Public Health Work-Life Fit: Is It Possible To Have Both a Global Health Career and a Family?
Two driven MPH students fell in love. Then their work threatened to put 8,000 miles between them.
When Tara Loyd arrived at the Bloomberg School in 2007, she had a plan.
She was 30 years old and fresh from Lesotho, where she’d volunteered with Partners In Health and co-founded a safe house and outreach program for children orphaned by HIV. After earning her MPH, she’d return to Lesotho, where a job was waiting for her.
And then she met James Keck.
Loyd, MPH ’08, and Keck, MD, MPH ’08, met at the activities fair in the fall and started dating over the next year. As convocation approached, they arrived at a crossroads: Loyd planned to start her new job in Lesotho, while Keck had one more year in the Preventive Medicine Residency Program.
“I was at the precipice to take a martyrdom path,” Loyd recalls, as she weighed what she saw as her two choices. Then one morning her dad took her out to breakfast and asked her: Where did she see herself in 10 years, or 20, or 50? Which had the stronger pull: the idea of being a family or having a fulfilling global health career? Were those mutually exclusive?
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