This spring Tulane University senior and aspiring doctor Melissa Huynh is gaining valuable clinical experience as a medical assistant for Internal Medicine Specialists, a private practice in Uptown New Orleans.

“I want to be a pediatrician for children with development issues,” says Melissa, who is pre-med and also majors in public health. The opportunity to work with patients and in a medical lab at Touro combined with her public health training will make her a strong candidate when she applies to medical school next year.

Drawing on her interest in public health and her personal connection to the autism community, Melissa has spent the past three years coordinating ACEing Autism, a national nonprofit dedicated to enhancing health and social outcomes for children with autism.

“With ACEing Autism, I had to build a network in the autistic community in New Orleans,” says Melissa. “Public health majors have to build programs and networks. This was a chance to put that into practice in real life. It was a really good experience to go through.”

Melissa hopes that her knowledge of policy will inform her medical studies so that she can help find better health treatments for Americans with autism.

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