The term “pre-health” is typically associated with a certain set of traditional pathways: pre-medical, pre-physician’s assistant, pre-dentistry, pre-physical therapy, etc. These pathways encompass the well-known health careers that many undergraduate students gear their studies towards. The steps to enter typical health careers are well-defined, and universities provide a plethora of resources to prepare students to work in healthcare. Social entrepreneurship, however, isn’t a part of the typical pre-health advisor’s vocabulary. While it might not be one of the “traditional” pre-health pathways, health entrepreneurship offers students an innovative, while unconventional, path to positively impact the health of our global community. A small percentage of undergraduate pre-health students know that this option even exists. So, when given the opportunity to present our Global Social Benefit Fellowship research and lead a workshop on health entrepreneurship at the University of California Davis Pre-Health Conference, we could not have been more excited.
For over a decade, UC Davis has been hosting the nation’s largest pre-health conference. This year, 4,500 pre-health students from across the state of California came together to explore a variety of health professions through career and job fairs, keynote speakers, panel sessions and workshops. Miller Center staff Marie Haller and Karen Runde, Global Social Benefit Fellows, and Vrunda Rathod a Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI) alumni with InPress Technologies, all provided unique perspectives on health entrepreneurship and how to get involved. Participants also learned how other GSBI alumni Shanti Uganda, Nurture Africa, and Koe Koe Tech are having positive impacts in different arenas of global health.
Health entrepreneurship has the ability to transform the ways in which we approach solutions to poverty and the health care disparities evident in our world. It acts as a tool with which we can upset unjust social equilibriums both domestically and abroad to ensure a healthier and more productive global community. While traditional methods of delivering healthcare remain important, the use of social entrepreneurship and human-centered design offer promising opportunities to make positive, lasting impacts on health, in which the focus of impact begins and ends with the beneficiary. Through this workshop, we’re proud to have brought greater awareness of the Miller Center and health entrepreneurship to pre-health undergraduate students.
2017 Global Social Benefit Fellows
Athena Nguyen, Major: Public Health, Political Science
Grace Krueger, Major: Biology
Will Paton, Major: Bioengineering