Employee in the spotlight: Ed van Beeck
“Public health seems abstract but is all about people” This sentence stems from a song I wrote for the cabaret we performed during the 25th anniversary of MGZ in 1995. At that time I had been working for 10 years in this fascinating field and since then another 25 years have past and almost brought us at our 50th anniversary.
I got acquainted with public health research one year after my graduation as a medical doctor. During my studies I got convinced that collective measures to prevent disease and improve health care would bring more benefits than only treating individual patients in a badly organized system. I was attracted by the perspective to gain societal impact with a project in the field of injury epidemiology and prevention, which led to my PhD thesis and the development of a research group. In collaboration with many partners we were able to do innovative research into the burden of injury combined with research with a direct link to practice to improve the safety of children, the elderly, patients and homeless people.
With great pleasure I have always combined research with educational activities, which once brought me the ‘teacher of the year award’ of Erasmus MC medical students. Over the years public health has grown into adulthood in the training of medical students, of which a rapidly growing number recognizes its importance. Since many years innovating education, teaching medical students and leading the Education and Training Section of MGZ is my main task and I love it. Working at our department for almost 35 years now has strengthened my convincement that we can contribute a lot to the health and happiness of the most vulnerable people around us. We can contribute by our research, but even much more by educating young talented persons who disseminate our lessons to society.