Tropical Disease Specialist

For many, the health field holds a lot of different benefits that simply can’t be matched by other professions. The chance to earn excellent salaries, numerous professional benefits, and help others in the process is more than enough to interest many looking for a good career choice. But there are numerous specific careers one can enter, and choosing the right one is important. For some, becoming a tropical disease specialist could be the right call.

Working in the field of public health, these professionals are able to enjoy the many benefits that the health field has to offer while working in unique areas that others don’t often focus on. If you think that this career could be right for you, keep reading to learn more about what it entails and what it has to offer.

What Is a Tropical Disease Specialist?

Generally speaking, a tropical disease specialist is really a specialized area of study with the field of infectious diseases. An infectious disease specialist focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. In the case of tropical disease specialists, the focus will obviously be on diseases that are prevalent in tropical and subtropical areas. There is some need for these professionals in other areas, though the incidence of diseases will be lower.

Job duties for tropical disease specialists vary greatly, but could include:

  • Diagnosing tropical diseases within a patient
  • Developing treatment plans and overseeing treatments
  • Identifying potential infectious disease outbreaks or risks of outbreaks and then taking steps to prevent them from reaching serious levels
  • Work on rapid response teams to stop outbreaks
  • Order specialized tests to determine the nature of specific diseases
  • Serve as a consultant concerning potential travel risks for those who are visiting other areas

In short, these professionals work to prevent the spread of diseases that are native to tropical areas, and on treating patients who are suffering from the diseases in question.

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As with any other job in the medical field, several different personal traits and characteristics can have a very strong impact on one’s ability to do their job. As such, it’s important to take a look at these traits.

If you’re thinking of becoming a tropical disease specialist, being strong in the following areas will be important.

  • Good Problem Solving Skills – Being able to identify problems and then overcome them is important, and the stronger one’s problem solving skills, the better.
  • Ability to Work in Multiple Environments – A tropical disease specialist may find themselves in the field, in an office compiling a report, or presenting a presentation to a supervisor. They should be able to thrive in any environment.
  • Good Math Skills – Being able to look at data and statistics and use the numbers to determine whether or not problem areas may exist is an important part of the job. As such, strong math skills will be needed.
  • Good Organization – Being able to organize data, reports, patient information, and a schedule is important. The stronger one’s organizational skills, the better they will be at performing their job duties as needed.

Nature of the Work

A tropical disease specialist will find themselves doing a lot of different things. If they are working directly with patients, running medical tests and exams, reviewing the results, and making a diagnosis will be a big part of their day. Administering treatment and monitoring patients will be as well.

In some cases the tropical disease specialist will compile data and do research to determine risk factors or potential outbreak signs, and develop different methods to combat the spread of these diseases. Their job may involve a very wide range of tasks.

Education and Training

The education needed to enter the field can be very long. It begins with completion of medical school and study in a program that focuses on infectious disease. Med school will award a doctoral degree in the field, and a tropical disease specialist will then have to complete residency training that could take up to 7 years. Licensure for practicing medicine is next, followed by between 1 and 3 years in a fellowship program, and then additional certification in the tropical disease specialty.

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According to DiplomaGuide, average salaries for those working as infectious disease specialists are roughly $193,000 annually. Those with a specialization in tropical diseases could earn more depending on their employer and where they work, among other things.


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