Founded in her passion to help people, Maggie Briggs (PH ’23) is pursuing her dream to become a physician assistant. After graduating from BYU’s public health program, she will start at the University of Utah’s PA program this summer.
Briggs fell in love with public health during her first public health class and watched her passion for helping others grow throughout her program. “In public health, we talk about behavior and genetics, but we also talk about social determinants that influence health more than you would think,” Briggs says. “I feel like as someone going into medicine, it’s really important for me to understand those things.” She has found significant value in evaluating the context of a patient’s issues rather than just the symptoms. “Maybe they’re not exercising because they don’t have the time or access to equipment, or maybe they don't have access to healthy foods at a grocery store,” Briggs explains. “Those kinds of factors are things you wouldn’t think about until you’ve studied it.”
To get more experience in the world of medicine, Briggs works in the emergency department at Utah Valley Hospital. She appreciates the fast-paced environment and is never bored as something different is happening every day.
Briggs grew up in Orem, Utah, as the oldest of six kids. She enjoys living close to home because it gives her the opportunity to see her younger siblings grow up. When she’s not working or doing homework, Briggs loves to play volleyball. Briggs also loves running, and in 2021 she and her husband ran a marathon. “I actually signed up for the marathon upon meeting [him],” Briggs says. “The second time we hung out, he asked if I’d want to come, so I went and signed myself up.”
After three years of being a public health student, she’s excited to become a part of the medical world. “The best advice I can give students is to build good relationships with your professors and fellow students,” Briggs says. “It’s the best way to get the most out of your undergraduate experience, especially in public health, because it’s the best major in the world.”