August 12, 2019

Introducing Pooja Rajanbabu

Hi, I’m Pooja Rajanbabu and I’m an undergraduate student majoring in Public Health and minoring in Global Health at the University of Washington (UW). For those who don’t know the term public health, it is the art and science of preventing diseases and prolonging life, usually through organized community efforts. The field of global health focuses on health issues that transcend national boundaries.

Mount Saint Helens

Pooja took a photo of Mount Saint Helens while on a road trip in the Northwest.

Growing up, I’ve always known that I wanted to work in the healthcare field, but I knew I didn’t want to go down the medical path and become a doctor. I wanted to find a career where I could improve people’s overall health through interventions and preventative methods. I wanted to pursue a career where I could help numerous people at once and on a much larger scale. At the time, I just never knew that this field was called public health.

Once I entered college, I delved deeper into the fields of public health and global health. I have always loved planning and organizing things, and when I took more public health courses, I noticed that the field involves a technique of planning I’ve never encountered before. It involved creative planning that pushed me to think outside the box. It was a method of planning that had a real impact on the world. The field involves one to think about effective yet inexpensive health interventions that are appropriate to different cultures and societies. This sort of thinking intrigued me, and I knew I wanted to learn more about it. I have always been interested in public health, because it is a broad field and it affects everyone’s’ lives since there are many factors that influence one’s health.

When I was searching for opportunities to get hands on-experience in global health, I came across the UW Timothy A. DeRouen Center for Global Oral Health. The organization promotes international collaborations with diverse countries across the world. It also highlights the importance of global oral health and how oral health is a crucial but overlooked aspect of one’s well-being. These were the type of qualities I was looking for in an internship, and I am fortunate enough to be a part of the DeRouen Center now. I am also looking forward to working on future projects and making a real impact on global oral health.