I’m Becca Losch, and I’m a sophomore from Monmouth County, New Jersey. I am a healthcare studies major and biology minor, currently on the physician’s assistant track. I definitely want to be in the healthcare field, however, I haven’t decided if I would prefer more of a clinical or administrative aspect within the healthcare system. I’m hoping that interning and shadowing doctors over the summer will help me to make that decision. This geography course was recently approved by Dr. Mayes to count towards the healthcare studies major, which is mainly why I looked into taking the class. Once I started to look more into the class and what we would be learning, I became much more interested in it though.
Maps and geovisualization are utilized on a regular basis and are huge tools in the healthcare field. Last semester in Dr. Mayes’ healthcare course we used various resources and maps to study distribution of disease, death and birth rates across different economic and social environments, the percentage of people who receive immunizations, the progression of obesity in our country over many years, the regression of smoking across the country, and so many more aspects of healthcare. Although looking at numbers comparing some of these topics are extremely helpful to grasp how, where, and why these aspects of healthcare vary so greatly, being able to visualize some of the disparities within healthcare across the nation is much more impactful. Epidemiology has always really interested me, especially to study and show the studies to control diseases and other health problems in various areas of the world. I never realized how often the topic of this course is used within healthcare and how greatly it is integrated throughout my everyday life. One of the areas I am most interested in the use of maps is to show how great the disparities of disease, treatment, death etc. are within different areas. The disparities within a five-mile radius in Virginia alone are astounding. The ability to show this on a map over a period of time is vital to analyze what factors are affecting those rates and if healthcare improvement efforts are making a difference or need to be adjusted.
Throughout this course, I hope to learn how to utilize some of these tools to develop maps and resources, specifically to use for aspects of healthcare. The skills learned in this course I believe can be utilized in almost every single aspect of healthcare, and are invaluable skills to know how to use regardless of which area of healthcare I choose to be involved in. This seems to be a different course than I usually take for my major and minor, but I’m extremely interested to learn more about this topic and hopefully to use the tools I learn in my future.