Richard Adamczyk, MPH, Pharm.D., completed his MPH through UAlbany's online route and interned at a hospital’s research department for his internship component. He recently shared some information about his experience at the University at Albany School of Public Health as an online student.
Why did you decide to pursue an MPH?
To better position myself to pursue my goal of expanding my community involvement; The skills gained from an MPH would allow me to positively influence the public health of the communities where I both work and live (Berkeley Heights, New Jersey).
Why UAlbany in particular?
Opportunity (fully online), Academics (highly ranked) & Affordability (out of state tuition).
The School of Public Health has been recognized as one of the best in world. In addition, a UAlbany education is an especially good value— keeping out of state costs within reach for a working Dad with a wife and three young kids.
What struggles did you face while completing your MPH and what did you do to overcome these obstacles?
Being a first responder during the COVID-19 pandemic made meeting course material deadlines a challenge during that time; This was easily overcome with UAlbany’s dedicated and readily available faculty. The professors were extremely flexible, working with me on my specific situation to ensure the work was completed as efficaciously as possible.
Did you come in with any credit waived due to experience?
Yes. UAlbany was gracious enough to waive some of my internship credits due my public health work experience.
What was it like learning online?
With the number of apps/programs available (for posting video and audio content), I felt surprisingly very connected to the faculty and my fellow students.
What was your favorite course and why?
Infectious Disease Epidemiology (HEPI 605); Combating infectious diseases is a passion of mine as a Clinical Pharmacist in Critical Care; Through this course I learned to better monitor the occurrence of infectious diseases which in turn now allows me to better develop strategies for preventing and controlling infectious disease.
What did you do for your internship?
For my internship I worked in a Hospital’s Research Department under the guidance of an advisor with an MPH. The specific contributions to the organization and the field of public health, included the development of a hospital program to reduce catheter-related bloodstream infection (CR-BSI) in the hospitalized patient, specifically, central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs). Overall our team facilitated a new approach to improve health (CLABSI infections) through prevention (autosubstitution procedure) utilizing an innovative devices (midline catheter) in the hospitalized patient.
In this process, I was able to gain the following experiences:
- Developed the study design and methods
- Submitted/received IRB approval
- Developed a data collection tool
- Conducted data collection
- Conducted statistical data analysis
- Designed, submitted and presented a poster at a professional conference
What's next on your career path?
Reaching out to local community organizations to participate in projects that positively influence the communities’ health.
What advice would you give to others considering completing an MPH online?
Go for it, and be sure to take advantage of any tuition reimbursement opportunities at your place of employment to mitigate costs if needed.