Types of Public Health Careers
The University of Virginia Master of Public Health (MPH) is a professional degree that has traditionally provided health care and other professionals with an understanding of the public health sciences, population-based research, and the community practice of public health, as well as knowledge and skills that can be used in health care policy and management. Graduates are generally prepared for roles in a variety of public and regulatory agencies, such as federal, state and local health departments, in profit and not-for-profit health agencies, and in health services research.
In the Master of Public Health Program, students encounter epidemiologists, lawyers, health policy analysts, evaluators, environmental scientists, and health management experts to name a few. Beyond the UVA grounds, students interact with the Virginia Department of Health, community providers, and national level experts.
Many skills that public health professionals utilize are on demonstrated in the recent efforts by MPH students working with local health officials to limit the outbreak of H1N1 flu. Local health departments are working diligently to provide accurate, up-to-date information and education to the public in hopes of keeping the community informed and preventing further spread of the virus; performing outbreak investigations in schools; investigating school absences, doctor visits, and conducting parent interviews; collecting specimens for testing and coordinated with the state health department in preparing formal H1N1 outbreak investigation reports. Other duties include community outreach, strategic planning, database formation and maintenance, development of training plans, delivering antiviral medications, even helping on the ground in the community clinics.