Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals. Epidemiologists help with study design, collection and statistical analysis of data, and interpretation and dissemination of results (including peer review and occasional systematic review).
Epidemiologists help with study design, collection and statistical analysis of data, and interpretation and dissemination of results (including peer review and occasional systematic review). Epidemiology has helped develop methodology used in clinical research, public health studies and, to a lesser extent, basic research in the biological sciences
Minggu, 29 November 2015
Becoming an Epidemiologists
Epidemiologists are detectives who research the causes and consequences
of illness and disease. Their research informs public health policies and
disease management strategies around the world. By discerning how and why
disease and illness occur, epidemiologists help prevent their spread and
recurrence. Epidemiologists study the relationship between medical conditions
and their causes by collecting and analyzing data about public health and the
behavior of disease. In addition to studying the origin and spread of
contagious life-threatening diseases, they also analyze medical conditions that
occur as a result of exposure, such as foodborne illnesses. Epidemiologists can
work within a variety of specialties that include social, environmental,
genetic, psychological and other diverse areas of study.
For an epidemiologist, research into questions of great societal
significance is all in a day’s work. While not often in the public eye,
epidemiologists receive immense personal satisfaction from solving the medical
mysteries that plague us all. More than half of epidemiologists work for
government agencies at the local, state and federal levels. These professionals
also work for private research facilities, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals
and universities. Epidemiologists usually work in clean, well-lit offices and
laboratories during regular business hours. Fieldwork or public health
emergencies may occasionally require work on nights, weekends or
holidays. In most cases, the work is considered low risk, although some
epidemiologists may work directly with dangerous chemicals or pathogens.
Most positions as an epidemiologist require at least a master’s degree
from an accredited institution in the area of public health, ideally with an
emphasis in epidemiology. This course of study will include coursework in
biostatistics, behavioral studies, health services research and administration,
immunology, toxicology and more.
Clinical or research epidemiology positions almost always require a
medical degree or PhD.
Training occurs on the job and the duration depends upon the position and
the epidemiologist’s previous experience.
Epidemiologists must be excellent listeners, as fact-finding interviews
are an important part of their research. They must be critical thinkers, who
can analyze their findings, as well as recognize emergency situations when they
arise. An epidemiologist must be mathematically astute and proficient with
statistical analysis and data presentation software programs. Finally, good
writing skills help epidemiologists convey their conclusions and
recommendations to the medical industry and the general public.
Opportunities for Advancement
Obtaining an advanced degree (MD or PhD) enables epidemiologists to work
in larger facilities or to take on jobs with greater responsibility and a
higher level of pay. A medical degree in particular will qualify an
epidemiologist to administer drugs during research studies and clinical trials;
these positions tend to be the highest paying and thus competition for them is
keen. Specialization, fieldwork and years of experience qualify epidemiologists
to manage others with lesser qualifications or fewer years of experience.