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Public Health Jobs for Physicians

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Heal&Teach, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. Heal&Teach

    Heal&Teach cogito ergo sum
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    There was a question on public health jobs for physicians in the "what specialty do you think you're going to do" thread. I wanted to offer this information more widely for people thinking of going into public health:

    I work at CDC, and there are a million ways for physicians to work in a public health capacity at federal agencies under the Department of Health and Human Services, local and state agencies, and other international entities like the WHO (but I can only speak for domestic opportunities). Many of the docs here are internists, with a background in Infectious Disease (I think a one or two year fellowship post residency). There are also a few Pediatricians, Family Practitioners and Emergency Physicians who have received Preventive Medicine training (fellowship involves obtaining a MPH degree) or did an EIS (Epidemic Intellegence Service http://www.cdc.gov/eis/) fellowship.

    For example, our current director was trained in Internal Medicine (http://www.cdc.gov/bio.htm) and our former director was trained in Family Medicine (http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/libra.../biosatcher.htm). The current commissioner of the NYC Department of Mental Health and Hygiene is an Internist and EIS alum (http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/commish/combio.html). So there are a number of ways to get involved in public health later in your career.

    Other physicians joined the Public Health Service (United States Commissioned Corps), which is the only non-military Uniformed Service (http://www.usphs.gov/). This is an option if you desire to enter and retire from the Commissioned Corps and work at the national level in federal government (you have the option of working for CDC, Indian Health Service, Agency for Healthcare Quality Research, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Food & Drug Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Institutes of Health, Substance Abuse and mental Health Services Administration, Federal Bureau of Prisons, etc.). Links to these agencies are provided on the USPHS website.

    As a fourth year medical student, there is an opportunity for you to do a three-month rotation at CDC through the EIS program (called the Epidemiology Elective). You can find more information on the program on the EIS website listed above. You can also do a public health internship after your first year of medical school as well.

    I think this is about it, and there are most likely opportunities that I'm missing. Please feel free to add more information. You can also PM me if you have more specific questions.

    Best,
    H&T
     
  2. Cuteasaurus

    Cuteasaurus Senior Member
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    I've long known that the public health route and working at CDC was my ultimate goal. When I was there last summer, the advice I got from most MDs was make sure you get clinical experience. So, if you know you want to work for a public health agency, pick a speciality with lots of clinical work during residency (family practice and the like) and don't pick one that's less hands on like preventative medicine. You'll get plenty of prev. med. work during your MPH degree. Anyway, that's straight out of the mouth of high-ranking CDC officials, so you don't have to take my word for it. ;)

    And yes, the EIS program is great. I can't wait until I get there! :)
     
  3. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    And to be an EIS officer you can also be a Ph.D.
     
  4. Heal&Teach

    Heal&Teach cogito ergo sum
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    Yes, the EIS program accepts any terminal degrees (e.g., MD, PhD, JD, DVM).

    Exmike, can you spread some of that good karma to me? ;)
     
  5. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
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    I've given out to much, i have to wait "24 hours" but i will after.
     
  6. Babylon5

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    Hey guys, I'm currently a third year med student. I've been wondering for a while if there are opportunities and careers out there for a med school graduate with an MPH but no residency. I'm going to finish my MPH once I'm done with school but I want to focus on that as a career. I don't currently see any residency fitting into that category since they're all clinically based, and I'm wondering how I'd be able to use my medical knowledge in that field. I've thought of working for certain private or government agencies, whether they're local or in Washington. Do you guys have any info or advice? I'd really appreciate it.
     
  7. scrubswannabe

    scrubswannabe Junior Member
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    what do the EIS guys acually do
    and how well are they paid

    is it primarily research job? i dont understand
     
  8. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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