Career Community: Global Health, Public Health, and Healthcare

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What kinds of work do people in these careers do?

Global and Public Health

Public health professionals focus on preventing disease and injury by promoting healthy lifestyles. They implement educational programs, develop policies, administer services, conduct research, and regulate health systems to achieve these goals.

The public health field confronts global health issues, such as improving access to health care, controlling infectious disease, and reducing environmental hazards, violence, substance abuse, and injury. Careers in public health often practice an interdisciplinary approach to solving health issues and is regularly spotlighted in popular culture and the media due to discovering important health innovations.

Public health professionals play vital roles in researching diseases, containing them, and working toward eradication. Professionals in public health craft policies to prepare populations for epidemic outbreaks, facilitate medicine distribution, and educate communities about effective treatment.

Global public health work has eradicated small pox and rinderpest and is making strides to eliminate diseases such as Hepatitis B, Polio, and human deaths caused by canine rabies. Currently, global health professionals are combating a range of health threats including water sanitation and waterborne diseases, foodborne illnesses, HIV and Tuberculosis (TB), and malaria and other parasitic diseases. Work takes place in all over the world in cities, towns, and rural areas in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

(Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health)

Learn More About These Fields

Conferences and Other Programs

Career opportunities in global and public health are diverse and include medical devices, product manufacturing, consulting, biotechnology, clinicians, policy makers, and more. Some common jobs include Survey Researcher, Statistician, Community Health Worker and Educator, Training and Development Manager, and Pharmacy Technician. Public health protects and improves the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations, locally and globally.

Finding Jobs and Internships

You might find these listservs to be helpful in your search for your internships and jobs:

Graduate and Professional Programs
Johns Hopkins University (#1)
Harvard (#2 tie)
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (#2 tie)
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (#4)
Columbia University (#5)
University of Washington (#6)
Emory University (#7)
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (#8)
University of California – Berkeley (#9)
Boston University (#10 tie)
University of California – Los Angeles (#10 tie)
 
*Rankings based on the U.S. News & World Report (2015) Best Graduate Public Health Programs

Degrees in public health include:

  • Master of Applied Science (M.A.S.)
  • Master of Arts in Public Health Biology
  • Master of Bioethics (M.B.E.)
  • Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.)
  • Master of Health Informatics and Health Information Management (MHIHIM)
  • Master of Health Science (M.H.S.)
  • Master of Health Services Administration (M.H.S.A.)
  • Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)
  • Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.)
  • Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.)
  • Master of Science (Sc.M./M.S.)
  • Master of Science in Clinical Research (M.S.C.R.)
  • Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (M.S.E.E.)
  • Doctor of Public Health (Dr.P.H.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Doctor of Science (ScD)

In general, the M.P.H., M.H.A., and Dr.P.H. degrees are oriented toward practice in public health settings, such as health departments, managed care organizations, community-based programs, hospitals, international agencies, state and federal agencies, etc. The M.S.P.H. and Ph.D. programs are oriented toward careers in academics and research.

  • Students seeking a degree in public health come from a variety of educational backgrounds. Unlike other health professional degree programs, such as medical or dental school, there are no uniform prerequisites for applying to public health schools. However it is important to research individual schools, checking to see if they require specific undergraduate coursework.
  • Some public health programs require that applicants work experience in the public health sector before applying.
  • The majority of schools require GRE test scores, but may consider other standardized tests such as MCAT, DAT, GMAT, or LSAT. Again, this varies greatly from individual schools.
  • To find and select public health schools you should begin your search with the Association of Schools of Public Health, which lists accredited programs.
  • The centralized application service for public health schools is SOPHAS (Schools of Public Health Application Service). While most public health schools participate in SOPHAS, there are a few that do not. Be sure to research individual schools regarding their application procedures.

Alumni (see Alumni Directory)

Undergraduate

  • Medical Director at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering Graduate)
  • Director of Business Operations at Shields Health Solutions (Science, Biology, and Economics Graduate)
  • Associate at Bankable Frontier Associates (BFA) (Urban Studies & Planning Graduate)
  • Pharma Section Leader at American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Art & Architectural Design Graduate)
  • Environmental Scientist at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Environmental Engineering Science Graduate)
  • Co-Founder of Saathi (Mechanical Engineering Graduate)

Masters

  • Principal at MedAnter (System Design and Management Graduate)
  • Medical Physics Fellow at Provision Proton Therapy Center and Adjunct Professor at the University of Tennessee (Medical Accelerator Physics Graduate)
  • Environmental Projection Specialist at the EPA and Founder of Michele’s Natural Care Consulting Company (Environmental Engineering Graduate)
  • Community Health Planner at the Office of Community Health Planning and Engagement (MCP, Community and Economic Development)

PhD

  • Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Management Science Graduate)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Mechanical Engineering, BS & Biological/Biosystems Engineering, PhD Graduate)
  • Vice President of Marketing at Cardinal Health (Mechanical Engineering, MS & Biomechanics, PhD Graduate)
  • Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Founder the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society (Molecular Biology Graduate)
  • Senior Director, New Products at Intellia Therapeutics, Inc. (Biological Engineering Graduate)
  • Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator at MIT (Chemistry Graduate)

Postdoc

  • Health Data Fellow at Insight Data Science (Postdoc Associate from Cancer Systems Biology and Postdoc Research Scientist from Ultrafast Spectroscopy)