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Published On: Tue, Apr 25th, 2017

Impact the World Through Public Health

Today’s medical advances are allowing people to live longer. Although there are fewer deaths from cancer and heart disease, more people are living with chronic illnesses. Citizens of the united states as a whole are showing troubling levels of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. We may be living longer, but we are sicker. Public health refers to the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health. Those that choose to study public health enter a field where their thoughts and actions can have a real impact their surrounding communities and beyond.

Importance of Public Health

Public health initiatives affect people in their everyday lives in every part of the world. Professionals address issues affecting the health and well-being of individuals, communities, societies, states, countries and populations. It is about not only keeping people alive but allowing them to thrive. Public health programs can lead to longer life expectancies, reduction in infant mortalities and eradication of communicable diseases. These sound like pipe dreams, but they don’t have to be. Increasing life expectancy is about more than health care initiatives, although it encompasses that as well. Public health professionals influence family planning initiatives, motor vehicle safety laws and clean air and water policies. It involves providing educational programs, administering services, developing policies and conducting research for the betterment of humankind.

image by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from Flickr Creative Commons.

Reasons to Choose a Public Health Career

Opportunities in the public health field abound. Earning a degree is easier than ever. Online mph degree programs are offered by many universities allowing you the ability to study from anywhere no matter what stage of life you are in. This degree is about caring and making an impact beyond yourself. This is a wide-ranging field of study that covers everything from identifying diseases to creating public policies. There are ten common areas of study for those interested in the field.

 

  •        Biostatistics and Informatics – This field uses statistics to analyze data and apply it to healthcare. Professionals focused on this field track the health of populations and identify trends. It is best for individuals who enjoy numbers and have an aptitude for math.

 

  •        Community Health – Professionals in this field take a more holistic approach to public health. They consider the many dynamics that might be influencing a community’s overall health. Professionals in this field include health care administrators, health educators and community health workers.

 

  •        Epidemiology – These professionals monitor the spread of diseases working to understand their causes and develop solutions. A strong foundation in statistics and math is necessary.

 

  •        Environmental Health – Professionals in environmental health look at external factors such as air pollution and water quality that affect a community’s health. Jobs in this field include environmental scientist, quality investigator and environmental engineer.

 

  •        Global Health – Professionals in global health use research and education to serve communities around the world. Often graduates find jobs working for non-profit organizations.

 

  •        Health Policy and Management – This field pulls from a variety of disciplines. Those interested in this field should be critical thinkers and problem solvers as they may be responsible for crafting policies regarding health care.

 

  •        Health Promotion and Communication – This concentration focuses on communication skills and marketing practices. They work for various organizations creating wellness programs and developing marketing campaigns.

 

  •        Maternal and Child Health – Professionals in this field concentrate on reproductive health and the health of mothers and children. These professionals are found in jobs such as nurse midwife or breastfeeding support coordinator.

 

  •        Minority Health and Health Disparities – Professionals in this field look at the causes behind unequal access to health care services. Individuals work to develop to improve health through better distribution of resources.

 

  •        Social and Behavioral Health – These professionals take a look at how individual thought processes might affect health. Job titles include social worker, psychologist and psychiatric nurse.

Public health is an exciting career path to pursue. It encompasses a wide range of fields with many opportunities.

Author: Lolita Di

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