Author: Muntaha Islam
About the Author: Muntaha Islam is the Editor-In-Chief at Pre-Health Shadowing and is studying to become a doctor of occupational therapy. She is a second-year student at the University of Florida studying Health Science. Her interests lie in literature, medicine, public health, and the visual arts.
Dr. Prerna Poojary, PhD, OTR/L, CLWT spoke about her journey as a doctor of occupational therapy as hundreds of students shadowed her through Pre-Health Shadowing. Her insight and expertise into rehabilitative science proved to be immense as she explored how healthcare workers should work to be lobbyists of public health efforts. As an occupational therapist in India, Dr. Poojary spoke of how she advocated for children with sensory processing disorders. She spoke against child abuse and taught parents and teachers how to help children with disorders reach their highest potential without stressing them out. In the live session, she included detailed case studies in which she explained how health professionals should communicate to parents when a child is disabled and how she provided therapy to a child with gravitational insecurity. The live session provided a nuanced retelling of Dr. Poojary’s philosophy and personal accomplishments in her field. Her patient encounters enhance the shadowing experience because it spans from the pediatric to the geriatric populations. I enjoyed learning about how her work consists of altering the systems around a patient in order to craft a better environment. It is interesting how her laboratory work pertains to public health research in so many ways. Dr. Poojary and her colleagues work on systematic reviews on the COVID-19 crisis in the homeless population, bias on facial cosmetic deformities, and automobile accidents by war veterans. I think the topics she researches are incredibly compelling and important and I am glad there are people like her who make the effort to create resolutions forthese problems. Dr. Poojary advises, “Life gives us very very few opportunities to return favours to the community and the world we live in. We should make the best of those opportunities” (Poojary 2021). Her thoughtfulness has inspired me to pay more attention to the public health disparities that negatively affect our communities.
Watch a recording of this memorable shadowing session here at the Pre-Health Shadowing YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkcUJhkLDUk