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Public Health Inspector...foot in the door?


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So, I am a recent grad, majored in Biology and Psychology, have experience in research as an undergrad, and quite some leadership experience as well. I really believe that I want to go into public health (primarily epidemiology), but my research experience wasn't quite public health related, and my coursework was split between two majors.

I have definitely figured out that experience trumps all in the public health field, and I am hoping to get an entry level job before applying to grad school for next Fall.

There doesn't appear to be many Non-profit openings and such around here, but there are openings for Public Health Inspectors. I know that this isn't exactly ideal for someone that wants to go into epidemiology, but would this be worthwhile? It will at least get my foot in the door into Public Health, and I'll have experience with the local department of health.

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I was a neuroscience major (housed in the department of psychology and biology) and I was accepted into an epidemiology program this past application cycle. I only had one public health related research experience on my application. The rest of my research experiences were in behavioral neuroscience and cancer. I talked about specific classes that I took on health disparities (social determinants of health) and environmental health. I think you may want to get experience and that getting a job as a public health inspector will help your application. I think you should start to focus on defining your reasons for wanting to go into epidemiology and public health. Admissions officers want to see that applicants know what public health is, have some experience in the field (they recognize that many institutions may not offer these types of experiences) that they can expand on, and how public health will contribute to an applicants career goals. You can also try to look into AmeriCorps, HealthCorps, PeaceCorps and other health related service jobs like the ones that you have listed. Public health is very broad and so as long as you can clearly articulate your interests and have decent grades and test scores (3.0 or above and 50th percentile on standardized tests), you should be fine.

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Thank you for the response! Coincidentally, I was also in a similar field. I was concentrated in cognitive science, which placed me into both departments.

I'm still on the lookout for a more research oriented position, but I'll take a shot at the public health inspector jobs.

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