MPH Confusion of the nature of work of an Medical Epi vs Non-medical Epi

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Logan Chancellor

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Jun 14, 2016
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Good Afternoon All,

I'm coming to you with an issue of my own, and was hoping you could help me understand the confusion I am having regarding the differences between a Medical Epi vs. a Non-medical Epi and the nature of each of their work.

I graduated last month with a B.S. in Health and Behavioral Science (social sciences major) with a minor in Public Health. I want to be involved in eradicating diseases and outbreaks while handling specimens and pathogens. Now I have understood that I have an interest in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, but I want to understand the difference of what normal mid-level epi's would do working at gov't firms, private firms (industry), and hospitals as opposed to what medical epi's would do working at these same places?

You see the nature of work that I want in my job as an epidemiologist in the end is; I want to work behind a desk looking at the numbers, I want to be out in the field delegating or carrying out whatever epi's do out in the field in order to eradicate a disease or identify a pathogen, and I also want a hand in dealing with specimens and lab work. Looking at this, I am not able to pinpoint what kind of specialization would suit me best...I definitely know that I want it to be within infectious diseases...but I think infectious diseases isn't a specialty...yes? Also what are the minimal credentials I would need for me to get hired?

Furthermore, I want to work a couple of years to gain some expertise within the clinical research field in general before I obtain my MPH to make my application more sufficient since I walked out of undergrad with no research experience whatsoever. I've had in-class lab exercises, but I don't think that would suffice? The types of jobs I'm looking at right now are, (Clinical research coordinator), what other entry-level jobs can I be eligible for without research experience? I want an entry-level job as close as possible to an Epi...different places differ in the job duties and actually have specimen handling for full-time clinical research coordinator positions.

Thank you,