Laura Edison


Track: Applied Epidemiology

What is your professional background and where do you currently work?

I am a veterinarian and worked in small animal practice for seven years before starting the EMPH program, during which time I worked at CDC.I am currently a career epidemiology field officer at the CDC, but am assigned to the Georgia Department of Public Health, where I work as a medical epidemiologist for the Acute Disease Epidemiology Section. My responsibilities include infectious disease surveillance and response and public health emergency preparedness.

Why did you enroll in the EMPH program?

I became interested in public health during veterinary school, but wanted to practice clinical medicine first. The MPH was necessary for me to have the career I was seeking in public health, and the EMPH allowed me the flexibility to complete it while working and spending time with my family.

How has earning an MPH degree affected your career path?

The MPH qualified me to apply for, and be accepted into the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS). The skills and connections I made through the EMPH program made me a strong EIS candidate, and gave me the tools I needed to complete EIS successfully. I now have the job, as an infectious disease medical epidemiologist, that I hoped for when entering into this field, and use my epidemiology skills daily.

What is the most valuable skill you learned during the EMPH program?

I came into the program with very limited public health exposure. The analytic and writing/research skills I gained and general exposure to a range of public health topics have been critical for my job success.

What is your favorite memory from the EMPH program?

Getting together with my cohort at the beginning and end of each semester, I was surprised by the strong connection we formed online and still keep in touch with many of them.