Overview and Key Facts
Jobs in 2029
What Do They Do?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.
Research whether a new strain of influenza has the capability to spread from person to person.
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Do you like a good mystery? Well, 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.
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Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of an Epidemiologist?
- Science: ? Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Reading Comprehension: ? Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking: ? Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making: ? Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Speaking: ? Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Learning: ? Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Writing: ? Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Listening: ? Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Complex Problem Solving: ? Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Systems Analysis: ? Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Core TasksThink about if you'd like the typical tasks an Epidemiologist might do:
- Oversee public health programs, including statistical analysis, health care planning, surveillance systems, and public health improvement.
- Plan and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease.
- Provide expertise in the design, management and evaluation of study protocols and health status questionnaires, sample selection, and analysis.
- Monitor and report incidents of infectious diseases to local and state health agencies.
- Investigate diseases or parasites to determine cause and risk factors, progress, life cycle, or mode of transmission.
- Communicate research findings on various types of diseases to health practitioners, policy makers, and the public.
- Plan, administer and evaluate health safety standards and programs to improve public health, conferring with health department, industry personnel, physicians, and others.
- Educate healthcare workers, patients, and the public about infectious and communicable diseases, including disease transmission and prevention.
- Conduct research to develop methodologies, instrumentation, and procedures for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings.
- Identify and analyze public health issues related to foodborne parasitic diseases and their impact on public policies, scientific studies, or surveys.
- Supervise professional, technical, and clerical personnel.
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