John Prutting: Reflections from a year of service with the Pittsburgh Health Corps

How has your service year in the Pittsburgh Health Corps helped you develop your future aspiration(s)? 
Prior to joining the Pittsburgh Health Corps, I was intent on attending medical school and becoming a doctor. However, I will now be attending the University of Michigan School of Public Health to pursue a Master’s in Health Management & Policy. My service in a community health center has helped me gain a better grasp of how factors at the population level can greatly impact the health of individuals and the general public. It is this understanding that has kindled my desire to pursue a career in public health rather than medicine, as I believe my work in the future will have great influence on improving the health of a larger population.

What was the most rewarding/memorable moment(s) of service year at your site?
The most rewarding and memorable part of serving with Primary Care Health Services was all the gratitude shown to me by the patients I assisted. Whether I was helping them enroll in health insurance or completing their utility assistance applications, the patients always expressed their appreciation for my efforts and made me believe I was impacting their lives in a positive way.

Being from this city, what would you like to tell future out-of-state PHC members about Pittsburgh?
As a Pittsburgh native, I would advise future PHC members to try and experience as much as they can of what the city has to offer. While it is tempting to contain yourself to the part of town you live in (ex. Oakland, Shadyside, Lawrenceville), I encourage everyone to be willing to step out of their comfort zone and explore the multitude of unique and diverse communities spread across Pittsburgh.