JANUARY 10, 2022 — When Joseph Lindsey ’18 embarked on a new job with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in New York City, he was ready to put his degrees to work on important, possibly groundbreaking medical research.
Then, he saw his assignment: the Bureau of Tuberculosis Control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
“I got my assignment and I thought, what do they mean TB? In the United States?” he recalled. “But I started looking at the TB rates in New York City and they are wild. It’s very endemic.”
His initial dismay quickly turned into stress as he dove into a niche part of the disease — multidrug and extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR/XDR-TB). This crash-course in tuberculosis, drug susceptibility testing and genomic sequencing—done remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic—taught Lindsey the ins and outs of the disease and how to interpret bacteriological testing.
Lindsey’s day-to-day work includes epidemiological surveillance, specifically pertaining to multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, creating policy and procedures for area clinics that treat TB, and working in one of the Bureau’s Chest Clinics performing HIV testing and assisting with telehealth enrollment.
“It was very difficult at first,” Lindsey said. “But I felt very supported by my supervisors and mentors, and now that I’m in the thick of it, I am very happy and have learned a tremendous amount.”
Lindsey never imagined he’d be living in New York and working for the CDC when he entered UTSA with plans to be a doctor. He enrolled in UTSA’s public health program, assuming it was pre-med adjacent, but soon realized the scope of public health and all it had to offer.
“The reason I wanted to go into medicine was to help people,” Lindsey said. “Medicine is very much focused on helping that one person in front of you. Public health addresses everything on a systemic level and I really liked that idea.”
Once he completed his B.S. in public health from UTSA, Lindsey earned his M.P.H. focused in community-oriented primary care from George Washington University. After graduating, he discovered the CDC Public Health Associate Program, a two-year paid training program to gain hands-on experience that serves as the foundation for a public health career.
Public health’s upstream approach to preventing disease stays in Lindsey’s mind daily as he touches on all aspects of tuberculosis prevention at the CDC and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Although he plans on pursuing physician assistant studies in the future, he cautions anyone entering public health with medicine in mind.
“Public health is more than a stepping stone to medicine — it’s a field within itself,” Lindsey said. “If you do want to go into medicine though, translate your knowledge in terms of the different levels of prevention, rather than staying focused on treatment, to how you as a provider can become a public health-based practitioner.”
Lindsey’s message is particularly timely for the newly-formed College for Health, Community and Policy at UTSA. Although he graduated before its formation, his message of practicing medicine for the betterment of the community is one of the college’s core missions.
“Something I did a lot in my program is community-based participatory research and that is really what opened my eyes to just how important it is to involve the community in every single decision-making process,” Lindsey said. “They need to be the number one stakeholder in any decision that’s made for their health.”
UTSA students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to raise their voices and participate in the upcoming joint primary runoff election. Election day is Tuesday, May 24. Any registered Bexar County voter may vote at the H-E-B Student Union Bexar Room (HSU 1.102).Bexar Room (HSU 1.102), H-E-B Student Union, Main Campus
Please join us Wednesday, May 25, 2022 for a discussion with Colonel (ret) Michael Davis, MD, FACS, FRCS (Hon), former Director of the U.S. Combat Casualty Care Research Program. Dr. Davis will discuss how to best identify strengths at UTSA that can be effectively leveraged for funding proposals to the Department of Defense.UTSA Business Building University Room (2.06.04), Main Campus
UTSA is excited to introduce new flexible learning spaces available to the Roadrunner community. During this orientation, interested faculty will be guided through examples of innovative learning activities supported by these spaces and provided with an overview of relevant technical features.Virtual Event
Do you find yourself more worried than usual about our students? Would you like to feel more confident in your ability to provide support or assistance to them? We are pleased to announce this new brownbag professional development opportunity for you, Compassion Fatigue Training, that will be offered June 1, 2022.Faculty Center Large Conference Room (JPL 4.04.12C), Main Campus
The Faculty Coffee Chat is designed to provide faculty members the space to discuss current issues they are facing in an inclusive and supportive environment.Virtual Event
Join your fellow alumni at The Dooryard, for networking, drinks, professional portraits, and karaoke. Be sure to dress business on the top to make the most of this unique opportunity.The Dooryard, 4503 De Zavala Rd Suite 108, San Antonio, TX 78249
These sessions are focused on incoming Freshman who are attending the UTSA Summer Orientation and are intending to major in areas within the College of Liberal and Fine Arts! We'll have important information and giveaways for you - come meet us.Willow room (SU 2.02.1), Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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