Master of Public Health
Doctor of Medicine - MD UNSW
Dr Janice Tan started working towards a Master of Public Health (part-time) at UNSW School of Population Health in 2018 and finished with a Distinction in 2021. Janice is currently in a consulting role for a digital health company and hopes to utilize her knowledge to invoke change by taking part in advisory roles for Central Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network.
“I believe that we are now entering the age of digital health and I would like to be part of the revolution to ensure that equitable change is brought upon our population,” said Dr Janice Tan. “My study at the School of Population Health has equipped me with knowledge in both health systems and epidemiology and has provided me with a core understanding of digital health which will help me in my future endeavours.”
While working full time in an emergency department in 2018, I was exposed to a lot of consequences of systemic failures in our healthcare system. I chose to study a Master of Public Health to understand how health systems work better and to equip myself with comprehensive evidence-evaluation skills as well as statistical and epidemiological knowledge.
The School of Population Health championed distance learning long before the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant that teaching was minimally affected last year. Also, the lecturers here have real life experience working in public health. In the Digital Health course, we had conveners from WHO’s Collaborating Centre. In the Infectious Diseases course, our conveners were actively providing advice to the government during the pandemic.
The course also attracts many non-doctor students, setting it apart from other universities where most of the MPH candidates are doctors. Throughout the course, I have met people working for NSW Health, pharmaceutical companies, and overseas public health physicians, which has enriched my learning experience tremendously by being able to take part in enlightening discussions.
Understanding what influences and drives health systems has allowed me to appreciate my role as a primary care provider more and encourages me to advocate for any perceived system deficits. My knowledge in epidemiology and statistics has also enhanced my evidence-finding which is core when practising evidence-based medicine. I believe that my Master program moulded me into a more holistic and well-rounded doctor with a better understanding of the socio-demographic factors experienced by my patients.
Health inequity is an ongoing issue that we need to keep in mind – especially moving forward to the age of digital health. We need to make sure that no one gets left behind.
Follow your gut feeling in choosing what courses to do – it is usually right. Read all the pre-readings provided as they are often carefully selected and will enrich your learning. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and speak out during discussions as it often benefits everyone.