Public health research has powered health care for centuries, allowing physicians and other stakeholders to develop cutting-edge clinical workflows and treatments that predated the IT era. Today, this work continues to hold great importance. Academic institutions, government agencies, health care organizations, and private companies invest billions of dollars in public health research and development projects, due to increased occurrence of noncommunicable conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes illnesses that take the lives of 40 million people per year. According to the World Health Organization the public health research field will continue to grow.
What Is A Public Health Researcher?
A public health researcher is a type of public health professional who is charged with researching all matters of public health. This will mean researching public health trends as well as hazards and different environmental risks, and these researchers provide very important information to other public health professionals and this allows them to do their jobs more efficiently. A public health researcher will conduct research through the analyzing of data as well as lab test results and different noted trends in order to gain a better perspective of the state of health of a population as well as the risks they may be exposed to.
On a daily basis, some of the tasks that a public health researcher may perform are:
- Developing new research procedures in order to improve various methods of public health research
- Implementing new procedures
- Researching health trends within a population
- Working with epidemiologists to research any infectious diseases which may place a population at risk
- Researching environmental hazards or concerns that may cause a potential public health risk
- Finding root causes for different public health hazards or risks that may negatively affect a population
- Researching solutions to various public health risks
A public health researcher is given the task of learning about different public health trends, risks, and hazards and providing these findings to other necessary public health professionals. Often, a public health researcher will be in charge of finding the root cause of public health hazard as well as solutions that can improve the overall health of a community.
health care professionals in a variety of niches are responsible for moving research efforts forward, leveraging clinical expertise, managerial prowess, and polished leadership skills to collect critical public health data and use it to drive clinical and operational innovation. Consequently, there are numerous career paths available to individuals who are already working in health care and may be interested in moving into public health research. However, before taking action, prospective public health research specialists should learn more about the field and the specific competencies and credentials that often lay the groundwork for success.
Education And Training
In order for a person to become a public health researcher they must hold a bachelor’s degree in public health or a related field. While a bachelor’s degree is typically all that is necessary, a competitive career field may prompt a person to earn a master’s degree, and along with this master’s degree will typically come higher pay rates.
First, a prospective public health researcher will obtain their high school diploma or GED, with courses involving many different mathematics and science studies. Once this is earned, they may then go on to a 4 year undergraduate program at the college or university of their choosing to major in public health or a public health related field such a biology, chemistry, or environmental majors. A bachelor’s degree in public health will be comprised of a variety of courses over the span of 4 years including a great deal of health related courses as well as science courses and courses on mathematics.
If one wishes to have an advantage on the competition when the time for employment comes, they will then work to earn their master’s degree after a degree at the bachelor’s level has been achieved. A master’s degree program in public health to achieve an MPH or Master of Public Health will normally last around 2 years, and during the course of these two years will be a 1 year practicum or internship in order to gain hands on experience in the field.
Post-graduate certificates are also available to public health researchers in both public health and specialized research fields. In order to earn one of these certificates a professional must take a course or an exam to qualify them for the certification of their choice, and upon earning they will then be considered a certified researcher in public health or the specialized field of their choice.