After hearing from people about navigating the health system while facing numerous barriers, Sandy knew she wanted to learn about public health and medicine.
Sandy Ng grew up in northern Virginia, in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for college, where she majored in nutrition with a Bachelor of Science in public health.
Today, she’s a student at Creighton University’s School of Medicine, she’s a part of the inaugural class of Arrupe Global Scholars Program, a five-year MD and MPH program. The program aims to prepare a new generation of physicians who are dedicated and passionate about health equity. Ng studies on Creighton’s Phoenix campus, and she recently shared some thoughts about her experience at Creighton and with the Arrupe Global Scholars program.
What brought you to Creighton?
- I was drawn to Creighton’s focus on service and to the humanities track built into the curriculum. I felt that the aspects of reflection and holistic health were unique at Creighton and aligned with the way that I wanted to learn medicine.
What made you want to get into medicine?
- A variety of interests led me to choose medicine. Scientific curiosity led me to pursue research during college and my gap years, and while I enjoyed investigating these questions, studying public health in college also broadened my perspective about who needs healthcare now and why they aren’t getting it. This perspective led me to pursue a global health study abroad experience, volunteer with food insecurity organizations and pursue an internship with the Maryland Department of Aging. Hearing people’s stories about navigating the health system while facing socioeconomic barriers sparked my desire to integrate medicine and public health to serve people directly.
How did you first hear of the Arrupe Global Scholars Program?
- Because it was a new program, the Arrupe application wasn’t available until midway through the application cycle. I first became aware of the program when I received a medical school interview invite at Creighton and they let me know about the opportunity. I immediately realized that the program aligned with my interests, so I was very excited to apply.
What has your experience been like so far? Can you tell us what you did during your two-week orientation in the Dominican Republic?
- My experience so far has been amazingly thought-provoking and challenging. In the Dominican Republic, we learned about the history of the country, the people, and the medical and public health systems. We also took several excursions throughout the country and learned about the health programs Creighton-ILAC (the Institute for Latin American Concern) has fostered there. The most meaningful part for me was when we reflected as a group after each excursion about what we saw, the meaning of service in global health and the role of medicine in addressing inequalities. Learning from the perspectives of Dr. Beste (our program director) and my classmates has been amazing. I am beyond grateful for the experiences I have had so far, and I am very excited for the mentorship and opportunities ahead to learn, grow and serve in global public health.
What are your long-term career goals?
- My current goal is to explore a career in global public health program implementation. I want to live and work internationally for several years, although I don’t know where yet. If I come back to work in the U.S., I would want to work with underserved populations, particularly immigrants.