I am a 2nd year undergraduate Public Health Co-op student at Uwaterloo! I wanted to touch on what a public health undergrad is like!
What is public health?
Public health is the science of protecting & improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by researching diseases, detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases, promoting healthy lifestyles etc. They also implement educational programs, recommend policies, administer services and conduct research—in contrast to clinical professionals like doctors and nurses, who focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured. Public health also works to limit health disparities. A large part of public health is promoting healthcare equity, quality and accessibility.
What type of courses are taken in undergrad?
The courses are based on health policy, history of healthcare, diseases, population health, bio-statistics etc. We also take intro to psychology and some anatomy courses in first year. In upper years, we take nutrition courses, epidemiology courses, gerontology courses etc. We cover a wide variety of public health topics in our courses and we can apply some of our learning during co-op terms.
What jobs can I end up with a public health degree?
Possible PH Careers:
- certified public health inspectors
- community health & development workers
- public health nurse
- infectious diseases control officer
Public health is very diverse in terms of jobs, you can end up working at hospitals, labs, healthcare companies, government-health sector etc.
I hope this is helpful!