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I think I Found My Dissertation Topic...Public Health?

Posted By Jonathan Noel, Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Yup, you read that right, public health.  The public health practices of a very specific population.  A population that, as far as I can tell, is as committed to their work as much or more than any other industry.  A population that works tirelessly with not nearly enough compensation, often doing the job of 2 or 3 people and working for multiple organizations.  A population that is completely hidden if everything goes right.

Have you guessed it yet?  I think the last one gave it away.

It's Public Health.  Public health professionals that is.

All of us spend so much time and effort on our projects, on our research, or on some email you received late at night that you absolutely swear is the last one you'll answer before going to bed, unless one comes in from the guy you've been waiting to hear back from. But how much time do we take for ourselves to stay healthy?

I say that I'll go running in the morning, but then use the cold weather as an excuse not to go.  I'll be in the office for 12-13 hours, eat dinner after 9, do another hour of work, then off for 5 to 6 hours of sleep before doing it all over again.  I'll eat salted snacks and fried food thinking of only how many napkins I'll go through by the end of the meal.

We drink. We smoke.  We gamble.  We eat foods that are bad for us and don't get enough exercise.  We work too much and don't take enough vacation time.  We have aches and pains that go unexplained.  We live on caffeine and that half a sandwich in the office fridge that was left over from yesterday's meeting. 

None of this should be surprising.  Everyone does those things.  But we are Public Health.  We are the ones telling you to stop doing that.  Shouldn't we at least be doing these things at a lower rate than everyone else?  Either way, I'd like to find out.  And if you're interested too, let me know, and fast.  I've got a dissertation proposal to write.

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Elaine Abrams RN says...
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013
What you may find that employment (i.e. paycheck) trumps rectitude...
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