Is an MPH degree right for me?, with Reena Anthonyraj

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In this episode, Sujani sits down with Reena Anthonyraj, a public health professional coming from a background in dentistry. They discuss Reena’s transition from dentistry to public health, how to tell if an MPH is right for you, and how you can work to better public health without necessarily having a dedicated degree.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How Reena found her way into public health from her time working as a dentist at a public hospital in Mumbai
  • Questions to ask yourself to determine why you want to work in public health
  • Factors to consider when choosing which program or school to complete your degree in
    • A brief overview of the Cooperative MPH program between Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Indian Institute of Health Management and Research
  • Ways you can work in public health without having a dedicated degree
  • Why keeping an open mind is just as useful as knowing which specific area in public health you want to work in

Today’s Guest:

Reena Anthonyraj is a dedicated public health professional with a Master’s in Public Health and a background in Dentistry. With a span of 6 years, she has gained significant international experience in community engagement, applied research, and the development as well as management of evidence-informed programs. Her passion lies in addressing health inequities and social determinants by fostering collaboration with diverse stakeholders, to uplift marginalized communities and enhance their access to care, ultimately improving overall health outcomes. She was awarded the prestigious Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship in 2017 for a research fellowship at the University of Montreal, to develop an evidence-informed framework for tobacco prevention in Indian urban schools, based on Canadian best practices in school health promotion. Since then, her experience encompasses various projects with community-based organizations, international donors, and healthcare providers in the Global South, spanning multiple thematic areas including Sexual and Reproductive Health, Menstrual Equity, HIV, Adolescent Health, and Primary Healthcare. Majority of her work has revolved around qualitative research, project design, strategic planning, knowledge synthesis, program management, and utilizing evidence to drive impactful and sustainable programs. Reena’s multifaceted experience, coupled with her unwavering commitment, exemplifies a public health professional who continuously strives to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities in underserved communities.

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About the Show

PH SPOTlight: Public health career stories, inspiration, and guidance from current-day public health heroes

On the show, Sujani sits down with public health heroes of our time to share career stories, inspiration, and guidance for building public health careers. From time to time, she also has conversations with friends of public health – individuals who are not public health professionals, but their advice and guidance are equally important.

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