Monday, March 19, 2012

Public Health Rave

Before you get excited - there's no glowsticks involved in this rave. Rather, this is actually a rant disguised as a rave about how ah-mazing public health is. Recently, I've explored what it takes to become a certified diabetes educator (CDE) - my public health experience has influenced my curiosity in exploring what it takes to combine my two loves: public health and diabetes advocacy. It's proving to be much more difficult than I anticipated due to the fact that you cannot sit for the licensing exam with an MPH (master's in public health) but rather you must already possess a clinical degree, a license such as an RD or an MSW (master's in social work). Part of me totally gets why this is the case.  It makes sense that you need to have one-on-one patient/client interaction experience. However, I feel like perhaps these eligibility requirements are slightly antiquated given the recent skyrocketing numbers of people with diabetes. It is so important now more than ever to not only prevent diabetes but also the expensive and painful complications associated with it. I believe that many health professionals who do "public health" work are more than qualified to become CDE's (I swear I'm not patting myself on the back while writing this!). Public Health represents a shift in how we approach health and wellness - it takes into account social, economic, environment and other factors that acute care does not. So as someone who addresses health at a community-level in their job - no, I don't have patient interactions but I do understand that preventing and caring for type 2 diabetes involves a lot more than diet, exercise and medication. And my lack of "clinical" experience is nothing professional training and education couldn't cure. If prevention is the new focus in U.S. healthcare, then public health and clinical care will certainly be marrying and becoming one big, healthy family.  I'm just hoping I'm invited to the wedding!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too am eager for the wedding, but slightly disheartened there will not be cake.