A Public Health Career for a Lifetime

A Public Health Career for a Lifetime


[ Music ]>>Are you looking for an
exciting, public health career? Become a CDC Disease Detective. CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence
Service, better known as EIS is a two year, post-graduate program
of service. It offers on the job training
for health professionals who are interested in the
practice of epidemiology. EIS attracts candidates
from diverse backgrounds. Physicians, nurses,
veterinarians, and Ph.D. trained scientists. EIS officers often called
CDC’s Disease Detectives are on the public health
front lines. They conduct epidemiologic
investigations, research, and public health
surveillance both nationally and internationally. EIS alum, Acting
Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak, Class of 1988 shares
why he joined EIS.>>Well certainly EIS program has an incredible legend associated with it. It always was one of those premier programs to get that person such as myself, who was
clinically oriented, to get them into field settings. To really deal with the issue of on the job training
regarding epidemiology but also on the job training regarding
the analysis of data, the looking at public health
and population based problems. To be able to come up
with recommendations to solve those problems
and ultimately to make a bigger
impact on the world. You know when I was looking
at the program, I in fact, fell in love with the
program as a medical student. At that time, I remember, there
was a magazine that had come out that was profiling
different specialties and one of the specialties profiled one of those months was the
Epidemic Intelligence Service. I remember still as a first or second year medical student
saying that’s what I want to do. First of all, I wanted
to see the world. I wanted to get involved
in population issues. So even though I realized
I needed to have a basis in clinical medicine, I knew at some point I would dedicate
the two years of my life to doing the Epidemic
Intelligence Service. If nothing else, for the
variety that it offered but also for the training
that it offered.>>Being a part of
EIS allows you to learn public health
epidemiology and gain skills in disease surveillance,
epidemiologic investigation and research, scientific
writing and responding to urgent public health threats. EIS officers have the
opportunity to work at state and local health departments
throughout the United States or at CDC on various topics
such as infectious diseases, chronic diseases, occupational and environmental health
issues and many others. Rear Admiral Lushniak describes
his EIS work assignment.>>There were so many
different options. There were the option to
stay at CDC, Atlanta and certainly the
diversity of programs there. I was very interested
at the state program but also I had an interest
in the area of occupational and environmental medicine and environmental
issues in particular. And so I decided to
go for the placement at the National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health and I was initially stationed
in Cincinnati, Ohio as part of their Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
program at CDC NIOSH.>>Since 1951, thousands of
EIS officers have responded to urgent outbreaks and
public health challenges by identifying the cause,
implementing control measures and recommending how to prevent
similar outbreaks in the future. EIS wants the best
of the best to apply for this two-year program.>>Individuals who are
out there looking at it from whatever base
they come from. Whether it’s from the
medical, the nursing, from the scientific base,
they need to look at this as an opportunity to
grow, as an opportunity to look at the world, right? This is exciting stuff
to be working on. And ultimately an
opportunity to think about the service part
of their career path. Ultimately government service
is a bold and noble undertaking. Yeah, I’m a big fan of it. I’ve been doing it
all of my adult life but it started with EIS.>>EIS offers a unique
opportunity for health professionals
to learn and practice applied
epidemiology while serving as members of the CDC team. EIS is a good fit
if you’re interested in applied epidemiology
and using new technology to solve problems to
improve public health. As an EIS officer, you
will be in the vanguard of public health
professionals working on global health security,
anti-microbial resistance, prescription drug overdose
and other priorities. Physicians and other
health care professionals, doctoral level scientists
and veterinarians may apply.>>For people who are you know,
thinking about the program, first and foremost, realize
yes it’s 24 months, okay? It may lead you down a
pathway as it did for me and for many other leaders
in public health. That, that was the entry point. If that’s what you’re
looking for great. Even if you’re looking
for just something unique for those 24 months,
something that will add even to your clinical
acumen, alright? Then just do it. The reality of the situation
is 24 months nowadays it seems like a long time. It goes by just like that. It does take you a little
off the traditional pathway. For example, for
physicians, right? The traditional pathway
is you get your M.D. or your D.O. degree,
you go into residency, you go into clinical practice. This is a diversion,
perhaps for two years, or for a whole career. It is well worth it. It allows you to look at
various aspects of yourself. Alright? The concept
of leadership. The concept of integrity,
of excellence and ultimately of service. [ Music ]

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