Today’s episode features Dr. Moaz Abeldelwadoud, who is a physician and researcher currently working as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Pharmaceutical Health Services Research Department at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He joins me to discuss his impressive international public health journey.
About Dr. Moaz Abdelwadoud
Dr. Moaz Abdelwadoud is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Pharmaceutical Health Services Research Department at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Directly after earning his medical degree from Ain-Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; Dr. Abdelwadoud began his public health career in 2007 at Theodor Bilharz Research Institute (TBRI), Egypt.
He worked on prevention and control of liver and kidney diseases with special focus on viral hepatitis. During his appointment at TBRI, he earned his first MPH in Preventive Community Medicine with a capstone entitled “Development of emergency room patient record in TBRI hospital”. In parallel, he worked as a health program specialist at the Center for Development Services, in Egypt assisting in monitoring and evaluation of internationally funded reproductive health, sexuality, and HIV/AIDS projects.
The Egyptian Ministry of Health delegated him in 2011 to coordinate a medical convoy and conduct a health needs assessment for asylum seekers stranded at the Egyptian-Libyan border, then appointed him as the chief of the Egyptian surgical convoy to Burundi in June 2012.
Following these missions, he was selected to participate in the Inter-academy Partnership for Health --Young Physician Leaders Program held in conjunction with the World Health Summit, Berlin, Germany, 2012 and the World Health Organization Assembly, Geneva, Switzerland in 2016.
Dr. Abdelwadoud was awarded in 2012 the Netherland Fellowship to participate in the 49th MPH/International Course in Health Development organized by the Royal Tropical Institute and The Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
His MPH thesis sought to identify and address key factors that influenced access to hepatitis C interferon-based therapy in Egypt via investigation of different health systems policies, strategies, and best practices to inform Egypt’s treatment and prevention strategy.
In 2014, Dr. Abdelwadoud joined the University of Kentucky Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Program and worked on the research project “Access to Hepatitis C Treatment in Kentucky”. He developed his doctoral capstone project through this research investigating different barriers to hepatitis C treatment after referral to University of Kentucky outpatient clinic.
In May 2017, he completed his DrPH degree and two Graduate Certificates in Global Health, and College Teaching and Learning. During the Academic year 2017/2018, Dr. Abdelwadoud served as adjunct faculty at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health.
He assisted and led the following undergraduate courses: Introduction to Public Health, Global Health, and Foundations of Health Behavior. He co-instructed Public Health Capstone course for MPH Health Management and Policy students in addition to advising some of them as a committee member.
At the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Dr. Abdelwadoud is working on the PATIENTS program as well as other projects funded by NIH, FDA and other federal and state agencies, foundations, and private corporations.
A Journey In Public Health: Seeking To Bring Greater Impact
Dr. Abdelwadoud became interested in serving a greater multitude of people after finishing his medical degree. To make his passion a reality he joined Theodor Bilharz Research Institute (TBRI), Egypt as a public health physician/researcher in 2007.
His passion lies in serving marginalized and disadvantaged populations everywhere. Particularly his focus revolves around health systems and services research, with special focus on equitable access to quality health services, and engaging disadvantaged populations in health services delivery and research. Primarily his passion has been access to hepatitis C services. He is currently broadening his scope to include other infectious and non-infectious diseases.
Dr. Abdelwadoud’s academic and professional experiences in multiple contexts in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the US prepared him for his current research position at the University of Maryland with the PATIENTS Program. He works on engaging communities in health research that is meaningful to them and addressing their needs and preferences.
Dr. Abdelwadoud’s Advice for Public Health Students & Graduates
Keep your public health passion and interest up at all times whatever the challenges you face to make a change at population level. It is not easy!
Your public health work intersects with all social determinants of health, this means you need to collaborate with people from other backgrounds and have to be open to other disciplines and points of view.
Develop your own area of niche; think about the public health problem that want to work on, what approach you want to follow, and what are the tools you want to use.
A major challenge for public health fresh graduates is finding a best match to their interests and abilities. Sometimes you may need to be flexible with the job market and join a team that works on a different interest or approach. Be open to these kinds of opportunities, you will definitely learn something new.
Public health has different meanings to different people. Perceptions about what is public health differ, some people do public health and they don't know that. Gain as much knowledge and experiences with unlabeled public health people like social workers and those with boots on the ground as early as possible in your career to conceptualize public health compressively and get the true meaning of public health and its reality.
A significant challenge that I faced and many other colleagues is, what should I do after earning my Bachelor or Master of Public Health? Should I work in public health practice or do research? Should I start with a local NGO or community organization with more field work OR should I join a big institution with more desk work? When should I work on a PhD or DrPH? These questions needs thorough thinking and mentoring to decide on the long term career goals and plans.
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