What It Takes

Joseph Eisenberg, chair of SPH’s Department of Epidemiology, has been doing global work for more than 20 years. He is engaged in a long-standing project in Ecuador to assess the health impacts of a new highway in a formerly isolated part of the country. In Mexico, he’s collaborating on an impact study of a new wastewater treatment plant north of Mexico City. Asked what it takes to do global public health, Eisenberg says:

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Joseph Eisenberg

“It takes an interest and ability to work with people across different cultures, and to understand different cultures’ perspectives—what they want to attain and what their goals are. It takes an interest and ability to be interested in visiting these places and having face-to-face contact with colleagues. Language is obviously important. But even more important is understanding cultural differences. Those even happen within a country, when, for example, you have people from Mexico City and people from outside the city, and they may not have the same perspectives.”

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