In online epidemiology degree programs, students gain a firm understanding of public health and diseases as they pertain to individual populations. In this enthralling subject, students take courses in biostatistics, behavioral sciences, and infectious diseases, with some programs more focused on clinical practice while others steer more toward theory and research.
Epidemiology belongs to the school of health and medicine and is mainly offered in the form of master’s and doctoral degrees. It deviates from traditional medicine in that it solely deals with issues in public health and disease. It teeters more on the science end of medicine since patients don’t go see an epidemiologist as they would a traditional doctor. An epidemiologist may work in a hospital to ensure diseases don’t spread within the facility, but they don’t take appointments with disease-ridden individuals. Rather, they study diseases in controlled environments and populations.
Epidemiologists commonly work in laboratories, such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, where they evaluate diseases with use of lab equipment. However, they may also partake in field work, examining the spread of a disease in a particular area or population. Some even work at veterinary clinics where they observe diseases in an animal population. If an outbreak occurred in a particular area, an epidemiologist would work to get to the root of the issue, determining how the disease spreads and coming up with solutions to contain it.