Community Health and Preventive Medicine

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About the Community Health and Preventive Medicine Major

A community health and preventive medicine professional helps to educate the public about fitness and nutrition so they can stay healthy, live productive lives, and prevent illness. Their clients can include individuals, groups, home health agencies, hospitals, doctor's offices, public schools, colleges, or employee wellness programs.

Potential community health and preventive medicine majors should decide what they want to do with their degrees prior to enrolling in college. A bachelor's degree is adequate for most positions, but those who wish to work in state or federal agencies will need to have a master's degree. Research, academia, or administrative positions require doctorate degrees. Some colleges allow students to concentrate their studies or specialize in areas such as nutrition, health administration, psychology, or human development.

The community health and preventive medicine program is a blend of lecture and hands-on practicum. Students will receive instruction in a variety of health topics, including but not limited to nutrition, first aid CPR/AED, human anatomy and physiology, physical education, and biostatistics.

The best part of the community health and preventive medicine program may be the internship or capstone, where students are allowed to perform skills they have learned, such as teaching patients how to handle health issues, developing a health program for the public, or helping to collect and analyze patient data. Internships and capstones can take place in public health departments, healthcare facilities, colleges, and a variety of other locations. Research and graduate assistantship programs, where students usually receive a stipend or tuition waiver, are available for students pursuing a doctorate degree.

Because of the increased interest in healthy living and the fact that people are living longer, the employment opportunities are promising for a community health and preventive medicine major. Many graduates go on to work as educators, administrators, corporate trainers, wellness coordinators, or specialists in business and industry.
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