Duties of an Epidemiologist
While the duties of epidemiologists may vary depending on their employer, in general, organizations expect them to do the following:
- Collect and analyze data to find the origin of known or unknown pathogens via observation-based study, including interviews, surveys, blood and other bodily fluid samples.
- Relay these findings to other medical professionals, including primary care physicians, typically in a hospital or laboratory setting.
- Seek ways to improve public health outcomes among both large and small groups.
- Develop public health awareness programs that teach individuals how to be proactive against wellness threats.
- Direct and supervise other medical personnel involved in observation-based examination and data collection.
Due to the broad spectrum of issues facing public health professionals and epidemiologists, many choose to focus their efforts toward a single public health issue. Common issues epidemiologist choose to specialize in include:
- Infectious diseases
- Chronic diseases
- Maternal and child health
- Public health preparedness and emergency response
- Environmental health
- Occupational health
- Oral health
- Substance abuse
- Mental health