Careers in Epidemiology
If you would like to go for scientific research to find answers to some questions related to what factors influence the development of diseases, how can I contribute in prevention of outbreak of viruses that causes diseases; then don’t hesitate to know more about career option to become Epidemiologist. Epidemiologists work to answer these and thousands of other questions in an effort to reduce public health risks. Their work has a great societal significance.
Epidemiologists study the relationship between medical conditions and their causes by collecting and analyzing data about public health and the behavior of disease. Their work profile also includes studying the origin and spread of contagious life-threatening diseases, they also analyze medical conditions that occur as a result of exposure, such as food borne illnesses. Epidemiologists can work within a variety of specialties that include social, environmental, genetic, psychological and other diverse areas of study.
Epidemiologists typically specialize in one or more of the following public health areas:
- Infectious diseases
- Chronic diseases
- Maternal and child health
- Public health preparedness and emergency response
- Environmental health
- Occupational health
- Oral health
- Substance abuse
- Mental health
Large number of qualified Epidemiologist get work opportunities in following sectors
- State government, excluding education and hospitals
- Local government, excluding education and hospitals
- Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private
- Hospitals; state, local, and private
- Scientific research and development services
Role of Epidemiologists
- Conduct, plan and direct studies of public health problems to find ways to prevent and to treat the problems.
- Collect and analyze data to find the causes of diseases or other health problems.
- Communicate their findings to health practitioners, policymakers, and the public.
- Manage public health programs by planning programs, monitoring progress, analyzing data, and seeking ways to improve them, among other activities.
- Supervise professional, technical, and clerical personnel.
Skills required to be Epidemiologists
- Strong communication skills: Epidemiologists must use their expertise and experience to determine how they can disseminate their findings to the public properly.
- Quick thinking skills: Epidemiologists analyze their findings to determine how best to respond to a public health problem or a more grave health-related emergency.
- Detail oriented: Epidemiologists must be precise and accurate in moving from observation and interview to conclusions.
- Qualitative and quantitative skills: Epidemiologists work with both qualitative methods (observations and interviews) and quantitative methods (surveys and analysis of biological data) in their work.
- Speaking skills: Epidemiologists must communicate complex findings so that public policy officials and the public can understand the magnitude of a health problem.
- Writing skills: Written communication is critical for helping decision makers and the public understand the conclusions and recommendations that epidemiologists make.
Coursework in Epidemiology includes classes in public health, biological and physical sciences, and math and statistics. Classes emphasize statistical methods, causal analysis, and survey design.