As a highly engaged, high achieving and justice-oriented student, Madina Mahmoud not only embodies the values and principles of Baldwin Wallace University, but certainly represents the community-committed, public problem-solvers recognized by the Newman Civic Fellowship. Madina has worked tirelessly to launch an initiative collaborating with local medical schools to embed public health and social justice oriented curriculum into their programs, including a focus on social determinants of health and other socio-systemic issues influencing health outcomes. As a Pre-Med, Public Health major herself, Madina has a powerful vision to transform medical school education to look beyond the diagnosis to consider a wider lens on health and systems for more equitable health outcomes. In addition to this important endeavor, Madina is also engaging her peers in important conversations and action around civil rights and racial justice through her virtual Alternative Break immersion that she has designed for Spring 2021. This program will expose students to the struggle for civil rights through history and today, as well as empowering students for continued advocacy with partner organizations such as the Selma Center and Equal Justice Initiative.
Initially, when I started college as a “non-traditional” Pre-Med student pursuing a public health degree, I felt odd. I wasn’t the same as my other Pre-Med peers (Biology or other traditional science field). Although the traditional natural science major would have been interesting to me, I believe being a public health major has given me an advantage as an aspiring physician. I have had the opportunity to learn about all the social inequity issues prevalent in our healthcare system, which has empowered me to think beyond just becoming a physician. I know that not all aspiring physicians are exposed to the systemic issues infiltrating a system meant to save lives. Not all of them know that the social aspects of life have the highest correlation to health outcomes. Through institutional partnerships and professional collaborations with faculty, I am working to bring public health and social justice education to all aspiring healthcare workers and emphasizing its importance even before entering a professional school in the health field. The system may be flawed, but it has growth potential, and the best way to improve it is through the early education of our future healthcare workers.