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Realities of a Non-MD (or RN) Epi Career

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jlittlej

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There's not much good info on SDN on people who use MPHs as their terminal degree - yes, I'm aware of the Emory jobs site and the BLS stats. That Emory site has a few epi jobs a week, but there are many new MPH grads in epi every year. What percentage of these go to med school or don't use it specifically, professionally, i do not know. I "shadowed" some guys in my county epidemiology department, but it was mostly useless as it was a Friday and they spent the entire day complaining about the new MD epi director or department head.

Is it easy to get a job as MPH epi? Salary in the 40s with career topping out in the $60s? Is it a decent career?
 

newyorkisrainin

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i can't comment on how easy it is to get a job with an MPH - my impression is that it very much depends on the school (and network) that you go to, where you're looking, etc. but overall it's a growing field with need (especially in epi).
Average salary in the 40s sounds about right - i know of one recent grad who is making mid-40s just out of school doing research, but I would say that most MPH'ers don't make it a terminal degree but go on to a phd or MD as the pay is better and you have more opportunities to do your own thing.
 

Music333

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I've been wondering about this, too. I've tried looking for epi jobs on general job search websites, and it seems the majority of epi jobs require a MD or PhD.
 

abcabc1

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A PhD is going to have a MAJOR advantage over an MPH. Some programs offer an MS in Epi, which maybe somewhere in the middle but the PhD is still at the top of the chain. As such, they are more competitive to get into than the other programs.

I doubt too many Epi positions will require an MD though the PhD will have a big advantage over the MPH. I agree that your prospects with an MPH in Epi will fluctuate quite a bit based on various factors. Some of the more important factors include prior work experience, computer skills (SAS, EpiInfo, et.) the school you attended and how well you did, your recommendations (and who can help get your foot in the door). I'm not sure you NEED additional Grad degrees, but you're right that there are people with MPH degrees in Epi and other fields that work primarily based on knowledge and skills obtained from other Grad degrees (MD, JD, MBA, PhD, etc.)
 
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