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Dr Robert Edinger with Son David

Graduate Certificate in Public Health, Obesity

Through middle school and high school, I was frequently prodded by peers, family members, and teachers to pursue a career as an M.D. Hearing this helped me to believe that one day I would attend a prestigious medical school. As I have matured, however, and continued to learn about medical issues on my own and through my formal studies, I have become increasingly attracted to public health issues, health education, and preventive medicine. I have developed an especially ardent passion for the struggle against obesity, which I see as the central dragon that we must slay in order to triumph in our field. I am applying to your program because I have set my heart on the idea of a career as a public health professional.

It was not until the winter of my sophomore year in college that my plans finally changed, when I I had the great opportunity to intern at Clarian North Hospital, now IU North, in the operating room.  It has been here in OR that I have made my decision, after much careful reflection, to pursue a career as a public health professional.

I considered it an honor to follow and learn anesthesiology as an undergraduate that had not yet applied to medical school, yet alone passed the MCAT.  I quickly learned some of the ins and outs of the meticulous trade.  To say the surgeries were not interesting would be a fabrication, but I constantly found myself only going through the motions.  I was engaged in the science of the profession, but not the profession as a whole.  With this realization, I began second guessing what I had planned for my entire life. 

On the last day of my internship, I met a doctor by the name of Thomas Mote.  I was immediately intrigued by Dr. Mote after learning that we both attended DePauw University.  After our long conversation, I strongly reflected on a personal confession that Dr. Mote had told me.  Simply put, he explained that anesthesia was his occupation, but public health was his passion.  It had taken him many years to grasp this truth.  I was so moved by our personal conversation that I went home and immediately began researching everything I could find on public health. 

My new interest continued at DePauw the next semester through my health psychology and medical sociology classes.  I finally began connecting the dots of my true passions by incorporating my major in kinesiology to the social and behavioral wellness issues that are essentially plaguing our nation.  More specifically, I became fixated with the dangerously increasing obesity epidemic.  The classes changed my perspective from focusing on short term fixes to focusing on long term lifestyle changes.  This thought process led to my new life goal: dedicating my time to a disease that is completely preventable.

Acquiring my Master’s Degree in public health is a major step in accomplishing my fight against obesity in the United States.  There is so much that can be taught.  I have learned that a person’s health and wellness is affected by more than just lack of exercise and unhealthy food choices.  While I understand that these are major factors, I also know that the environment and behavior patterns often inhibit a healthy lifestyle.  I understand that tackling an issue as crucial as obesity is going to take a lot of patience and perseverance, but it is something that I want to dedicate the rest of my life to one person at a time. 

Dedication and perseverance draws from a deeply rooted passion.  My four years of collegiate softball especially helped me understand this phenomenon.  The strong connection to a common goal is so rewarding when all of the hard work is reflected in the outcome.  I believe that this expands further than the softball field and especially applies to my future occupation in the public health field, not to mention the graduate program.  This passion and drive make me a great candidate for your public health certificate program.  

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