll in courses that would help me pursue this passion in Global Public Health. In the process of doing so, my love for understanding global perspectives opened my eyes to minoring in Global Studies, as well. In fact, I declared this Global Studies minor during my time abroad, which is a decision I am thoroughly enjoying.

The courses I am currently taking at Trinity College span a range of focuses from Sociology and Social Policy to Classics and Psychology. In my Young and Society course in the Sociology department, I have been able to explore topics affecting both Ireland’s youth and global issues of homelessness and poverty. My professor, who is a highly regarded expert in her field, emphasizes Ireland’s public health issues in the context with the rest of the world, including the US. With this special global focus, I can relate previous courses I have taken about healthcare in the US, especially Philly, into group projects and class discussions.

In my Social Policy course about European Refugee Policies, I am so intrigued to hear about how historical contexts have led to the current refugee policies adhered to by the European Union, as well as the United Nations and the rest of the world. Being in Europe during these discussions gives a special perspective and opinion that I would not be able to gain in the US. Refugee crises have been hitting Europe the most since then end of WWII. Learning about the impact of the United Nations and the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in refugee health in a country that is relatively close to a lot of current issues is an experience I will treasure from this Study Abroad.

In my Psychology of the Climate Crisis course, I have gained new perspective on this global issue, especially on how government and individuals can psychologically distance themselves from climate change situations. In combining the biological aspect of our brain’s comprehension and global current events, the public health impacts of climate change issues are highlighted in every aspect of this course. In my Gender and Sexuality of the Ancient World course, I learn about the impact of Gender and Sexuality in both Ancient and Imperial Rome in relation to modern society. Exploring these concepts of gender and sexuality help me explore global ideas for my Global Studies minor and apply to current events in my Global Public Health minor.

Overall, in exploring the concepts of sociology, social policy, psychology, and ancient classics, I have been able to pursue my academic interest in public health in a unique approach. Through exploration of these varying interests, I am reminded of the varying factors that affect health and healthcare communities. Individual health is impacted by community health; community health is impacted by policies and actions by governments. All the while, global events impact all communities and their wellbeing.

In exploring these courses at Trinity College Dublin, I have not only gained an interest in Global Studies, but I am enlightened with a new perspective on how my career aspirations of joining the medical field can be impacted by global health events. In becoming a better healthcare professional, I am so grateful to be making steps forward in understanding global impacts through this Study Abroad experience.

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