Undergraduate Institution: University of Connecticut
Graduate Institution: University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy
Why did you choose the Brown University School of Public Health?
The main reason I chose Brown was because I immediately felt a sense of closeness and accessibility of the faculty in the Department of Health Services, Policy, and Practice. It feels as though students are on a level playing field with the administration and that student perspectives are sincerely valued.
What makes Brown's program different from other programs you considered?
The interdisciplinary nature of the PhD in Health Services Research easily sets Brown’s program apart. Health Services Research often involves elements of epidemiology, economics, statistics, clinical experience, and other research disciplines. The multi-factorial nature of research in health care and health policy requires these disciplines to work together, which was one of the most promising benefits I saw in Brown.
What do you enjoy most about your program?
The flexibility that the department allows has been extremely enjoyable and there has been no pressure to pursue something that I did not feel passionately about. In the first year, this allowed me to explore different ideas and opportunities that Brown has to offer. For example, I’ve always had an interest in teaching students about medications, and I was able to do just that with a class of high school students through Brown’s Pre-College program. The experience, the support I had from the department, and preparation through the Sheridan Center’s certificate program were invaluable in helping me pursue my interests.
What is your academic area of interest and why?
My main academic interest is pharmaceutical health services research, specifically the utilization and comparative effects of drugs in different populations. I was drawn to this because it allows for research in populations frequently excluded from the drug approval process, such as older adults. My overall interests are broad, ranging from regulatory policy for new drug approval to the evidence and methodology used in benefit risk assessment of drugs.
What are your postgraduate goals/plans?
My postgraduate plans are currently still up in the air. I really enjoy teaching but plan to keep my mind open moving forward. Over the past year I served as the Pfizer-Brown Pre-Doctoral Fellow which gave me invaluable exposure to research roles and potential career paths in the life sciences industry.
Aside from the excellent food options, there are two main things I really value about PVD. First, the historic architecture and overall vibe of College Hill has always made PVD feel very personal. Second, there is a substantial focus on development from both a construction and economic standpoint. It’s clear that PVD is supporting growth and new opportunities for both businesses and its residents, which I think will result in opportunities for years to come.
What advice would you give to prospective applicants?
Do your best to speak to as many people in your potential program as possible. Whether it be professors, students, or staff—seek out multiple perspectives to help determine if the program is right for you. These conversations were invaluable in helping my application process and offered a much greater understanding than what was on the program website!