My first (and only) full year of coursework for my masters program is drawing to a close. Finals are in mid-May, and comprehensive exams are in early June. Then it's off to New York City! On June 8 I will be joining the 5th class of the Epi Scholars program with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Each scholar (read: grad student in epidemiology) is paired with a staff mentor and given a specific project to work on throughout the summer. The research work is augmented by training on SAS and GIS, educational sessions on health disparities and other topics that touch on the work of the Department. The project I will be working on involves characterizing children with severe lead poisoning in New York to help clinicians better screen for them. I've only heard amazing things about this program from the Hopkins students and alumni who have gone before, so I'm quite excited.
In the fall I will move to an as-yet-undisclosed location and spend the majority of my second year doing 'field work' in global health. One of the reasons I chose this program is that it gives me the chance to get a substantial chunk (6-12 months) of work experience abroad in one place before I complete my degree, and I plan to take full advantage of that. More on where I'll be once things are finalized.