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Home » Discover Rackham » Student Spotlight: Charles Senteio

“All successful people aren’t necessarily significant, but all significant people are successful.”

Charles Senteio endeavors to make a significant impact on the world around him. This sentiment drives many of his decisions, and it has fundamentally changed the direction in his professional life.

“After finishing my Ross M.B.A., I became a strategy consultant, travelling the world, making a decent income. It was fulfilling, challenging, and financially attractive, but I stopped one day and realized I needed something more.” He left management consulting, deciding he wanted to work in the healthcare field.

Charles considers himself stubborn – a trait that mostly serves him well. At this point in his life, it did, as he tenaciously sought to learn about the healthcare industry, a field he hadn’t been exposed to as a strategy consultant. He did have some healthcare experience in his philanthropic activities. He was on the board for two non-profit organizations – serving as Board Chair for one focused on supporting individuals impacted by HIV, violence, and incarceration. He didn’t know much about healthcare but established his own consulting practice, took some public health and health education classes, became an EMT, and eventually expanded his business into home health and hospice care.

After all that, he found his footprint for change wasn’t significant enough. A friend and colleague suggested he consider pursuing a Ph.D. After a couple of e-mails from the U-M School of Information about the new Health Informatics Ph.D. program, he checked it out and applied. He had been back to U-M several times over the years, conducting various recruiting events and interview workshops. He was glad to return as a student to the University he has so much affinity for and had graduated from years earlier.

He is currently a Rackham student completing a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Information focusing on Health Informatics. He is also a student at the School of Social Work where he is completing a Master’s degree. His research focuses on improving chronic disease outcomes for underrepresented populations. More specifically, his dissertation addresses health disparities in the U.S. and abroad by investigating the psychosocial factors physicians use to provide individualized care.

Charles’ ultimate research goal is to create an index to support physicians as they negotiate individualized goals with their patients, considering their psychological and social factors that can impact health outcomes. Ideally, this index will be used like the Beck Depression Inventory, which has become a standard practice for various healthcare providers.

As a 2014 inductee into the the Bouchet Honor Society, Charles serves as an example of scholarship, leadership, character, service and advocacy modeled by members of this esteemed society for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy.

“Both of my parents spent their careers as educators. As a youngster they told me, ‘you can do whatever you want in life if you put your mind to it and work hard enough.’ I am still naïve enough to believe that.”