The Impact of Public Health Studies – Augie Alumna Christine Harb

Christine Harb

In this month’s episode, student guest hosts Maria Wood and Arti Kornoski interview Augie alumna Christine Harb, MPH, M3. Harb graduated from Augustana in 2015 with majors in Biology and Pre-Medicine and a minor in Biochemistry.

In this interview, Harb describes what drew her to public health, including an Augustana study abroad trip to Nicaragua. Christine completed a Masters of Public Health at the University of Iowa, then matriculated into A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. After completing her first two years of medical school and passing her medical board examinations, she accepted a position as a Medical Education Fellow.

While living in Kirksville, a rural Missouri town, Christine describes the confrontation between her personal identity and a social setting that was vastly different from her educational upbringing. She also discusses the shock of encountering poverty during her public health fieldwork to expand healthcare to the uninsured and how she became a liaison for the Amish as well as a Natural Family Planning instructor during this time. In addition to fieldwork with the Amish and rural communities, Harb has been a key scientific investigator into the relationship between transgender patients, their medical providers and the healthcare system at large, covering such topics as Pap smears and sexual health in her lectures and research.

Through raising public awareness about systems of wellness (and providing her patients with culturally respectful options on their terms), Christine Harb hopes to serve as an example for future medical students who want to make a difference in the world.