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Arnold School of Public Health

Public health program inspires prevention focus for future physician

April 24, 2023 | Erin Bluvas,

Public health is the perfect major for anyone who wants to do anything in health care,” says Anjali Borsum, who graduates in May with the Bachelor of Science version of the degree. “The curriculum encompasses so many different areas that affect health, and you really get to see all sides of our health care system.”

Public health gave me a different perspective on health and wellness, and it really molded the way I want to practice medicine in the future.

-Anjali Borsum, B.S. in Public Health '23
Anjali Borsum

Growing up in the Upstate, Borsum initially envisioned attending college a little further from home. After meeting clinical associate professor Kara Montgomery at admitted students day and talking to current students, however, she knew USC had everything she wanted in a university: great academics, good sports, Greek Life, and a plethora of research and volunteer opportunities.

“I felt like USC and the Arnold School valued and appreciated me, and it felt like home,” says Borsum, who stayed connected to her mentor. “Throughout my entire college career, Dr. Montgomery has been there for me to support me, answer questions, work through large decisions and encourage me. Her guidance and input have allowed me to get to where I am today, and I am forever grateful for meeting her.”

In addition to her participation in the South Carolina Honors College (No. 1 in the U.S. among public universities), Borsum immersed herself in many other aspects of the USC experience – all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She held leadership positions on the executive council of her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, and served as a peer tutor at the Student Success Center.

Borsum contributed to research into the effects of environmental toxins on gut-brain health through one USC lab and provided programming, including physical activity interventions, to students at local K-12 schools through another. Last summer, she earned a spot with the Advanced Summer Program for Investigation & Research Education at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where she developed an evaluation plan for an STI-focused project.  

These experiences and her public health curriculum have prepared Borsum for her next step: attending the Medical University of South Carolina. With interests in maternal and child health/mortality, particularly the disparities faced by rural communities in the U.S. and in S.C., she plans to get involved in related outreach programs during her Doctor of Medicine program. 

“Public health gave me a different perspective on health and wellness, and it really molded the way I want to practice medicine in the future,” Borsum says. “Even though I am going into clinical medicine, I genuinely think that public health is one of the main reasons I got into medical school, and it has shaped my views of health care for the better. As a doctor, I want to focus more on prevention than treatment and focus on whole-body health rather than over-prescribing medication to mask symptoms of illness.”

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