The following was submitted by Alexis Boyd, a active member of ACGH who helped coordinate this student-led webinar. Boyd has a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from The George Washington University and has spent the past 7 years researching filarial parasites. She is currently exploring a new career opportunity as a fellow at the Food and Drug Administration.
ASTMH’s Committee on Global Health (ACGH) is focusing on creating opportunities for students and professionals at any career stage interested in global health to network and explore the various career opportunities in the field. To accomplish this goal, the committee is sponsoring a series of live webchats with global health experts and leaders where individuals can ask career-related questions and seek advice. The first webchat took place in June and featured former ASTMH President Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute.
For this inaugural webchat, there were 17 participants and lively chat ensued with Dr. Hotez fielding questions on how he became interested in global health, what he considers his greatest accomplishment and how he balances the many demands on his time. Career related questions ranged from knowing what skills are important for global health advocacy to identifying potential roles that engineers can play in solving important global health problems. Dr. Hotez also provided keen insight on the importance of continued mentorship throughout a career and how to identify good mentors. Dr. Hotez encouraged the audience to stay true to their passions and find the strength to weather the crises of confidence that afflict even the most successful individuals. The webchat with Dr. Hotez was not only informative, but also motivational, and was met with highly positive reviews from the participants. The Committee on Global Health is planning on having webchats quarterly with different global health experts.
For more information on these chats or to nominate a speaker, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find additional answers from Dr. Hotez at the Sabin Vaccine Institute blog.