Epidemioliology Essay

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Everyday, the US citizen utilizes countless aspects of public health. From clean drinking water and sanitation, to adequate housing and a safe work environment, the list of public health services is virtually endless. Since public health is such a major part of everyday life, it is no surprise that the list of careers options in public health is also quite extensive. Infectious disease, maternal health, drug safety, nutrition, education and the military are just a few of the many fields of public health mentioned in Beth Seltzer’s book “101+ Careers in Public Health”. Today’s focus will be on infectious disease, specifically on the work of the epidemiologist.
Broadly speaking, epidemiology is a branch of medicine that focuses on the patterns
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The first notable case of epidemiologic investigation occurred in London in 1854. A British physician named John Snow surveyed townspeople and analysed data to determine that cholera was the result of polluted drinking water. (Schneider, 2014 p. 48). This technique is a common practice for epidemiologists. When an epidemic erupts, they will survey the infected to determine similarities and narrow down the search, and then collect samples in the field to pinpoint the…show more content…
From there, “the minimum educational requirement to work as an epidemiologist is a master’s degree from a school of public health. Some jobs require a doctorate” (“Institute”, 2009 p. 23). Most jobs require a strong background in statistics and the master’s degree to have an emphasis in epidemiology. Any growth within the field usually requires a doctorate. However, simply having a master’s in public health does not guarantee a career in epidemiology. Many other factors are required or heavily encouraged. To determine these factors, current epidemiologists were asked how they achieved success in their jobs in a 2002 survey conducted by Ross Brownson, Jonathan Samet, and Stephen Thacker. The most common positive comments were “the choice of institution from which a scientist graduates, the choice of hot research topics, and hard work. For many persons, access to a strong mentor has been noted as one of the most important career advantages.” (Brownson et al., 2002). Many also stated that an intense curiosity was needed to be successful. In addition, due to the unpredictability of disease, epidemiologists must be willing to work unconventional hours. Therefore, epidemiology is not an easy career to begin. Nonetheless, it can be a very rewarding career. Most people choose epidemiology because they
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