hoosing a career is one of life’s pivotal decisions, and preparing for that career is often one of life’s major undertakings. As our world becomes progressively more complicated, the knowledge and skills required for many jobs become greater, both in volume and complexity. Young people — and those making career changes at any age — frequently dedicate up to a decade or more to higher education, sometimes earning multiple graduate degrees; and the financial obligation can be enormous, both for the students and their families.
As the president of a large health sciences university, as well as being a physician and a research scientist, I understand what a major commitment our students make to their education, as well as the hopes and expectations they have for their futures that keep them going when things get tough. I can say with some pride that this University prepares students well for a wide range of extraordinarily challenging and necessary professions, ranging from family physician to nurse anesthetist, from epidemiologist to child psychiatrist, from dentist to physician assistant, from laboratory researcher to nutritionist. These are just a few of the careers our graduates enter; and their expertise and competency feed and nourish a healthcare system in New Jersey, and the country, that is hungry for eager, committed and well-trained professionals.
Who we are and what we do in the world are intimately entwined. Choosing a career is difficult, and whether we are doing that for ourselves, or helping our children, family and friends, we realize the importance of that decision. In this issue of UMDNJ Magazine, we present a number of our alumni in a wide spectrum of careers. The stories of these graduates of our eight schools not only provide interesting reading, but give valuable insights into what it takes to prepare for their careers, and also the highs and lows of being on the job.
There are some lucky individuals who know exactly what they want to do right from childhood. But for the majority of us, who assess our abilities, talents and stamina and try to make an educated decision, a peek into these lives and careers may be “just what the doctor ordered.”
William F. Owen, Jr., MD
President of UMDNJ