Master's Programme in Public Health

Faculty of Medicine | Lund University

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Emma Wahlstedt

Investigator at the Public health agency of Sweden

I started my academic adventures in the Biomedicine field and after getting my bachelors degree, I felt that I wanted to broaden my perspective and look at medicine and health through a different lens than the microscope’s. When trying to figure out where I could do this, I came across the MPH programme and realised that public health was the field for me.

The fact that the programme covered many subjects within the public health field, from health economics and policy to research methodology and epidemiology, appealed to me because it meant that I didn’t have to limit myself to just a certain part of the field. I could get a taste of several parts of public health and then decide what I liked. The ability to go abroad for an internship was also a big plus, and I did end up going on the adventure of a lifetime to Australia, spending some time at a maternal health research facility there. Another big advantage of the programme was the multicultural atmosphere. It contributed to many interesting discussions and I can honestly say that I learned just as much from my classmates as I did from my professors.

Some time before graduation, I started thinking about what I wanted to do when I was done. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I started thinking that it would be pretty cool to work for the Public health agency of Sweden. During one of my many late night, ”what will I do with my life”- googling sessions, I ended up on the agency’s webpage and there it was, the Vacancies-list. I figured that I might as well send in an application for all of the three listed investigator jobs , you now, go big or go home, so I did.  When I got the call that the people at the unit for narcotics prevention wanted to meet me for an interview, my first instinct was that they must have gotten the wrong number. When I got the call that I had got the job, my first reaction was still that they must have gotten the wrong number, but no, it was the right number and I had landed my self the title of investigator at the Public health agency of Sweden, something I had thought about for a long time but never really thought would happen. What a confidence boost!

I now work as part of a group responsible for the international reporting of statistics regarding the narcotics situation in Sweden. I meet new challenges and learn new things everyday and I believe that the MPH programme has helped me develop the tools I need to tackle the challenges I face. The programme, my professors and my classmates have played a big part in my journey to get to this point, providing me with experience, knowledge and a confidence in myself that allows me to take the my first, wobbly steps as a public health professional. 

My best tip for new and old MPH students is to embrace the diversity of the program, use the two years to look into and try different parts of the field and learn from your classmates, it's amazing how much you can learn about the world just over lunch.

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