Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Washington DC at their Health Department. I have always loved DC since I was born nearby in Virginia so I’ve always had a sense of belonging there. Although, I’ve been to DC a multitude of times, this time was a totally different experience. I was on my own basically to explore the city and to commute to work, which helped me learn a thing or two about this thing called “adulting”. I learned really much how people depend on the metro system and how many people actually don’t even own cars at all, which is so crazy to me. I definitely see how spoiled I am because I would dread going to the grocery store simply because I was going to have to carry all my items home instead of driving them back to my house. I also realized how expensive the metro really is, which I spent roughly $10 per day for seven weeks. It took a huge amount of my scholarship money (still salty). Haha. But, I’m grateful to have been able to work in the country’s capital, I got to see first hand how influential the health department is in DC and everything that goes into running it as well.
One of my favorite parts however, would have to have been touring the White House. On my last day we took a tour of the East Wing of the White House, where I got to see the green room, blue room, red room, east room etc. It was a nice experience even though I really was hoping to see the Obama’s since they occasionally come and surprise the guests while they are touring. Sadly, the Obama’s were at Martha’s Vineyard. It was a great experience and now I can say I’ve toured the White House, especially while the best president to ever grace the White House was in office.
Lastly, I’m grateful for this opportunity to spend my summer learning more about public health. I now understand the importance of public health and policy in a way I was once unfamiliar with before. I see how clinical medicine and public health must work hand in hand to close equity gaps in our communities. I hope to share my knowledge in the future and /I know that this experience will definitely stick with me forever.