Epidemiologists measure and review disease patterns within populations and attempt to explain these patterns by studying the characteristics of that particular culture.  This research can help scientists learn more about how disease spreads, which, in turn, can help researchers discover new methods of disease control and prevention.  Epidemiologists are crucial for the formation of public health care policy.

Epidemiologists generally work in labs performing research, but they may also work with patients to study the effects of certain diseases within the community.  Some epidemiologists work at colleges and universities, publishing and educating about how diseases spread.  Others work at government agencies, international organisations and private corporations.  They may help develop medications or recommend practices that stop the spread of disease, help to form public health policy or work towards teaching the public how to stay healthy and disease-free. Post graduate qualifications are required in this field.