Getting an internship with the CDC is a dream for many students. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of the largest medical institutions in the world. In addition to keeping an eye on potential diseases and outbreaks, the CDC also maintains a close eye on sexually transmitted infections and diseases affecting certain populations. Regardless of where you are in your education, you have the chance to apply for one of the internships or fellowships offered by the CDC.
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Student Internships and Fellowships
The CDC offers internships for students still in high school, those enrolled in undergraduate programs, graduate students and students enrolled in doctoral programs. The organization divides its internships into a series of categories that include environmental health, public health, minority health, global health and occupational health. Many of the programs last for six to 11 weeks, but some programs last for an entire month or during your summer break. During your internship, you can work with medical programs in a specific city, learn how different diseases affect different populations or how the CDC attempts to stop the spread of infectious diseases. Many of the CDC internships take place in hospitals and colleges across the country, but some internships are also available at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. If you study veterinary medicine, you'll also find that you can apply for a veterinary medicine internship with the CDC.
Career Training Fellowships
In addition to an internship with the CDC, you might decide to apply for a fellowship with the CDC. Fellowships are research-based programs that are typically only open to undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. These programs require an intense level of dedication on the part of applicants. You'll spend a large portion of your time working in one of the research labs owned by the CDC or researching topics relating to the public health sector. A fellowship is a good option for those interested in pursuing an advanced degree and those planning to attend graduate school or a Ph.D program. Many of the participants in the fellowship program are those currently working in the public health field. You can gain more experience and make contacts that can help you apply for government jobs.
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The CDC also offers several research fellowships for those currently working in the public health or research field. As a fellow, you receive a stipend that you can use to pay your rent or other bills, and some participants actually take a break from work to complete a fellowship. The CDC offers two types of programs for doctoral students and recent graduates: a health statistics research program and a laboratory research program. Each program requires a commitment of two years, and you must agree to work in any facility the CDC chooses for you. The CDC may also require that you graduate from your program within three years of starting the program.
When you apply for jobs after graduation, you face a lot of competition from recent graduates. A degree alone won't help you land a new job, but many students find that the experience they get from an internship help them find jobs. An internship with the CDC is a good option for any student studying public health, veterinary medicine or another topic in the public health field.