Maanasa Manchikanti is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Public Health with a minor in Health Advocacy at the University of Kentucky. She described her journey in college and hopes for the future, "I started college as a Biology major but I quickly realized my passion laid somewhere else. I knew that I wanted to help as many as people as possible, and learning as much as I could about population health, preventative medicine, and health behavior would allow me to do that on a much larger scale. I am wanting to pursue a Master’s in Public Health before attending Medical School; public health is an important topic in the field of healthcare and I want aid in the further development of the bridging of these two fields. Preventative medicine is what I want to pursue as my focus in my Master’s Program and I can combine this with my future MD to provide the best treatment possible for my future patients. Health Policy is another focus that I am passionate about; the amount of healthcare funding that goes towards preventative medicine is a mere 3%. I want my future work to go towards making fundamental changes to the healthcare system and policy to change healthcare for the better.
It is important for women to be involved in the STEM field because we bring a different approach and more diverse knowledge to a problem that has been around for so many years. The hardships that women have to face to advance in this field makes us just that much more motivated to excel and truly solve the problems that impact so many.
Girls and women of younger generations sometimes do not want to pursue their dream due to the stigmas and views society has placed on them. It is important for us to know change these stigmas and show these young girls that there is a place for everyone in STEM, and society should encourage everyone to pursue their dreams whether it be engineering, medicine, teaching, etc."