I AM FPHLP 2022: Hammad Baqai

I AM FPHLP 2022: Hammad BaqaiHammad Baqai was part of the Michigan FPHLP 2022 cohort. He is currently a senior at the University of Maryland, College Park majoring in Public Health Science and Neurobiology & Physiology. During FPHLP 2022, Hammad interned with the Michigan Medicine Community Health Services.

Hammad looked forward to participating in Michigan FPHLP to get real hands-on working experience in the public health field and to come to a place where everyone is coming from different backgrounds and different experiences. He was enticed by the ability to learn from everyone's experiences and the experienced staff and mentors that are the backbone of the program.

In his field placement at Michigan Medicine Community Health Services (CHS), Hammad interned with both the Program for Multicultural Health (PMCH) and the Office of Community Benefit/Community Health Needs Assessment (CB/CHNA). He helped with different department projects to help advance their goals of improving the health of the communities in the greater Detroit area. He would do this by organizing health education workshops or by evaluating current health projects in place by CHS to see if their projects are meeting their goals. He also provided recommendations on how to adjust them to better suit community needs.

The highlight of Hammad’s FPHLP experience was the FPHLP staff and mentors that took the time to get to know him and help him grow into a better public health professional. He was able to learn from his fellow peers and his mentors and preceptors about their experiences and what inspires them. He was also privileged to be able to go out and help in various Michigan communities through community projects with his fellow FPHLP peers. Overall, Hammad loved his experience with all the different people in the program and the bond he was able to create with so many of his friends in the program.

The biggest challenge Hammad faced was the intensity of the program at times. However, Hammad says, “the experience is worth it and you get the chance to really see what you're made of.” He was able to learn how to best prioritize and manage his time to ensure he got everything he needed to get finished, done in a meaningful manner.

Since leaving Michigan FPHLP, Hammad has been accepted into the University of Maryland MD/MPH program with a concentration in global health and will be starting the program this coming August. He hopes to go on and become a physician and make an impact on the health of his patients and the communities he has the opportunity to serve. Hammad is excited to take what he learned in the program from his mentors and from his site experience to integrate community health and healthcare organization into my clinical practice. He hopes to have an impact on the community health level and be a part of the change in our healthcare system to make it more accessible to underserved communities at home and abroad.

Hammad encourages others to apply to Michigan FPHLP because it is a comprehensive and intense way to get involved with the field of public health in its entirety. A person will have the ability to truly learn what public health is and get the chance to make meaningful connections with experts in the various aspects of public health, whether it be health administrators, environmental scientists, or biostatisticians. You get to experience almost all aspects of the field and truly find out where your passions lie.