Careers in Public Health
Doctors who practice public health medicine in Aotearoa New Zealand contribute to the overall health of our population rather than focusing on individual health needs. The medical specialty of public health focuses on finding practical solutions for public health issues, addressing the determinants of health, and working to achieve health equity. The training programme includes a focus on epidemiology, public policy, environmental health, health protection promotion and medical research.
A career in public health may include influencing public policy, working to address health inequalities, improving living conditions and ensuring the good health of the next generation.
Graduates of the NZCPHM Training Programme usually work in the following roles:
Medical Officer of Health
Medical Officers of Health are based in Public Health Units within District Health Boards. They work as part of a team alongside other public health professionals to protect and promote the health of that community. This role includes regulatory functions.
Other Public Health Unit roles
These roles may include working in areas such as information and analysis, 'health in all policies' and health promotion.
Funding and Planning
These roles are based within District Health Boards and are focussed on needs assessment, population health input to DHB plans and processes, prioritisation and allocative decision making.
Policy and Advice
Public Health Medicine Specialists work in a variety of advisory roles, including providing advice on regulatory and health policies, service development and planning of programmes.
Leadership and Management
Public Health Medicine Specialists hold senior leadership roles in the health sector, including leading programmes in Ministry of Health and other health organisations.
Academic Public Health, including epidemiology
Many Public Health Medicine Specialists work as medical academics. These research and teaching roles require a high level of academic expertise.