It took only two days of volunteering with Magen David Adom in Israel for Jonathon Rom to feel like his life had changed forever.
Rom was sitting in the back of an ambulance with an elderly woman during her transfer home from the hospital. A language barrier made it near to impossible for her to communicate her discomfort before suddenly fainting.
Rom feared the worst for the frail patient. Seconds felt like minutes for the young volunteer, but he was able to help the patient with the support and guidance of a paramedic.
He was only 18 years old at the time, but the experience with this patient and the many that would follow confirmed he wanted to pursue a career in health care.
Having completed his BMSc at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry, Rom was familiar with the School’s Master of Public Health (MPH) Program.
The Program’s case-based methodology aligns perfectly with Rom’s enthusiasm for hands-on problem solving, and it has helped him enhance his skills for the future.
Rom would eventually like to create a centre geared toward the elderly population. The centre he envisions will house pharmacists, physicians, nurses, dieticians and psychologists in one convenient location to ease the strain of travel, and ensure older patients are looked after in every capacity.
“I’ve already gained a stronger knowledge of how I’m supposed to go about creating a new centre for the elderly,” said Rom. “It involves a lot of politics and law, which no one really tells you about until you go into public health.”
As the representative of the MPH Class of 2016, Rom said that one of the best and most surprising aspects of the program was the sense of comradery it fosters amongst students and faculty.
“The Master of Public Health isn’t just a degree, but a network that you create with that degree, giving you access to a wide range of people of different backgrounds with different expertise,” he explained. “I feel empowered to face the world more so than I ever thought I would, and I’m very excited about the opportunities to come.”