As we navigate the current ongoing pandemic and reflect on outbreaks of the past, it seems like every hundred years or so, there is a global pandemic that rocks the world and shapes the history books. While these bigger events tend to steal all our attention in the moment, it is worth nothing that smaller, more localised pandemics happen multiple times every decade. Worse still, top researchers warn things will only get worse as more humans continue to populate the planet, bringing us closer to animals and other people – but it’s not all bad news. Tens of thousands of scientists with a wide range of specialisation all across the world have been banding together to fight these pandemics for many years, and if you think you might be interested in a rewarding career path devoted to saving the lives of many, pandemic research may be right for you. Below are four examples of careers that can help with pandemic research.
Epidemiologists devote their medical practice to research related to managing and preventing pandemics. This includes issuing public safety guidelines, investigating the origin of diseases and their treatments, learning how diseases spread amongst varying populations, and most importantly, helping us find ways to prevent pandemics from occurring in the first place.
Choosing a career as a medical officer means you will be working closely with staff and policy makers to ensure the way forward is the healthiest one. Medical officers are responsible for directing programs, ensuring important medical knowledge gets spread to the general public, tracking patient records, and overseeing a team of highly qualified staff in order to safeguard government rules and regulations. The choices you make will be compared to other doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to determine the best way to care for and treat patients during a global pandemic, much like the one going on right now.
Disaster relief support technician
Compared to other careers discussed here, the disaster relief tech requires less formal education, while still allowing you to work closely with patients. You will be the front lines for collecting crucial information, such as symptoms, number of patients, death rate, etc. This information will then be used by researchers later on to determine how best to handle a pandemic. As a disaster relief support technician, you may even get to do some of the odder tasks in the medical field such as hazmat package testing.
The job of an aid worker is a little more vague than the other options discussed here. To perform this job, you will be heavily dependent on which charity you do aid work for, and your job role may be closer to that of an epidemiologist. Whether it involves working directly with data to find the best solutions, or serving as a disaster relief technician on the front line saving lives, you will want to make sure you do your research before accepting a position.
What other jobs can help with pandemic research? Tweet some ideas to @CareerCamel.