The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Forging a Career in Public Health with Epidemiologist Dr. Charnetta Williams

“Medicine is just the beginning, not the destination,” says Dr. Charnetta Williams in an eye-opening discussion that shatters the conventional path of clinical practice in medicine. Her journey from the front lines of an Ebola response to a trailblazer in public health proves that a medical degree can be the key to doors you never even noticed were there.

In this episode, Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is joined by Dr. Charnetta Williams, a seasoned professional who transitioned from the rigorous world of clinical medicine to the dynamic field of public health. With experiences ranging from direct patient care to shaping national health policies, Dr. Williams embodies the versatility and impact that medical professionals can achieve beyond traditional roles.

Dr. Williams and Dr. DeRouen explore the unpredictable yet rewarding career paths in epidemiology, the importance of work-life balance, and the impact of mentorship and representation in healthcare. Dr. Williams also highlights her inspiring work outside the healthcare system, providing education and support to women during the postpartum period. This conversation could very well redefine how you view your future in medicine.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to Navigate Medical Career Changes: Explore multiple aspects of the medical field, and don’t be afraid of less conventional routes that resonate with your evolving interests and passions.
  • How to Leverage Fellowships: Learn more about CDC fellowships and how to strategically plan clinical rotations to broaden your medical horizons.
  • Understanding Work-Life Challenges within the Medical Profession: The importance of self-care and developing a support network. 

Jump into the Conversation:

[00:00] Introduction to The Prospective Doctor

[01:32] Introduction to Dr. Charnetta Williams

[08:22] Skills that transfer well into other industries

[11:29] CDC Fellowship and work with the Ebola outbreak

[15:07] Student planning and taking advantage of flexibility

[16:28] Work-Life Balance and Representing Diversity

[20:27] Dr. Williams As An Author

[24:44] Advocating for Postpartum Support

[29:09] Connecting with Dr. Williams


You can find Dr. Williams on LinkedIn: 

More about Dr. Williams’s  book: 

To learn more about how MedSchoolCoach can help you along your medical school journey, visit us at

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Dr. Erkeda’s Instagram:  


Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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