What I learned watching tv

09blog-phillip_smallHello.  My name is Phil Stadler and I’m currently in my second year studying Health Management and Policy.  My first blog entry is intended to be an introduction to who I am, why I’m in the HMP program and how much I’ve grown in a little over a year, assisted by an epiphany that I had while watching television this past Friday morning.

I came into the HMP program at U-M directly after earning my Bachelor’s degree with no post-graduation work experience.  I studied psychology and worked in a pediatric obesity laboratory at SUNY Buffalo, but, in general, I pursued health policy because I had an interest in learning, not because I could apply relevant experience to the subject matter.

This Friday morning, while watching television, I realized how much I had learned, experienced and grown in the field of health policy in a time span slightly over one year.  My roommate – also a second-year student in the HMP program (interested in administration, not policy like I am) – and I were sitting on our sofa, both trying to write papers due this Monday when we decided it would be a good idea to turn on the television for some background noise–not always the best idea, but it worked out.  My roommate and I successfully, while both writing papers, discussed the administrative and/or governmental health policy or public health implications of every single story the news anchors discussed–for over two hours.

Friday morning was the perfect indication of how I have grown in the past year.  I’ve gone from having a general interest in learning about policy to working a federal policy job this summer to understanding the direct and distant health implications of news stories (including the ability to analyze the impact of net non-neutrality in health law terminology) with my peers.  I have taken a general interest in reading the newspapers and figuring out impacts.  This is a far cry from the guy who one year ago wouldn’t read news unless it had the term “Buffalo Bills” in it.


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