Michael Leach graduated with his Master of Health Science in One Health degree from the Department of Environmental and Global Health in 2018. He came into the program with over 13 years of clinical experience as a practicing physician assistant and completed the program while working full-time at the North Florida Regional Medical Center.
Michael enrolled in the MHS Online program with an interest in answering questions about emerging pathogens in the southeastern region of the United States and the Caribbean (e.g., chikungunya, dengue, and zika, to name a few). However, throughout the course of his studies, and a transformative capstone research project with the Shands Arts in Medicine program, his interests expanded and evolved.
Michael studied music therapy and cognitive and behavioral psychology as an undergraduate, and his capstone experience helped to unite this background with his interest in global public health and medicine. “I underwent a paradigmatic shift from patient-focused care to patient-population care,” he says.
Though Michael continues to work as a practicing physician assistant in Interventional Radiology and Emergency Medicine, he hopes to pursue his doctorate in One Health. He sees the opportunity to continue to integrate global public health with his medical experiences and conduct innovative research that he can share with others to facilitate real change.
“My EGH experience made me realize that only through an interdisciplinary approach can complex global public health problems be understood and appropriate interventions be designed for realistic and economical long-term solutions,” Michael says.
Congratulations to our alumnus Michael Leach! We can’t wait to see what he does over the next few years. Learn more about how the MHS in One Health program fits into your academic and career goals here.