It was a pleasure to hear two inspirational people – Dr. Brian Work (MD, MPH) and Ms. Samantha Gross (JD, MPH) – talk about their paths to and work in community health at the Service Link, MedX, and Wharton Undergraduate Healthcare Club (WUHC) speaker event on Friday, April 10, 2015. My reflection can best be captured by the following lessons in career paths and working with community health.
On your journey to community health, remember:
- Take advantage of serendipity
- Nothing is irrevocable
- Appreciate conversations / advice from people (even if unsolicited)
- Participate in community work now! It’s called “practicing” medicine for a reason – it needs to become a habit. Life will already be full if you don’t prioritize community work now.
Community work embodies how medicine can improve with an interdisciplinary approach:
- Community work makes Brian a better hospitalist
- Community allows for engagement with a more diverse setting with more collaboration (e.g., medical-legal partnerships) instead of becoming too focused on a comfortable setting and subsequently isolated
- Both medical treatments and legal policies are about harm reduction!
All of these insights and more were facilitated by our smooth moderator – Matthew Kearney – and packaged through Brian’s exuberant charm and Sam’s calm confidence. Look out for more at Service Link’s next speaker event (once per semester).
Written by: Neel Koyawala, Class of 2015 College of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania undergraduate student