A New Journey

By: Sophia LeEnvironmental Health & Epidemiology

Hey there!

If you were anything like me, I wanted to enter the field of public health because I thought it would be a great way to get accepted into medical school afterward.

Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to fulfill that childhood dream of becoming a doctor, but after a few months at Rollins, I started hesitating. Instead of working towards medical school applications and requirements, I started wondering what it would be like to apply for a Ph.D. program instead. Of course, that already should have been a red flag for me that maybe my heart wasn’t completely in medical school anymore. Still, I pushed on and tried to study for the MCAT in my own way. I thought I could apply to an MD/Ph.D. program and that way I could still conduct research (which is something I enjoy a lot more than medicine).

After a miserable few months, I had a heart to heart with myself and decided to not pursue medical school anymore and pursue what I really enjoyed— air pollution research. Surprise surprise, the Environmental Health-Epidemiology student wants to focus on environmental exposures and how it affects human health outcomes. But hey, if I had not decided to attend Rollins, I may not have realized that medical school isn’t right for me until it was too late.

I don’t want to make it sound as if medical school and public health are two separate fields and that it is not interdisciplinary. While it is true that public health focuses on population level and medicine focuses on the individual, both fields work together to improve the health and wellbeing of all people.

What’s great about Rollins is that you get to meet all sorts of people with different diversities and backgrounds. For me, I struggled a lot with making my transition from M.D. to the Ph.D. route and I just wanted everyone to know that it’s okay if you decide not to go to medical school anymore.