Job Title: Epidemiologist
Education: BA in Chemistry, Smith College MPH (Master of Public Health) in Epidemiology, University of Minnesota
Previous Experience: I worked as a bench chemist for three years after college. Then I worked at a children's hospital as a clinical research assistant, helping the doctors do research on patients with cancer. I went back to graduate school, during which I worked as a research assistant running research studies for two professors and for a major medical device company doing research on pain control. After graduate school I went back to working at the children's hospital where I ran their clinical oncology research program, after which I took my current job.
Job Tasks: My company is a non-profit organization that leads collaboration and innovation in health care quality and safety. We receive funding from federal and state government contracts, foundation and corporate grants, and health plans.
There are two parts of my job. The first part is working as a project manager with clients to develop and complete projects focused on significantly improving health care outcomes. This includes meeting with clients, helping them make decisions about and defining what they want to achieve, researching information using the internet, and creating reports.
The second part of my job is actually looking at and analyzing patient-level data, using statistical software. This sometimes includes helping our clients to develop tools or ways to collect data at their organization, which is then given to me to analyze. I take this data and identify interesting trends in healthcare, whether the project achieved the desired outcome, and areas where healthcare might be improved. For example, I help the health plans in our state, look at vaccination/cancer screening/and disease rates and see whether they are improving over time. I create reports and tables, using Excel, to communicate this information back to the client.
I also help write proposals to request new funding from new clients.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is that I get to be a kind of detective who identifies interesting trends in health care. A lot of the time, the data will tell you one thing up front, but when you dig into it, you discover really interesting, new information that no one would know without the analysis I completed. I love taking all of the pieces of data and putting them together into a final report, which tells the story of what I discovered. The worst part of my job is sometimes deadlines all occur at the same time and I need to work long hours in order to get everything completed.
1. Learn statistics and a statistical software program such as SAS.
2. Before you attend graduate school (which you'll need to complete for this career), make sure you have an idea of what you want to do.
3. Don't be afraid to try a lot of positions with different types of companies to find a good fit with your specific skill set.
4. Who you work with (your colleagues) is the most important part of job satisfaction.
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).
Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
Located in the heart of Washington, D.C. the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University is dedicated to advancing the health of local, national and global communities.
You need to have a Bachelor’s degree to be qualified for this school.
Hofstra University is a private institution whose primary mission is to provide a quality education to its students in an environment that encourages, nurtures and supports learning through the free and open exchange of ideas for the betterment of humankind.
Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.
U.S. Colleges has been helping students enhance their career skills since 1996.
Choosing a school and a new career path can be a very overwhelming process.
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.
The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started
Pursue your MBA or MSEd online.
Earn your Master's degree online from Norwich University.
Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Epidemiologists, including: