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Public Health Career Opportunities
When you think about public health, do you picture someone giving a child a vaccination at an inner-city clinic? That's only part of it. Think about specialists who work with community groups to mobilize residents for disease prevention, develop environmental safety programs, or educate the public about the interaction between nutrition and health. Consider researchers, such as bacteriologists, microbiologists, toxicologists, and biochemists, who investigate environmental conditions that may affect a community's health status. Think about professionals who develop strategies to help people adopt healthier lifestyles or monitor changes in technology that affect a child's physical or mental health. Consider epidemiologists who study distribution and determinants of certain diseases in particular populations. Picture professionals who administer hospitals and large-scale health services and those who create health policies locally and nationally. All of these, and many more, are the careers of those trained in public health.
To understand public health is to grasp the health concerns of the world's populations and to become personally involved with health issues that face 6 billion people. The boundaries for public health practice and research are almost limitless. Public health addresses such crucial issues as how to guarantee every person access to quality health care at an affordable cost, how to promote sound health behavior, and how to create healthy environments.
Because there is such a wide range of career possibilities, there may be several areas of interest to you as diverse as research, management, public health practice, policy formation, and teaching.
Public health professionals are dedicated to helping others by preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through research and community service. The professional opportunities and personal advantages a career in public health affords you are matched by the satisfaction you will feel, knowing that you have helped to make the world a healthier place.
More about University of Michigan's Career Center, which produced this 2011 Q&A video: