The Big Picture
Careers in health are not just for doctors; health is a multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary field dedicated to creating, delivering, and monitoring solutions for a healthier society.
- 49.9 million people in America are without health insurance, and uninsured working age Americans have a 40% higher death risk than their privately insured counterparts.1
- One in five children in the developing world lack access to safe water, which results in the loss of 443 million school days from water-related illness and 1.4 million child deaths each year.2
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 600,000 people a year.3
The majority of careers focus on the following areas:
- Infectious Diseases: Preventing contagious or transmissible diseases from spreading (including HIV, influenza, and tuberculosis).
- Chronic Diseases: Combating some of the most common and preventable health problems in developed countries (including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes).
- Maternal and Child Health (family planning): Reducing the risks of pregnancy and giving birth and increasing child survival rates.
Because careers in health are so diverse, there’s generally a role fit for anyone who’s passionate about improving health.
Want to be on the front lines?
If you become a global health professional, chances are you’ll find yourself immersed in a developing country at some point in your career. Be prepared to face dire poverty, harsh climates, and even civil unrest. If you prefer to stay closer to home, community health gives you the opportunity to engage directly with under-resourced communities in your backyard (many of the same caveats apply).
Prefer to be behind the scenes?
If you want to use your analytical skills, consider research, monitoring, and development. If you never shy away from a good fight (and you often win), health policy and advocacy might be a great fit. There are plenty of health causes that can use a good advocate, but be prepared to face potential opposition when battling entrenched systems, or working to change long-term habits and assumptions.
Next Still interested? Meet the Players...