Epidemiologists

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Also known as:
Clinical Epidemiologist, Communicable Disease Specialist, Environmental Epidemiologist, Epidemiology Investigator, Malariologist, Medical Epidemiologist, Pharmacoepidemiologist

ABOUT EPIDEMIOLOGIST CAREERS
Video transcript

Epidemiologists are like medical detectives - they work to determine who gets diseases and why. They train through 4 years of college and an additional two to four years of master's degree or doctoral studies. They may specialize in an area such as environmental epidemiology, which look at the connection between environmental exposure and disease.

Most epidemiologists work for federal, state, or local government agencies, such as the centers for disease control, or a local health department. They study the frequency, distribution, and causes of disease in the human populations and develop means for prevention and control.

Epidemiologists collect, analyze, and interpret data, prepare reports and present their findings verbally and in writing. They must have good statistical, analytical, and communication skills.

Their work may take place at universities, hospitals, research facilities, or pharmaceutical companies. But like any detective, an epidemiologist might also go on location to find out more about the cause and effect of a disease in a particular community. He or she might ask questions of people to find out who is at most risk and to develop theories about how a particular disease is spread.

Findings from both laboratory and field research might then be published in a medical journal. They can also lead to new public health programs. From finding the cause to advocating treatment, an epidemiologist needs to have patience, persistence, and precision.

SNAPSHOT
Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, or health outcomes. May develop the means for prevention and control.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
LOW
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Plan, administer and evaluate health safety standards and programs to improve public health, conferring with health department, industry personnel, physicians, and others.

Monitor and report incidents of infectious diseases to local and state health agencies.

Identify and analyze public health issues related to foodborne parasitic diseases and their impact on public policies, scientific studies, or surveys.

Investigate diseases or parasites to determine cause and risk factors, progress, life cycle, or mode of transmission.

Educate healthcare workers, patients, and the public about infectious and communicable diseases, including disease transmission and prevention.

Plan and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease.

Oversee public health programs, including statistical analysis, health care planning, surveillance systems, and public health improvement.

Conduct research to develop methodologies, instrumentation, and procedures for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings.

Communicate research findings on various types of diseases to health practitioners, policy makers, and the public.

Provide expertise in the design, management and evaluation of study protocols and health status questionnaires, sample selection, and analysis.

Supervise professional, technical, and clerical personnel.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
TOP SKILLS
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
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.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.