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Public Health

The phrase 'prevention is better than cure' is the basis of the career, public health. Public Health is the science and practice of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention. In other words, Public health deals with prevention and control of diseases, and involves researching and educating population to help prevent or manage health issues that impact all or many people in that population. The field focuses on protecting entire communities or populations, rather than the individual. These population can be as small as a local city or as big as an entire country. Overall the goal of public health is to improve lives through prevention, control and treatment of diseases, and developing methods to prevent the reoccurrence of health issues by implementing policies and educational programs. Public health includes environmental, social, behavioral, and occupational health. It is most commonly associated with prevention or control of infectious diseases, but it may also include genetic diseases and disorders, as well as the effects of natural disasters, accidents, and acts of terrorism or bio-terrorism. Public health professionals monitor and evaluate the health needs of entire communities, promote healthy practices and behaviors, and work to identify and eliminate environmental hazards to assure that populations stay healthy. Public health is a diverse and dynamic field in the sense that these practitioners come from varying educational backgrounds: medicine, nursing, business, epidemiology, law, biology, economics, nutrition, social work, environmental science, health education and behavior sciences etc. Nevertheless, they share the common goal of preventing disease at the population level. They are involved in a diverse set of activities and work to protect the environment, identify sources of illness in population groups, control disease outbreaks, evaluate the economic impacts of changing demographics, develop media campaigns and education programs on hygiene and sanitation to promote healthy behavior, produce health policy legislation and monitoring environmental hazards. If you have an interest in science subjects and have a mind to serve the society, career in public health is the way for you. For such candidates, public health is a rewarding and satisfying career avenue. The field offer great personal accomplishment as you work toward improving people's health and welfare of the community. Spirit of serving others and hard work is required for a successful career in Public health. Public health professionals may serve local, national or international communities. Public health career is such a field which offers something for everyone. Specialties in the field such as Biostatistics (the theory and application of statistical science to analyze public health problems) and Epidemiology (study of patterns of health and illness and associated factors at the population level) are based on mathematics and modeling, while environmental health incorporates wide range of science skills. Health administration includes business as well as management skills; and health education, requires skills to expand community wide prevention programs. In health policy sector, you should understand law-making processes easily. Eligibility Educational: Though public health professionals come from varying academic backgrounds, a Master's in Public Health is the most appropriate educational credential for this field. An MPH degree usually covers courses in various public health specialties such as community health, environmental and occupational health, biostatistics ( the theory and application of statistical science to analyze public health problems), epidemiology (study of patterns of health and illness and associated factors at the population level), health care administration etc. Other than an MPH degree, those interested in public health career can also explore degree programs in health care administration or community health. However, these degrees will be focused on a specific field rather than provide a foundation in all disciplines of public health. There are many different degree programs for those interested in studying public health. Some of the programs include: MPH - Master of Public Health MHA - Master of Health Administration MHSA - Master of Health Services Administration MSPH - Master of Science in Public Health PGDPHM - Post Graduate Diploma in Public health Management PhD - Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health There are also dual degree programs for those who are pursuing their degrees or have already completed their degree in disciplines like social work, law, public policy, dentistry, business, medicine, nursing, and veterinary medicine. In most public health schools, candidate with an advanced degree is eligible for an MPH program. A public health degree will help those in other fields understand the principles of public health and apply these principles to their practices. Another distinction between degrees, is the professional degree versus the academic degrees. Professional degrees generally have a greater orientation towards practice in public health settings. MPH, MHA, DrPH are examples of degrees which are geared towards those who want careers as practitioners of public health in traditional health departments, managed care organizations, community-based organizations, hospitals, consulting firms, international agencies, state and federal agencies, among others. Academic degrees are more oriented toward students wishing to seek a career in academics and research rather than public health practice. Examples of academic degrees are the MS , PhD, and ScD (stands for doctor of science). However, each school of public health can tailor their degree programs significantly. Students interested in getting a degree in public health should check with individual schools for more information on specific degree programs. Personal attributes: Should have service mentality, stamina, patience, power of concentration, emotional stability, logical and analytical mind, problem solving ability, communication skills, leadership quality, ability to take timely decisions, self -motivation etc. They should have the instinct to help and serve without getting sentimentally attached. Apart from all these one must have a pleasant smiling face whatever be the situation.



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