A Day in the Life of a Global Health Student | Term 2 Day 5

This is the last post for term two until term three (dissertation/thesis term) begins.  It feels very bitter sweet that we have come so far but I am so happy and blessed to have been able to share my journey with you.  I hope it has helped some of you and it remains like a personal diary for me to look back on.  The last module that I we have for global health term 2 is Health Systems Development.  As I chose the global health stream instead of health systems, it only deemed appropriate to pick this as my optional class to widen my horizons.  

The course involves increasing knowledge of health systems and highlight its multidisciplinary aspects.  This includes but is not limited to: organisational behaviour, policy, information systems and data sources/collecting, human resources, governance, and funding.  I found this module slightly difficult to understand initially but slowly began to get to grips with the kind of critical thinking that was expected of me.  If you're similar to me, with a very science-heavy background from GCSEs onwards, and sort of lived under a rock, then most likely these types of courses won't come naturally but a little background reading and revising material helps solidify these concepts that seem quite abstract.  Long sentence, sorry. 

10:00am-12:30pm:  We have a slightly later start for this module but it does take up the whole day.  Luckily the campus is nearby so I don't need to walk too far.  Today we looked at health systems reforms.  This involves discussing methods of altering and changing the health system to adjust to the needs of the population.  It is critical to not only analyse the health of the public, such as prevalences of specific health conditions (NCDs or CDs etc) but also the economic state of the government and population in question, and resources available.  It also touched upon the necessity, strengths, and limitations of universal health coverage in terms of the possibility of implementing it.  Therefore, we looked at the journey and how to sustain a UHC in different contexts.  

12:30pm-1:30pm:  Lunch time!  I keep to myself during lunch, which is unsurprising to my peers.  A majority have not seen me outside of a work-context.  I used this time to work on a Health Economics project we had which involved carrying out a cost-utility analysis of vaginal birth versus c.section on the NHS.  

1:30pm-5:30pm:  This was intense.  Essentially, we had an external lecturer that skyped in pretending to be the Minister of Health of various countries based on which country we were assigned. Working in groups, we had to pitch the health status of a given population and why we should reform the health system accordingly and where to allocate funding.  The lecturer did not go easy on us.  He was quick to interrupt, call us out, was not shy to express discontentment to mimic what would occur in a political setting.  It was kind of nerve-wrecking but a great way to realise that not everyone will be quick to believe and trust numbers on a paper.  There is a lot of background work that takes place and politics.  In the end, he was impressed with our quick research because in the real world, you sometimes only have a couple of hours to make a deck to allocate $20,000,000 for a health reform.  

6:00pm: I'm home safe.  I am taking it easy today as tomorrow I have my tooth extraction which isn't exciting.  Therefore, I have the day off and this officially marks the beginning of my Spring Break.  I ate dinner because it will the last solid food I can have for about a week whilst watching youtube videos. 

7:00pm-8:00pm: I start to track down some useful websites and resources for learning R in preparation for my dissertation.  This was more scut work than it was meaningful but in all honestly, I think the holiday fever hit me hard.  Hello, procrastination. 

8:00pm-9:30pm: Our Case Study assignment was released for Health Systems Development.  It involves explaining the steps involved in reforming a health system of a fictional affluent country.  We have to pull together all the lectures in order to come explain how we will assess the existing health system and the health indicators of that population.  

9:30pm-10:00pm:  I have some tea with biscuits as I won't be able to have hot drinks after my tooth extraction in case I burn the site.  Arguably, it is quite late to be having tea but I'm playing the sympathy card.  During this time, I usually brainstorm blogpost ideas for other blogs I write for or read the Business of Fashion articles because it provides incredible insight on existing trends and forecasts what to expect in fashion and beauty.  

10:00pm-11:30pm: This time is usually spent writing blogposts for the week.  I do miss a few days but I try to keep up and ensure my content is genuine and informative.  It is sometimes overwhelming to balance my blog as well other people's that I write for, and ensure consistency without affecting my academic work.  But so far, I have most certainly had God on my side as I am so happy and grateful for how far my blog has come in a short amount of time.  I usually try to get into bed and watch a couple of youtube videos before I go to sleep. 

That is the end!  I cannot believe that all my days and modules have been documented at long last.  I can't believe how quickly my masters is finishing up, feels like just yesterday I was starting my first day of undergrad but that was over three years ago.  I plan on doing a summary of what I think were the pros and cons of my Masters in Public Health soon.  I hope this has been of some use and will be doing posts regarding the journey through my dissertation which should be very exciting as well.  

Thank you for reading!

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