Epidemiologists are trained in the study of the distribution and determinants of disease
or disability in human populations.
Career opportunities exist at local and state health departments, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, pharmaceutical companies,
insurance companies, HMOs, universities and research organizations. Epidemiologists
may become preventive medicine officers, public health surveillance officers or directors
of disease registries.
The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics' (EPID/BIOS) instructional program
has two major components: epidemiology and biostatistics. Epidemiology involves research into factors that influence the occurrence and course of human health problems. These health problems include infectious and chronic diseases, conditions affecting mental and emotional well-being, physical impairments, accidents, addictions and suicides.
Epidemiologists attempt to establish the causes of health problems by looking at the biological, environmental, social and behavioral factors affecting health, illness, disability and premature death. Identification of risk factors then shows the way to clinical and environmental trials in which epidemiologists experimentally assess the success of interventions.