Overview and Key Facts
Jobs in 2031
What Do They Do?An epidemiologist could...
Overview Listen to this sectionDo 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.
Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of an Epidemiologist?
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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