ACF in Public Health
Dr Uy Hoang (2009)
Pathway to an ACF position
Prior to starting in Oxford as an ACF, Uy completed a Masters in Public Health (MPH) at Yale University. His research interest lay in the intersection between mental and public health, and so during his time in the US he interned at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Under the guidance of Professor Lu, Uy investigated the provision of public health for minority populations in San Francisco. On returning to Yale to complete his MPH thesis, he performed an evaluation of the provision of care for children with mental and behavioural problems, in collaboration with Professor Jack Tebes of the Department of Psychiatry and Rhode Island Department of Mental Health. Back in the UK and before applying for the ACF programme at Oxford, Uy spent a year as a Specialist Registar in Cambridge.
What does the work involve?
Since joining the programme, Uy has undertaken service placements at the Oxfordshire Health Protection Agency, Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust and Oxfordshire County Council, working on projects involving adult mental issues and contributing to the mental health commissioning strategy in Oxfordshire. In addition to this work, Uy holds an academic position with the Unit of Healthcare Epidemiology in the Department of Public Health and the UK Medical Careers Research Group (UK MCRG), assisting in a project regarding the long term trends in suicide rates after hospital discharge. He is also a contributing investigator for a UK MCRG study commissioned by the UK Department of Health. Uy regularly attends seminars given by DPhil students and ACFs, as well as journal clubs with other trainees in Public Health.
Uy chose the Oxford ACF programme because of the world-renowned reputation of the Public Health and Psychiatry Departments here at Oxford and the opportunity to collaborate with academics that he admires. The small size of the programme and the opportunity to get to know the people within the programme itself and in the wider academic community during placements greatly appealed to Uy. Oxford has provided Uy with the many training and teaching opportunities, including seminars in research ethics and medical leadership, adding further to his personal and career development.
Uy feels, as the only ACF in the department over the last 2 years, that the purpose and challenges of the post are still to be fully appreciated. Nonetheless he has completed all of his specialist exams and submitted a research proposal for PhD funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). If successful, he plans to take up a Doctoral Research Fellowship.
‘"The biggest advantage of the ACF programme for me has been the opportunity the programme has allowed concentrate in detail on an area of PH that interests me, to work with Professors whose work I admire and to allow me to practice and hone my research skills. However, I still feel that the purpose and challenges of the post have not yet been fully appreciated or realised by myself, the people I have worked for or the department."