Medical Geographer

Discover the link between physical locations and health.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$42,000 – $102,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Medical Geographers do?

Ever the explorer, the Medical Geographer uses a variety of geographical techniques to study not the lay of the land but, instead, how location affects health. Medical Geographers pinpoint these geographical and environmental factors in hopes of improving healthcare.

Your work as a Medical Geographer merges mapping and research to plot the spread of disease. An outbreak may show up only in certain cities, or cluster around a source of contaminated water. By tracking reports of illness, you uncover patterns that help identify the cause of the virus.

In other cases, a disease isn’t from the environment itself, but is made worse by the lack of medical care. Mountainous regions and towns with hazardous roads receive less care than populated cities. Researchers consider these factors as well when evaluating why an area is at high risk for disease.

Through interviews, research, and the occasional in-person visit, you gather information for medical professionals and Scientists to analyze. You create charts, graphs, and reports to show the interaction between geography and public health.

Your work not only stops the spread of disease and shows which locations need increased medical attention, but also protects international travelers. You provide advice to travel organizations on common illnesses in a specific country, and what vaccines a traveler should receive before vacationing there. You aim to find and stomp out disease in all parts of the world.

Should I be a Medical Geographer?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • How to become a Medical Geographer

    Most Medical Geographers have a Doctorate or a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaa49w&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2840%25%29|master%27s+%2844%25%29|doctorate+%2816%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,44
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