June 16, 2015

Student and Alumni News

C O P H Student Kemmian Johnson, M P H

Kemmian Johnson, MPH

Kemmian Johnson, MPH, COPH Class 2015, has been accepted to medical school at UAMS for fall 2015. Mr. Kemmian is a North Little Rock native and the first in his family to attend college. He says that his mother, Stephanie Johnson, who worked for more than 25 years in emergency medicine, was his earliest inspiration to become a doctor.

“She always told me remarkable stories about the unique urgencies of the emergency room on any given day,” Mr. Kemmian said. “I was truly amazed at some of the miraculous stories I’d heard about the practice of saving someone’s life, and I’ve always felt that I belonged in that setting.”

Ms. Johnson made sure her son had experiences that would help his dream become reality.

“She introduced me to many physicians who thrived in medical practice, as well as the local community,” Mr. Kemmian said. “Especially for me, seeing successful doctors who looked like me opened a window of vision and possibility that gave me the confidence to pursue a career in medicine.”

While in the MPH program, Mr. Kemmian worked as a Graduate Research Assistant for Eric Johnson, M.D., MPH, Chair of the COPH Department of Epidemiology, on his Case-Cohort Study of Cancers in Excess in Poultry Workers.

“I developed a unique interest in cancer biology and learned about the wide range of occupational and non-occupational exposures that potentially contribute to the development of cancer.” Mr. Kemmian said. “If the interest remains throughout medical school, I could see myself completing a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Oncology.”

Mr. Kemmian, who chose Rural Public Health Practice as his MPH specialty track, says that the MPH program was a great foundation for medical school and his future career.

“Heading into medical school, I am a more well-balanced and knowledgeable student as I’d undergone a diverse curriculum, learning about epidemiology, biostatistics, health care systems, and social determinants of health,” he said.

He also gained a perspective on individual health that goes beyond a specific diagnosis.

“The MPH has taught me to explore well beyond the issue presented by the patient and consider the individual, social, environmental and policy level determinants. This more comprehensive understanding of health issues that plague our country at the population level allows me to determine where and how I can best serve as a physician.”