Become an Epidemiologist in Canada in 5 Steps

Learn how to become an epidemiologist in Canada in this prose.

The duties, roles, and functions of epidemiologists in our society cannot be overemphasized. Epidemiologists are trained to carry out a critical role in public health and safety by analyzing the distribution and causes of diseases. It is a highly rewarding career, and we’re here to show you how to become an epidemiologist in Canada. Read on!.

In this article, you will learn what an epidemiologist is, what they do, study areas of epidemiologists in Canada, the types of epidemiologists, the skills needed to become an epidemiologist, and how to be an epidemiologist in Canada.

What is an Epidemiologist?

Epidemiology in its actual sense is the area of healthcare that deals with the study of the distribution, incidents, and control of illness and diseases, as well as other factors that relate to health.

So, an epidemiologist is a medical professional who studies people and populations as well as understands the patterns of diseases and the use of surveys, experiments, statistical analysis, and risk assessment to unravel the factors that lead to the spread of disease.

The position of the epidemiologist is described as the “disease detective”, by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And there are often at the forefront of examination and inquiry of disease.

What does an epidemiologist do?

Without a doubt and epidemiologist plays a crucial role in public health as they take all measures to understand the causes of diseases, and prevent future disease outbreak. They are accurately trained to carry out health-related events and cover the study of health diseases in a particular locality. Here are some of the major purposes and functions of epidemiologists in Canada.

  • Firstly, they make plans and direct studies of public health issues to find solutions to trending diseases and prevent future occurrence.
  • Also, they analyze data, including using interviews, observation, sampling, and surveys. This sampling can be in form of blood or other bodily fluid, to find the causes of illness or disease outbreak.
  • Organize public health programs by monitoring progress planning programs. As well as seeking ways to improve health and analyze data.
  • Likewise, oversee technical professional and clerical personnel.
  • Be accurate and precise in transiting from observation and interview to making conclusions.
  • They work with quantitative methods (analysis and surveys of biological data) and qualitative methods (interviews and observation).

Study areas of epidemiologists in Canada

Without a doubt, epidemiologists work majorly on infectious diseases. Mind you, they examine other public health problems as well. So here are the other study areas of epidemiologists in Canada.

  • Bioterrorism/emergency response.
  • Maternal and child health.
  • Chronic diseases.
  • Environmental health.
  • Occupational health.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Oral health.

Types Of Epidemiologists

Basically, there are about 12 distinct types of epidemiologists in Canada with distinct and unique responsibilities and contributions to public health. They’re explained below.

#1. Academic research epidemiologist

An academic research epidemiologist will work in a university or other educational areas to assess the effort and causes of a viral outbreak. They carry out analytical test samples on bodily fluids and test samples to evaluate the influence of viruses in the body. Also, they interview infected people to know about their habits and social activities, which may add up to the spread.

Oftentimes, academic research epidemiologists become professors, so that they can teach and tutor students in the field.

#2. Hospital Epidemiologist

This is one of the types of epidemiologists you can become in Canada. They are also known as infection control or clinical epidemiologists. They design strategies to curb the eruption of disease or illness in clinics and hospitals. This protocol includes but is not limited to washing of hands, proper hygiene habits, as well as frequently disinfecting surfaces.

Without a doubt, in cases whereby there is a higher number of patients or staff falling ill in a  hospital, you will track the number of infected individuals and develop a hypothesis to define the reason why there is a spread of the virus within the facility.

#3. Epidemiology statistician

As an epidemiologist statistician, you will make conclusions by the information you get from data about the harshness of a public health threat. Your research outcome will help officials to protect residents of an area from falling ill.

#4. Veterinary epidemiologist

This is a unique type of epidemiologist that specializes in diseases control in animals. They work in private organizations or government agencies to investigate the sources of animal sickness and devise solutions to stop the transmission of ailments in animals.

Also, you will devise methods to prevent the transmission of animal viruses from animals to humans. For example, if farm animals such as cows fall sick, veterinary epidemiologists will pass the memo to caution people against consuming cow meats to prevent susceptibility to the same disease.

#5. Infectious disease epidemiologist

This is a type of disease epidemiologist you can become in Canada, to investigate the cause of the outbreak of a contagious illness that impact a large group of people. You will observe the signs and symptoms of the illness as well as its acute and chronic effects on patients.

Mind you, your finding will help the public health officials to instruct the public on how to avoid the transmission of these infectious diseases, as well as how to treat them. The examples of illnesses that this group of epidemiologists study includes influenza, HIV, and Covid-19.

#6. Molecular epidemiologist

A molecular epidemiologist establishes a connection between DNA and infection. Oftentimes, you will study protein and cells to find out the origin of infection, and how to stop the spread of these infectious diseases through mutation.

Likewise, you will study the effect of genes on medical conditions. For instance, you may have to carry out a study on how the gene of an individual can increase sickle cell anemia or asthma.

#7. Field epidemiologist

This is a type of epidemiologist you can become in Canada that involves a field trip to locations where there’s an unexpected outbreak of diseases. Certainly, you will do more traveling, to control the spread of diseases and find out the characteristics of this infection on affected parties. Your role will be of assistance to local health officials in limiting exposure to viruses.

#8. Medical epidemiologist

Medical epidemiologists are types of epidemiologists that are trained to find a cure for infectious diseases. They make recommendations for controlling the spread of disease and treating illness due to their clinical expertise in related areas. Basically, this specialty is ideal for professional who is experienced in giving medical attention to sick patients.

#9. Pharmaceutical epidemiologist

Pharmaceutical epidemiologists and professionals carry out physiological effects of the use of pharmaceutical products on the human population. Your research will be focused on certain demographic such as the occupants of a region, to identify the cause of substance abuse.

Also, some of your research areas may encompass the treatment programs for individuals addicted to drugs.

#10. Clinical trial research epidemiologist

The function of a clinical trial research epidemiologist is to limit the undesirable result of medication. You will work in the laboratory to discover new drugs to treat ailments. As well as monitor the improvement of clinical trials, to draw verdicts about the potency of the drug and the treatment plan for the patients.

#11. Climate health epidemiologist

The study of the effect of environmental change on the health and wellness of individuals is carried out by a climate health epidemiologist. Not only do they carry out studies on human beings but animals and plant species as well.

For instance, wildfire can pollute the air, leading to drought which can limit the water supply of wildlife and decrease the amount of oxygen in the air for animals to breathe. So, as a climate health epidemiologist, you will work with scientists to evaluate the public health threat that is applicable to weather as well as how to deal with upcoming climate change.

#12. Supervisory epidemiologist

A supervisor epidemiologist is an epidemiologist in a leadership role, such as a chief administrator in a hospital,  a supervisor that establishes budgets and schedules, or a manager of research at a University.

As a supervisor, you will establish budgets and schedules for investigative efforts against illness. As well as promote and uphold ethical techniques for interpreting and collecting data. You have to gain considerable years of experience to rise to the position of a supervisory epidemiologist.

Skills needed to become an epidemiologist in Canada

You need specific skills to be successful as an epidemiologist in Canada. Therefore, here we have a list for you!

  • Scientific inquiry and critical thinking.
  • Understanding of math and statistical data.
  • Sharp attention to detail.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Also, proficiency in chemistry, biology, and behavioral sciences.
  • An aptitude for medicine
  • A logical mind
  • Communication skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Data analysis skills
  • Pattern identification skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Proficiency with analysis software
  • Reasoning skills
  • Research skills
  • As well as statistical skills

How to become an epidemiologist in Canada

Having explained the types of epidemiologists, and the skills required to become a successful epidemiologist in Canada, here we have a step-by-step guide on how you can become a successful epidemiologist.

Step one: Obtain a Bachelor’s degree

The very first step to becoming an epidemiologist in Canada is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in courses related to epidemiology. The fields of study you can carry out your undergraduate degree include health science, statistics, nursing, chemistry, public health, or biology.

Regardless of your course of study in undergraduate degrees, you must cover courses in social sciences, chemistry, biology, statistics, mathematics, and physical sciences.

Mind you, a bachelor’s degree can only give you the foundation for further education. For you to gain an entry-level position as an epidemiologist, the least educational qualification you must have is a master’s degree.

Step two: Apply for a job to gain work experience

Before proceeding to your master’s degree, you can decide to gain work experience by applying for a job position. This job position will help you to use your academic skills in a real-world setting. This will prepare you for your career in observation and research.

In some cases, you can acquire the position of epidemiology assistant with an undergraduate degree. Also, a Master’s program in epidemiology in a competitive Medical school may require that you have work experience.

Step three: Complete a post-graduate education

As stated earlier, to gain an entry-level epidemiology position, the least qualification you can have is a master’s degree. You can pursue a master of public health or master of science, concentrating in epidemiology. If you like, you can proceed to earn your doctoral degree or a dual degree in medicine.

Step four: Get a Certification

So, upon meeting the eligibility criteria and educational qualifications, you will be certified by the certification board of infection control epidemiology. This certification will satisfy you for a continued commitment to infection prevention, and your career.

Step five: Get an entry-level position as an epidemiologist

So, the next step to becoming a successful epidemiologist in Canada after completing your education and getting certified is to apply for an entry-level job position in epidemiology. You can work for local clinics, government organizations, private research facilities, non-profit organizations, or university labs.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it hard to become an epidemiologist in Canada?

Basically, becoming an epidemiologist can be difficult and too long at times. However, you need to be disciplined, highly educated, and well-organized to be successful as an epidemiologist.

What are the benefits of becoming an epidemiologist in Canada?

Without a doubt, a career in epidemiology is a highly rewarding one. You will have the opportunity to protect people against diseases and then earn a competitive salary as well.

What are the two major categories of epidemiological study?

Basically, the two categories of epidemiological studies are observational studies and experimental studies.

What is the salary of an epidemiologist in Canada?

Averagely, epidemiologists will earn about $90,100 a year.

Is becoming an epidemiologist a good career?

Yes, and it is said to have an increase of 30% in about 10 years from now.

Conclusion

Therefore, epidemiologists are important in our world and community today, especially in this season when there are outbreaks of infectious viral diseases. We have provided the steps to launch you into your greatness as an epidemiologist, and the types of epidemiologists that will suit your dreams.