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Public Health as a discipline

Public health is not about doctors. It is universal!

Are medicine and millions of doctors enough to convince communities to eat healthy and quality food, get vaccinations in time and avoid catching diseases? 

No. Education and a high level of awareness, community service, and research can help keep people healthier. And this is exactly what public health experts do. 

To understand what public health is about, here are narrow and broad explanations of the discipline. At a glance, public health professional's main mission is to contribute to society's overall health. This includes spreading awareness on health issues, preventing diseases, controlling spreading infections, and similar. 

Narrowing down the above definition, public health people can focus on specific directions such as epidemiologists, public relations specialists, health educators, etc. 

The overall society's more educated approach to their health and the increase in people's lives' average lifespan is the direct contribution of the public health discipline.

The main steps to keep the communities healthy include:

  • Studying, forecasting diseases, and educating on them,
  • Teaching what "healthy lifestyle" means and marketing it,
  • Assisting directly and referring people to appropriate services,
  • Promoting better policies and evidence-based research.

Public health experts need a degree-level education to serve the communities and make a change for ordinary people. Many of them volunteer for nonprofits, medical institutions, and governmental agencies as the first step towards an engaging career.

Depending on country requirements, many public health officers need additional qualifications and certifications to progress.

What do you need for a Public Health person's career?

As a discipline related to the high-level importance field such as health, the job market's higher roles require a master's degree. That's especially relevant if a public health specialist pursues an academic or research career. Taking a Ph.D. for totally mastering the discipline is common and is highly encouraged. 

However, a bachelor's degree will also grant you employment opportunities, such as health educators and community health workers. 

The standard Master level degree for public health students is Master of Public Health (MPH). Students of MPH degree programs enjoy a variety of options to individualize their studies. Students enrolled in this degree program have a background in medical studies, public health, biology, etc. This one-two-year rich educational experience proposes a mix of theoretical studies with action-oriented disciplines, such as communications, advocacy, lobbying, public policy, and community mobilization. Research skills are central in public health curricula, and the only reason for this is the important role of compiled evidence to shape effective policies for communities.

Earning your high degrees in the field will give you a large spectrum of opportunities. As a public health student, you will receive a huge pool of information and skills related to the front line health issues and health management techniques. 

While there are many opportunities, the below list should interest you the most as the discipline's highest-paid career opportunities. 

  • Infectious Disease Specialist
  • Epidemiologist
  • Health Service Administrator
  • Biostatistician
  • Occupational health specialist

The list of public health employers is also large, as it includes all the spheres somehow dealing with people's health or safety. You may apply to governmental health-related departments, nonprofit organizations, consulting firms, public health associations, etc. A Ph.D. in public health will also lead you to academic and research careers. 

Many prestigious Universities generously support international applicants interested in public health degree studies and research in public health through scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, and other funding schemes. 

Use ARMCAD to Find Programs and Events in Public Health

Public lectures, workshops, symposiums are excellent opportunities to upgrade knowledge in the field and interact with colleagues. Students can benefit from summer schools to learn more about public health practices and prospects. All you need to do to be aware of these and many other opportunities is to thoroughly explore ARMACAD databases.