Daily Record Staff//March 31, 2023
//March 31, 2023
A 1996 graduate of Harvard Medical School, Joshua Sharfstein served as secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before coming to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2014.
How has the pandemic changed your view on your job or broader profession?
The pandemic has reinforced the importance of public health, even as it has revealed major weaknesses in how it is organized and funded in the United States. Public health efforts, from communications to vaccination, saved millions of lives. Yet far too many were lost, particularly in communities that have not had access to the same opportunities for health and well-being as others.
This is a moment for public health to be more visible, more engaged with health care systems and communities alike, and more effective.
What is your best advice for someone who aspires to your job?
Don’t aspire to a particular job. Aspire to the impact you’d like to have in the world, and find the opportunities that present themselves. You may well wind up with a better job.
Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?
I’d have to go with my parents, Margaret and Steven, both of whom are doctors committed to using their training to make their world a brighter and healthier place.