How to Become a Public Health Advisor?
Public Health is an evergreen discipline. It signifies the health of the public through individual healthy living, environmental sanitation and socioeconomic optimization. Different regions of the world carry diverse environmental and socioeconomic background; however the specialists of public health have a common agenda to work at the confluence of disease ontology, epidemiology and therapeutics.
Over the years it has grown as a truly interdisciplinary science tending to get the concepts of health out of the reductionist agenda of medicine towards a more holistic approach.
The role of a public health advisor has evolved to be at the center stage of all the activities related to betterment of the public health system with an immense potential to reach to strategic positions at state, national or international levels.
It is the field of a true generalist who paradoxically specializes in bringing all the pieces of the public health system together and advises on planning the most optimum short and long term strategies.
As a public health advisor you may travel extensively across the country or even internationally to get in touch with people who are sick or who care for the sick. Public Health Advisors enquire about how many in one area people might have fallen ill or what the sick people in a community or region have in common. The evidence so gather is helpful to policymakers or researchers at the regional, national or international level.
As an example, a job as a public health advisor might expect you to explain how HIV is transmitted from person to person and encouraging safe sex practices, while another might expect you to interview at risk people and make them understand a new epidemic like Ebola.
To become a public health advisor, you should have a keen interest in health of the community and must enjoy working with people. Professionals working as public health advisors perform a very critical duty and must work in cooperation with others so as to improve and protect the health of the people. The journey to becoming a public health advisor starts at least a higher diploma in any of the biological sciences. Though it is may be at an entry-level position, the job of public health advisor can only be taken by individuals with a working knowledge of medicine and public health issues.
While a higher diploma is the basic prerequisite for applying for the position as a public health advisor, in practice students from diverse backgrounds come and take this as a career.
For example, an aspiring public health advisor may choose to complete a program in public health, tropical medicine, public health education, health communication, or community health.
The programs that train students to be public health advisors should include relevant topics from biology, epidemiology, behavioral sciences, health policy, and research methodology.
A public health advisor should have a diverse range of skills. Not only does a public health advisor need to have a working knowledge of a variety of medical and healthcare issues, but he or she should also be skilful to take the role of an educator in the community. As a very vital skill, a public health advisor should be a powerful communicator with immense public speaking and listening skills. Public health advisors also need to have a working knowledge of research methodology as research is a part and parcel of every public health endeavor as a vital check for continuous improvement.