Everyone is an experiential expert on their own circumstances. Authentic public health requires that we learn from the entire spectrum of “teachers”. The broad and exceptional scholarship that is available in the field of public health to guide our action represents one constellation of experience we must learn from. The experience of partners and actors on the front lines of community action bring a different set of knowledge and wisdom to our efforts. The experience of those in need of support is ignored at our own peril. Those who by accident of birth, by random chance, or by ill-chosen action find themselves wanting for health, for access to resources, for knowledge, for skills, for change; also bring a wealth of information to authentic efforts to improve health. To mind the public is not to adhere mindlessly to public demand or outcry, but rather always to keep the public in mind. In the ideal circumstance, the consensus wish of the public coincides with evidence supporting the effectiveness of the public desire. When conflict exists between the public mind and the public health mind, it is incumbent upon us to negotiate the difference in perspective until consensus can be approached. When keeping the public in mind, it is helpful to recognize that it is possible to be right and wrong at the same time. It does no one service to impose a “correct” solution that has little opportunity to succeed because the public does not embrace the approach. When we keep the public in mind, this paradox is much less likely to occur.
Our students learn from some of the best teachers around: our community and alumni. To learn how you can become get involved with the MPH program, please explore the following links: