careers in psych
Careers in Public Health
Alan D. Rowan, DrPH, CPH
Public Health Program
College of Social Science and Public Policy
Florida State University
What is the Definition of Public Health?
- Science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health and efficiency through organized community effort (Winslow, 1920)
- Fulfilling society’s interest in assuring conditions in which people can be healthy (Institute of Medicine, 1988)
- Health People in Healthy Communities
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease… that permits people to lead socially and economically productive lives” (WHO, 1978)
What are the activities in which Public Health professionals engage?
- Public Health
- Prevents epidemics & spread of disease
- Protects against environmental health hazards
- Prevents injuries
- Promotes & encourages healthy behaviors
- Responds to disasters & assists in recovery
- Assures quality & accessibility of health services
- Manage health organizations (hospitals, nursing homes, health dept.)
What types of organizations or businesses employ Public Health professionals?
- Federal, State, Local Governments
- International Health Organizations (WHO, PAHO, NGO…)
- Nursing Homes
- Pharmaceutical Companies
- Industry (particularly Industrial Hygiene)
- Disaster/Bioterrorism/Emergency Response
How much graduate training is needed to become a Public Health professional?
- Masters of Public Health (MPH)
- Core Areas: Health Behavioral Sciences, Epidemiology, Environmental Health Sciences, Biostatistics, Health Policy & Management.
- Primarily course work with a 200 hour internship.
- Funding is available
Are certifications or additional training needed to become a Public Health professional?
- There are certifications and requisite CEUs for the various areas of the field. Some examples are CPH, RS and various specific discipline requirements (RN, MD, engineers…)
How good are employment opportunities for
Public Health professionals?
- Employment opportunities are excellent. 18% GDP goes to health/healthcare in US; nearly $3T.
- Survey of our graduates each year indicate very high employment.
What salaries do Public Health professionals earn?
There are many different fields within public health, but the salary ranges are what you can expect after you graduate with an MPH and have worked about one year. (APSH 2013 Survey Results)
- Health services administration: $38,400-$162,000
- Biostatistics: $33,500-$64,000
- Epidemiology: $45,300-$136,235
- Health education: $33,000-$86,400
- Clinical research worker: $38,000-$51,500
- Environmental health: $44,500-$143,600
- International health: $32,000-$84,000
- Public health practice: $42,300-$102,000
How flexible are working conditions for Public Health professionals?
- Many public health professionals work part time.
- Many work from home or outlying health agencies (e.g. Monroe County)
- Dress dependent on job: field work vs. policy person.
What skills and experiences should Undergrads Acquire if they are interested in Public Health?
- MPH come from all backgrounds.
- The guidelines for admission to the program are:
- GPA > 3.0 or better
- Score at or near the 50th percentile on the GRE (150 on each of the verbal and quantitative), and a 4 or greater on the analytical portion of the GRE. Also accepted are the equivalent results on the MCAT, LSAT, or GMAT.
- Visit or volunteer at local health department.
- Experiences that allow you to earn strong letters of recommendation from professors
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a Public Health professional?
- Improving the health of large numbers of people.
- Making lives better
- Reducing infant mortality
- Increasing life span
- Improving quality of life for citizens
What is the biggest drawback of being a
Public Health professional?
- Public health is often a governmental responsibility. There can be political considerations and budget cuts.