Graduating student Rajeev Salunke (IDM '20) has been accepted into the internal medicine residency program at the University of Connecticut. Salunke completed his MPH with a concentration in infectious disease management, intervention, and community practice (IDM's MPH-MIC).
He discusses how Pitt Public Health has prepared him for this journey:
"In June 2020, I will begin my journey as a resident physician in internal medicine at the University of Connecticut. I was born and raised in Dubai. I shifted to Mumbai at age 15 to finish up high school and pursue my dream of studying medicine. It’s been nearly 13 years since I moved away from my family, but pursuing my dream was worth the sacrifices I have made.
The IDM program at the Graduate School of Public Health has helped me develop a strong foundation in public health. I have also had ample opportunities to conduct research in infectious diseases. Since the University of Pittsburgh is one of only five in the U.S. to offer an MPH degree in infectious diseases and microbiology, the unique experiences here have helped me stand out from the crowd.
The unwavering support offered by the faculty at Pitt Public Health has been a crucial component of my success. Under Dr. Frank’s guidance, I have made many career decisions that have proven to be beneficial. She helped me connect with the right people throughout my course, thus making it easy for me to network. She encouraged me to attend seminars, participate in poster presentations, and reach out to other organizations, all of which I really appreciate today. As a member of my thesis committee, she helped draft a strong thesis.
As my advisor, Dr. Friedman made sure that I progressed in the right direction. He helped me make crucial decisions about my coursework, practicum, and side projects. Without his expertise and constant guidance, working on my thesis would have been an uphill struggle.
Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Bility, who gave me the opportunity to work in his lab. I was able to take part in HIV research and was fortunate enough to have my name included in two publications. His letter of recommendation was a real boost to my profile and working in his lab has been one of the most educationally scintillating opportunities I have had so far.
Volunteering for different organizations in India made me realize the need for a public health infrastructure that focuses on bringing positive changes in a systematic manner. My desire to educate myself in public health coupled with my interest in medical research prompted me to pursue a public health degree in the U.S. I want to use the training I have received here to tackle problems that plague the public health and healthcare systems back home.
I am ready to begin life’s new journey, and I couldn’t be happier knowing that my family is proud of how far I have come."