Episode 28_ Let’s learn about the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree - a candidate’s journey and experiences, with Meghan Haffey

    hosted by: Sujani Siva

Show Notes

In this episode, Sujani sits down with Meghan Haffey to talk about her journey from discovering public health to the present day, where she is a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) student in the Health Promotion & Health Education program at the University of Texas, School of Public Health.

You’ll Learn

  • Meghan’s journey prior to pursuing her Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree, including the premed route that she first started off in, switching into public health, and pursuing a Master of Public Health and specializing in Epidemiology
  • That it’s okay to start off in one field and then switch to a different one; just because you choose it, doesn’t mean you have to stick to it; don’t think that the years you may have spent in one area was a waste, it is all part of the journey
  • The sentiment and people’s preconceived notion that exists when one chooses to switch from the medical school path to a public health path, which Meghan did.
  • Additionally, normalizing the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree, so that it is acceptable if one chooses not to pursue a PhD.
  • Why Meghan decided to pursue a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree, how she decided between a PhD or a DrPH degree, what she did to make the decision (informational interviews, employment perspectives, demand for each of the degrees)
  • Tips for when you are trying to decide on a doctoral degree
  • The difference between a DrPH and a PhD
  • Why she chose the School of Public Health at the University of Texas and a bit about the program:
    • Her specialization: Health Promotion and Health Education (Minor in Health Policy)
    • A walk-through of the first two years of the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) program
    • Her experiences to date – a glimpse of what it feels like to be in the program, including courses, prerequisites, and work experiences she has gained through the faculty
  • Life after her Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree – where she hopes her public health path will take her

Today’s Guest

Meghan Haffey

Meghan Haffey is passionate about health advocacy, wellness promotion, nutrition, disease education and prevention, languages, serving people of all cultures, and leadership. She is currently finishing her Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree in Health Promotion and Health Education with a minor in Health Policy. She has completed all doctoral-level coursework, passed the preliminary exam, and is now working on her dissertation. She is also working full-time as a graduate research assistant on the UTHealth RADx-UP121 COVID-19 testing and vaccination project and on the production of a health promotion graduate school textbook.

She graduated from Baylor University as a University Scholars major in the Honors Program, concentrating in the sciences, public health, Spanish and Chinese. She then completed her Masters in Public Health (MPH) degree in Epidemiology with a Leadership Studies Concentration at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston. She also graduated from the Archer Graduate Program in Public Policy at the Archer Center in Washington, D.C. As an Archer Graduate Fellow, she worked with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in the Government Affairs department. Her experiences have ignited a passion to ultimately pursue a public health career in disease prevention, health education and wellness promotion.


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About the Show

PH SPOTlight: Public health career stories, inspiration, and guidance from current-day public health heroes

On the show, Sujani sits down with public health heroes of our time to share career stories, inspiration, and guidance for building public health careers. From time to time, she also has conversations with friends of public health – individuals who are not public health professionals, but their advice and guidance are equally important.


Sujani Siva

Sujani is the founder of PHSPOT.ca and Infographics101.com. After guiding a number of public health students, new grads and professionals, Sujani created these two platforms to reach, inspire and support even more of her peers. 

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