Global Health Specialist

Global health specialists work to improve public health for people worldwide. They typically specialize in health disorders that affect people across the world, such as HIV, infectious disease, aging-related problems, pre-natal health, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Global health specialists spend a considerable amount of time addressing child and maternal health issues since many health problems in developing countries stem from poor obstetric and prenatal care and inadequate resources. Many problems are also attributable to bad sanitation and poor water quality.

In addition to knowledge about health, global health specialists must understand organization management, finance, and healthcare systems. Many specialize exclusively in improving medical infrastructure and delivery systems in developing countries.

Working Conditions

Individuals holding master's in public health degrees with an emphasis in global health can find jobs with the following organizations:

  • Disaster relief organizations
  • Refugee health organizations
  • Universities and colleges
  • Non-governmental agencies (NGOs)
  • Government agencies
  • Banks that extend credit to developing countries
  • Multi-lateral agencies
  • Non-profit organizations, such as the Red Cross

Career Training and Education

There are 20 schools offering accredited public health degree programs with an emphasis in global health. Each school administers programs with different focuses or tracks, including:

  • Healthcare economics and finance
  • Demographics and population
  • Child and maternal health
  • Behavioral science
  • Disaster response
  • Mental health
  • Information systems
  • Food Safety and public nutrition
  • International health policy
  • Epidemiology and infectious disease control
  • Health Advocacy

Global health is very competitive, so applicants with volunteer or work experience in foreign countries have an advantage. You should apply for overseas internships or volunteer with non-profit organizations that provide assistance to people in developing nations.

Many students volunteer with the Peace Corps. Certain colleges and universities sponsor Master's Internationalist (MI) programs. These programs prepare students to apply for the Peace Corps.

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