Skip to main content

Click "Menu" to toggle open, click "Menu" again to close

Medical Student Values Benefits of Public Health Knowledge

Marcus Childs

Marcus Childs, a medical student at UArizona’s College of Medicine –Phoenix, decided to pursue a dual MD/MPH degree program as he realized how social disparities in health and healthcare had a profound influence on the communities he wants to serve.

Marcus Childs, a medical student at UArizona’s College of Medicine – Phoenix, decided to pursue the dual MD/MPH degree program during his medical education as he realized how social disparities in health and healthcare profoundly impacted the communities he wants to serve. A native Arizonan, Marcus faced social disparities in his own life at an early age and that experience motivated him to pursue a career in healthcare. He wants to leverage public health policy and programs that benefit communities and change the systems. He plans to go into Family Medicine and hopes to provide care through Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). He will graduate this Spring 2024 with his MD/MPH dual-degree.

Childs provided us with a testimonial about why he decided to pursue an MPH with his MD degree, and about how he sees the impact of public health:

“Choosing to get an MPH was a very personal decision, and it took a lot of time to think about it. Getting my MD meant going back to my communities and providing care to the most underserved patients in Phoenix. But as I learned more about WHY our healthcare system leads to so many underserved populations, I knew that just providing care as a physician would not be enough. There was a systemic issue and I realized that if I wanted to have a larger, wider impact on entire populations that I would need to pursue a public health degree so I could understand the “why” behind health inequities.

Now that I am about to graduate with my MD/MPH I can confidently say I have gained all of the knowledge and understanding I set out to find in the beginning. Through our classes and my internship I have seen from a microscale of 1:1 patient care to a macroscale of sitting in board meetings and advocating for policy change that these health inequities start from a much higher level than a primary care clinic. It starts with politicians, public health departments, and policy writing.

I now understand the larger system at play and have the knowledge to navigate that system so I can not only provide care to my patient in the clinic, but also continue to advocate for entire communities through community needs assessments, quality improvement projects, and research identifying the most impactful changes to make through policy. Getting my MPH allowed me to become a true community physician.”

Childs has pursued his education so he can help communities that do not have enough support. His commitment and determination led him to earn a bachelor's degree, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate from the University of Arizona. All of us in the Zuckerman College of Public Health wish Marcus great success in his future career!

Read the College of Medicine – Phoenix “Match Day Profile” of Marcus Childs >

The University of Arizona red triangle graphic