5 Surprising Facets of Public Health and Community Medicine

June 23, 2023

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When individuals think about healthcare jobs, they may immediately think of direct patient care positions like doctors and nurses. However, there’s a whole world of other healthcare jobs available. 

Public health is just one facet of healthcare and it has unique job opportunities and responsibilities included in it. But what is public health? It’s a way for healthcare-minded professionals to engage with their community in tangible ways, with far-reaching impacts. They encourage non-medical solutions to prevent disease spread and work to overhaul outdated or dangerous systems of handling disease and infection. 

What You Didn’t Know About Public Health and Community Medicine

The benefits of choosing a career in public health and community medicine come through several unique facets of the field and the flexibility in career opportunities that it provides to trained professionals. Because of the many different jobs available, experienced members of the public health industry reserve the right to find a position they are truly passionate about. 

We’ve collected some lesser-known aspects of public health and community medicine so you can see all that a degree in this field prepares you for. 

1. Public Health Specializations Give You Access to Various Healthcare Settings

Preparing for a career in public health equips you with easily transferable skills. Whether you want to work on policy or in more direct patient-care settings, a public health degree gives you relevant industry know-how so you can impact healthcare wherever you work. The field is intentionally general and broad, giving workers flexibility and agency in deciding what environment they want to invest in.

Want to know more about the opportunities that come from studying public health? Check out our blog post, What Can You Do With a Public Health Degree? 

2. You Don’t Need a Doctorate to Work in Public Health 

One of the benefits of the adaptable public health industry is that you can still impact patient care, even without a doctorate. A degree in public health lets you enter the healthcare world sooner, spending less time in school but still possessing qualifications to work directly impacting patient care and treatment. 

Public health professionals possess a multi-disciplinary understanding of medicine and treatment options and a broad scope of knowledge in areas related to public policy and action. While they might not work with patients in direct clinical treatment, their understanding of healthcare systems enables them to adjust healthcare policies and advise the public on how to respond to global health crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 3. Public Health and Community Medicine are Highly Customizable Fields

There are many public health specializations available for professionals. Whether you want to work in epidemiology, environmental health, or health equity, there’s a niche under the umbrella of public health for you. 

Community medicine itself is a specialized field within public health. This concentration focuses on helping local communities get access to competent and compassionate healthcare. Community medicine also includes health educational resources, nutritional resources, inoculation clinics, and risk management procedures within smaller populations. 

4. Community Medicine and Public Health Help Health Equity and Social Justice

While in an ideal world, everyone would have the same access to the same excellent healthcare, that is not the reality. Many communities must live with subpar resources and healthcare facilities, leading to poorer overall health and health education in the area. 

Health disparities and barriers to adequate healthcare both have far-reaching impacts on society, locally and globally. Professionals in community medicine can help diminish those barriers to healthcare by providing their expertise and time to help educate communities, advocate for proper resources, and conduct community outreach events to ensure everyone has their needs met. 

5. Public Health is a Career on the Rise

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the interest and demand for public health have risen. But public health professionals don’t just deal in epidemiology. They can also impact harm reduction in areas affected by opioid abuse and drug overdoses, increase the quality of nutritional education and access to nourishing foods in food deserts, and more. 

Pearson reports excellent things about the public health job outlook. Medical and health services managers can expect a 32% job growth by 2029. Social and human service assistants predict a 17% growth, and health educators will see a 13% growth in jobs. The diversity of possible careers in public health will continue to vary, as new needs in communities all over the world arise.

Meet Public Health Needs: KGI’s Master of Science in Community Medicine

At Keck Graduate Institute, we’re training future innovators in healthcare so they can help the community, from their own backyards to communities abroad. KGI’s Master of Science in Community Medicine program is revolutionizing how we educate future physicians, healthcare providers, and health professionals in the sciences and technologies that matter today. The MSCM program is online and only takes two years to complete, equipping graduates to start the work of helping their communities sooner. 

Want to know more about what you can do with a degree in community medicine from KGI? If you’re interested in learning how our community medicine programs can help you make a difference in the life sciences world, access our Master of Science in Community Medicine guide, Improve Health Equity Through Community Medicine: Your Guide to a Master of Science in Community Medicine.

In our guide, you’ll learn all about the degrees you need to get you to your dream job. You’ll also discover how the different industries within STEM, healthcare, and the life sciences interact with and impact each other.

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