Sydney Rivera

Track: 4+1

Sydney Rivera

Tell us about yourself:

Throughout my time at Purdue so far I have had the opportunity to study abroad twice, in Europe and Australia. Traveling, both academically and personally, is definitely a passion of mine. Since starting my MPH, I have gotten involved with an incredible women’s health research team headed by Dr. Andrea DeMaria and will be traveling to Italy with her twice in 2017, conducting research about women’s healthcare experiences and leading an undergraduate study abroad program. Locally, I also work in data management for a clinical trial on diabetes control. In the future, I am looking to get involved with coordinating health clinics to bring primary care to underserved areas in Lafayette in an interdisciplinary effort with medical students and undergrad and grad students from various health-related disciplines. In my free time, I enjoy trying new restaurants and recipes, playing the ukulele, and running. 

Why public health:

Having found a passion in women’s health, my ultimate career goal is to become an OB/GYN. The MPH degree seemed like a great way to transition from my undergrad program (food science) to a health-focused field, providing me with a better understanding of the social and political context in which I will work as a physician someday. I am confident that my MPH will make me a more compassionate and empowering doctor. Specifically, I have had many opportunities in and out of classes to learn more about women’s health issues; this has really solidified my career goals and makes me very excited for my future. From class projects and assignments, to my research experiences, to conversations with MPH students and faculty, there is no lack of stimulating discussion to inspire and further my interest in public health.

Why the accelerated MPH option:

Fitting the accelerated degree into my program made a lot of sense. Knowing that I want to go into a health field, it was wonderful to be able to jump right in before I even finished my bachelor’s degree. It’s also great that it will only take me one extra year before I can go to medical school, with the MPH making me a more competitive and competent applicant.

Your course load:

The 4+1 program is very manageable. With junior year being the heaviest course load for my major, I had plenty of room in my schedule for public health courses and was really excited to get working on them. As can be expected at the graduate level, there is a lot more reading, and fewer but more involved assignments, but I have really enjoyed the classes I have taken so far, which makes the accelerated program very worthwhile.  

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