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Student Profile: Charlie Tran, MPH ’23 (Social and Behavioral Sciences); BA ’22 History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health (5-year BA/MPH program)

August 24, 2022
by Fran Fried

Why did you choose the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH)?

I chose YSPH because of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences' focus on health equity and community engagement in public health. Coming from a background in the history of medicine and more archival-based work, it was important to me to choose a program that allowed me to put classroom-based knowledge into practice and interact with people. Being able to begin the MPH program in my senior year of college via the 5-year BA-BS/MPH program gave me an opportunity to jumpstart my public health education and start applying what I learned in class to working with local community health organizations. YSPH equipped me with core public health classes and access to fantastic faculty to guide my entrance into the public health world.

What were you doing before enrolling at YSPH?

Because I was admitted through the 5-year program, I was a junior in college immediately before I began my MPH classes. The summer before my senior year of college, I was interning with Fair Haven Community Health Care, a New Haven-based community health care center, in the population health and care coordination departments.

What are your favorite aspects of the YSPH academic program?

My favorite part about YSPH's academic programs is the flexibility in my schedule to take classes outside of my own track in social and behavioral sciences. More than half of the required credits for the MPH are electives and most classes at YSPH are not capped, so I love being able to take a wide variety of classes suited to my interests. I can even take classes at other schools at the university as long as they're relevant to my academic interests and public health.

What was your most impactful experience outside of class?

During my internship with Fair Haven Community Health Care, I was calling mothers to help schedule developmental screenings for their toddlers. I was struck by how much these mothers trusted me, a complete stranger, over the phone, with their worries about their children and their hopes for them. Perhaps it was due to the call coming from a well-established community health center, but even so, I found that the level of trust and faith these people put into the clinic for their children's health and well-being fed my passions for preventative and primary care. Public health work necessarily concerns larger populations, but this experience motivated me to find ways to keep my work people- and community-centered.

My favorite part about YSPH's academic programs is the flexibility in my schedule to take classes outside of my own track in social and behavioral sciences.

Charlie Tran

Do you have a favorite Yale place or New Haven food?

My favorite restaurant in New Haven is probably Pad Thai on Chapel Street; their Pad See Ew is so flavorful, and the rice noodles have a wonderful texture. Besides Pad Thai, New Haven's food and restaurant scene is fantastic, and I look forward to trying a new restaurant every few weeks. For coffee, I love the iced dirty chai from the Jitter Bus on Grove Street. In terms of a Yale place, I'd say my favorite is Beinecke Plaza on a sunny, but not too hot, day. It's right in the middle of campus, and there are always people passing through; you're bound to run into a friend or make a new one.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

I hope to take a year to work in a public health-related field while I apply to medical school with the intention to become a primary care physician.

Submitted by Fran Fried on August 08, 2022