David Woods Epidemiologist
Another name for an epidemiologist is epidemiological scientist or epidemiological professor. An epidemiologist's job is all about solving mysteries—medical mysteries—but instead of figuring out "who done it" like a police detective would, they figure out "what caused it." They find relationships between a medical condition and things like human behavior, environmental toxins, genes, medical treatments, other diseases, and geographical location. For example, they ask questions like what causes multiple sclerosis. How can we prevent brain cancer? What is the "vector" or animal that is transmitting the Hantavirus? Which populations are most at risk from a new flu virus? Epidemiologists work to answer these and thousands of other questions in an effort to reduce public health risks. Their work has the potential to save millions of lives. An Epidemiologist could... Analyze what types of diets are most effective at preventing heart disease, Analyze data to determine what factors influence the development of a disease like diabetes, fly to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help monitor and contain an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, and even research whether a new strain of influenza has the capability to spread from person to person.
Education and training requirements
To become an epidemiologist, you must have at least a master's degree from a school of public health. In some cases you might need a Ph.D. or medical degree depending on the work you will do. Clinical epidemiologists or research epidemiologists who work in hospitals and health care centers often must have a medical degree with specific training in infectious diseases. You will need to be a licensed physician and you must have passed licensing examinations if you are going to administer drugs in clinical trials. Epidemiologists who are not licensed physicians frequently work closely with those who are. After gaining experience in epidemiology, individuals can become supervisors of epidemiology departments or directors of research facilities. Opportunities in epidemiology are highly competitive because the number of available positions is limited. However, some new positions are being added in hospitals and health care centers. Epidemiologists are also needed to investigate outbreaks of new infectious diseases and diseases associated with bioterrorism.
Responsibilities and daily activities
An Epidemiologist has many duties. They oversee public health programs, including statistical analysis, health care planning, surveillance systems, and