Public Health.

Project Description

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Overview

The public health is the science of creating and protecting healthy communities through research, education, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. Unlike the medical model of care that focuses on symptom treatment, the goals of public health interventions center on health promotion and disease prevention. Public health professionals implement educational programs, develop policies, administer services, conduct research, and regulate health systems to achieve these goals. Public health can occur in a small hospital setting, or on a global scale.

According to the CDC, as a public health professional, you would:

  • Prevent epidemics and the spread of disease
  • Protect against environmental hazards
  • Prevent injuries
  • Promote and encourage healthy behaviors
  • Respond to disasters and assist communities in recovery
  • Assure the quality and accessibility of health services

So, what is the difference between public health and healthcare?

Public health is focused on population health, whereas healthcare is focused on the individual patient. While medical and clinical sciences training is essential to a job in health care, it is only needed peripherally in public health. Lastly, health care is based mainly within the private sector, whereas public health is mainly based in the public sector.

Salary Info

Salary varies widely depending on the role, educational level, and geographic location. Here are a sample of 2016 median salaries from the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor:

  • Health Educator: $44,390
  • Epidemiologist: $70,820
  • Environmental Technician: $44,190

Do your research to get a better sense of what specific organizations in particular cities are paying entry-level employees. Check out Glassdoor and Salary.com to get an idea. Also, a cost of living calculator can be very useful when trying to compare salaries in different parts of the country.

Organizations

Connect with the McKeen Center for the Common Good to learn about student-led organizations, such as the Public Health Volunteers Club, volunteer opportunities in Brunswick, such as Midcoast Hunger Prevention, and Alternative Winter and Spring Break trips. Learn about the Global Citizens Grant and the Denning Summer Fellowship programs.

Local Organizations
US Based Programs
International Organizations

Some of these programs have costs to participate.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
Post Graduate Fellowships in Public Health

Resources

Job Boards
Professional Organizations

There are many professional organizations related to public health with information and resources for students including networking opportunities, career advice, and possible next steps to take. Some prominent organizations to check out include:

Idealist is a great way to search for a nonprofit organization that works to improve public health and wellness. You can search by city, state or even country (as a few international organizations are represented here as well). If you secure an unpaid internship, you can apply for a Funded Internship grant through Career Planning to support your experience.

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