Public Health Medicine Careers
Keeping the Public Healthy
When most people think of medicine, they think doctors, nurses, and hospitals. But one of the most important aspects of modern medicine is dealing with the health of the public on a larger scale, by confronting complex health issues that apply to large numbers of people. Public health officials work to improve public access to healthcare, control dangerous infectious diseases, and combat substance abuse.
Public Health Positions
Individuals who work in the field of public health medicine draw from a wide variety of backgrounds and educational specializations. For example, medical practitioners, teachers, social workers, researchers, and lawyers can all work to improve the medical welfare of the greater community. Public health medicine involves social policy as much as it does medical treatment. Some of the most important public health achievements of the past century, such as the eradication of smallpox, have involved extensive collaborations between healthcare workers and politicians.
Earning a Degree in Public Health
If you are looking to enter the field of public health medicine, there are many degrees that can help you to achieve your career goals. If you want to conduct public health research, a Bachelor's or Master's degree in statistics or research methods might be appropriate. If you are interested in practicing medicine, then a nursing or other medical degree will allow you to deal with public health hands-on.
There is also an intense need for public health educators who are able to instruct the public on safety and sanitation; a teaching degree is usually needed for this position. Whatever your skills, there is a way that you can contribute to the field of public health.