During his time as a DrPH in Preventive Care student, Neal Malik has been heavily involved in campus research and has begun teaching college level health courses at the local community college. Here is the record of a brief conversation with the soon-to-be Dr. Malik as he completes the last year of his program.
Why did you decide to attend Loma Linda University School of Public Health?
Loma Linda University is renowned for its excellence in public health and I wanted to be a part of that. Also, some of my family friends were recent Loma Linda University School of Public Health graduates and I heard stories about their wonderful experiences here. After I attended my initial admissions interview, I was hooked. The faculty and staff were so accommodating and knowledgeable, I knew I wanted to be a student here.
What experiences brought you to LLU SPH?
When I was younger, I was diagnosed with a chronic disease. That experienced changed my life and helped steer me in the direction of disease prevention. I knew that if I could help others lead healthier lives, I would have found my perfect career. This is why I feel the Preventive Care program was a perfect fit for me. It emphasizes disease prevention while incorporating a holistic approach to health and wellness. The program also provides a solid foundation in exercise physiology, nutrition, and stress management which has opened many doors for me.
What has been one of your most valuable experiences at LLU SPH?
It would be hard to identify only one, since I have had so many amazing experiences here. While each one has been quite different, I would have to say the research I conducted as a student in the master’s program and the research I am currently conducting for my dissertation have been the most valuable. I would encourage everyone to become research assistants before they graduate. It can be overwhelming at times, but it allows you to truly grow as a professional.
What class really impressed you?
One of the first classes I attended during my masters here at Loma Linda University School of Public Health was a class on psychoneuroimmunology. I could hardly pronounce the course name let alone decipher what the course was about! But, it was recommended to me by my advisor so I decided to take it. I'm so glad I did! That course introduced me to the idea that the mind and the body are one and therefore are constantly influencing one another. Put simply, through the power of the mind, we can control our immune systems! Pretty amazing stuff...
What are your career goals?
My perfect career would involve counseling patients on disease prevention, nutrition, stress management, and exercise. I also love teaching, so continuing to teach at the college level would be something I hope to do for a long time.