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Public Health Epidemiology Conversations Podcast


Episode 44: Learning More About The American Public Health Association (APHA)

The annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA) is coming up later this year, so this is a good time to seriously consider attending. In this episode, I discuss what the APHA is, what happens at the annual meeting, and how it can help you grow your public health career.

Summary from one of our community group polls

Poll: How many Public Health and Epidemiology Careers Podcast listeners completed a degree in Public Health between June 2017 and May 2018?

  • 45 completed a Master’s in Public Health

  • 13 completed a Master’s in another degree

  • 8 completed a Bachelor's in Public Health

  • 2 completed a PhD in Public Health

Sections of the APHA

Currently, the APHA has 31 primary sections, or areas of research and interest. Each member is allowed to choose 2 sections. These sections allow members to share ideas, research, collaborate on projects, enhance their network, and provide opportunities for career development and mentoring.

These sections can be especially helpful if you feel overwhelmed, frustrated or feel that many resources are beyond your reach. Dig around their website and reach out to others in your interest area.


  • Aging and public health

  • Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs

  • Applied public health statistics

  • Chiropractic health care

  • Community health planning and policy development

  • Community health workers

  • Disability

  • Environment

  • Epidemiology

  • Ethics

  • Food and nutrition

  • Health admin

  • Health informatics information technology

  • HIV and AIDS

  • Injury control and emergency health services

  • Integrative, complementary, and traditional health practices

  • International health

  • Law

  • Maternal and child health

  • Medical care

  • Mental health

  • Occupational health and safety

  • Oral health

  • Physical activity

  • Pediatric health

  • Public health education and health promotion

  • Public health nursing

  • Public health social work

  • School health education and services

  • Sexual and reproductive health

  • Vision care

There are also 2 Special Primary Interest Groups:

  • Pharmacy

  • Veterinary public health

What happens at the APHA annual meeting?

  • Over 12,000 members (students, early-career professionals, and seasoned public health workers) connect, collaborate, and grow their networks and careers.

  • Allows members to present new leading research to their colleagues and peers.

  • Large group presentations as well as specialized section meetings and events.

  • EXPO with public health universities and industry products and services.

How Does the APHA Benefit Students?

  • Student members of the AHPA are automatically included in student assembly

  • Great introduction to the large network of the AHPA

  • By getting involved students can connect with peers, find mentors, dig deeper into their interests and define they want to do.

  • The APHA makes students better prepared to complete their education and move on into career in public health.

Important information about the 2018 Annual APHA meeting

Are there other public health organizations?

In addition to the APHA, there are many other public health associations. No matter which organization you join, it is important to find a place to network, learn, explore, and grow. You can request a guide to Public Health Organizations from the resources page of our website, and learn about organizations worldwide.

Additional References:

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