I'm graduating college in a few months. I've secured a job for post-grad, but I'm pretty sure I eventually want to go back to school for a graduate degree after I work for a few years. I've been thinking about getting a Masters in Public Health or Health Administration. I've become really passionate about the Paleo lifestyle and was wondering what you guys would recommend for a Paleo Public Health career? I DON'T want to be a doctor or a nutritionist, and research/uber-sciencey stuff isn't my thing. Any ideas? Would an MPH be helpful? Is this type of career even possible without being an MD/RD? Thanks for any input!
This article is a fantastic overview of your options (its not just for nutritionist).
I have an MPH, but I do not do most of my work in a remotely paleo field (unless you consider drug abuse paleo for some reason). I think there are some areas of public health where you would find some resonance with paleo principles, others that just aren't very related, and still others that are fairly tangental.
If you have a decent background in chemistry and an interest in environmental aspects of paleo, then environmental health might be a good match... some programs may also have occupational health as a subset of environmental health, that often deals with issues of ergonomics and physical activity.
Community health and health education might be areas of interest, especially if you're into advocacy for clean foods, green spaces and such, but if you're a hardliner on paleo issues it may be frustrating. If you're the kind of person who can have a constructive conversation about vegetables with a hardline vegan, it might be right for you... if you spend your time judging the contents of other's grocery carts, you might be better off elsewhere. CHS/Health education can teach you a lot about how to effectively convey health messages though. Depending on where you go there are also some advocacy paths within community health.
I specialized in epidemiology, but epi and biostats are for the research geeks. It doesn't sound like it would be your thing.
Health administration is a different story. That's about teaching you to run healthcare organizations, manage healthcare payers and navigate policy. It's fascinating and a robust career path (if I understood it better when I started I would have majored in health administration instead) but it's totally tangental to anything paleo related.
A lot of rural sociology, agricultural economics, and public policy programs (especially at land-grant universities) have students working in sustainable agriculture, farm to table, farm to school, farmer's markets, community supported agriculture etc. I personally am getting a Ph.D. in Environmental Economics (cooperative sustainable agriculture). A fellow student is trying to study the underground/black market in raw milk in Missouri. Another is working with animal welfare/economic issues with pastured dairy in Missouri. There are lots of Paleo opportunities for working in public policy/public administration/public health with a masters or PhD in these fields.
Good question - I feel the same. I would love to be in a career which focused on Paleo health! I'm an archaeologist working on paleolithic sites. Having obtained a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and now a PhD i'm kind of over formal study though and have really been enjoying just reading books on the topics of interest!
You could always use your anthropology in some health analysis way?
A career in public health would require a Master’s degree in Public Health or related field. You mentioned that you have already secured a job. Why not take online classes simultaneously instead of waiting until later to go back to grad school? Lots of universities and colleges offer online graduate healthcare degrees that may fit your requirements.
If get education in health care then this field has very high paying jobs in the market. Those students who get online degrees in public healthcare, get good jobs in this field because their online degree is accredited and legal.
Prepare for some hard knocks. They are not going to let you push paleo principles, when their business model is about revenue from caring for diseases of civilization. There may be lawsuits, loss of licenses, and whatnot.