getting into public health?

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i’m a bio major in my 3rd yr of univ, my goal was to get into med school and become a pediatrician, but as im going on with my edu, i’m starting to realize that maybe i dont want to be a doctor, well just because it takes way too many yrs and also because it’s very intense… due to my current problems and situations, i thought that maybe it’d be better for me that i get into something like public health instead. but i am not sure if to get into public health u have to either go into med, nursing etc first.. i want to work with people and health issues etc… but if i do i will get masters in public health. also i want to live and work in africa… so how do i go about pursing a career in public health? should i carry on with a bachelors in biology, and then go for masters in public health? or what kind of bachelors should i graduate with in order to be well rounded in a public health career.

and if i did get into this how will i be able to go about.. in working when im in africa


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Public Health is a really interesting field. International work, such as working in Africa, is definitely a possibility.

The ‘working degree’ in public health is an MPH (or sometimes an MS in epidemiology). Meaning an MPH is the highest education requirement that most public health positions will require a potential employee possess.

MPH programs require you to have a bachelors degree in something. Biology is a great place to start especially if you are interested in infectious disease (which is my guess since you mention working in Africa.) Though others will come from a sociology or anthropology background and might pursue behavioral health issues, etc.

There are less than 40 accredited Schools of Public Health in the US. You can begin by looking at these schools. Some will have a focus on international public health and infectious disease.

A typical MPH program takes two years. After which, you will be able to pursue a variety international opportunities. For example, Doctors Without Borders recruits epidemiologists to help contain epidemics worldwide.

A side note, a lot of people I know used to want to go to med school and become doctors… but then for various reasons found their way to public health. Good luck.

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