Student Spotlight

Justin Ingram

Justin Ingram

Hometown: Saginaw, Michigan

Degree Program: MD/MPH

Class Year: 2023

Undergraduate Major: Neuroscience

Professional Interests: TBD

Extracurricular Activities/Involvement: University Council, Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP), Intramural Basketball, Health Equity and Advocacy Leadership Pathway


1. What drew you to the MD/MPH program at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University? Why did you choose to study public health?  

During my first year of medical school, I developed an interest in health from an individual level and at a population level and its impact on disenfranchised communities. I realized that a way for me to work towards my goal of understanding health inequities and better take care of my future patients would be by formally enrolling in the School of Public Health.


2. What is your favorite aspect of the program?  

The epidemiology courses. For the longest time, I knew that understanding and properly using statistical software to gather evidence at a population level was a valuable tool that I was missing. These courses have empowered me to ask more profound questions and explore data in a more meaningful way.


3. Can you recall a memorable in-class or general SUNY Downstate experience that struck you as particularly meaningful? 

The Social Justice Conference has been one of my most memorable experiences as a Downstate Student. It's a conference organized by our medical school chapter's White Coats for Black Lives. They saw a need for community accountability in our institution and wanted to bring diverse voices to campus. The way the conference is organized so medical students, physicians, health professionals, community activists, and other community stakeholders learn from one another in ways in which we can strive for equity for all.


4. Could you describe SUNY Downstate's Student Interest Group, Down for Justice? What is your role in the group and your aspiration?  

Down for Justice is a group of students from various Downstate organizations and programs that joined together during the wake of the Breonna Taylor and George Floyd murders to actively work to make Downstate an anti-racist institution that promotes equity for all. My primary role in this group has been in the education arm of our group. We have been working with the College of Medicine and School of Public Health Faculty to incorporate social determinants of health, anti-racism, and health-systems science throughout all four years of medical school.  


5. What are your goals? Do you have plans to further your education or do you have a career in mind upon graduation?  

My goal is to go on to residency at an institution that fosters mentoring and prioritizes physicians' training to challenge and push boundaries for patient care and innovation in public health. I hope that this involves the examination of various social and systematic determinants of health that affect one's ability to better their health. 


6. Do you have any advice for someone who might be interested in Downstate's MD/MPH program?  

My advice for someone interested in Downstate's MD/MPH program would be that joining the School of Public Health exposes you to ideas and topics directly related to our MD curriculum. Medicine and Public Health influence each other in countless ways. When you join the MPH program, you learn concepts, ideals, and skills that can only help you achieve any goal you have in mind.


7. Is there anything else you would like to highlight about yourself, your education, community involvement, career goals, etc.? 

As a future physician, I am fueled by the passion for the change I want to employ, whether through practice, policy, or administration. I plan to continue growing from the mentorship I receive in my training to educate and inform other emerging young doctors that enacting change is powerful and limitless.