By Kevin D Frick

Health economists interacting with colleagues and clients often need to have a global perspective, which means not limiting one’s view to what is going on in one’s own country… and that goes beyond economics.

So, how does a health economist develop a holistic and global perspective?

Keep up with academic and trade journals covering economic topics that are not limited to your own country; be sure to read non-economic articles too. For example, a health economist who has become expert in infectious disease might include clinical epidemiology articles relevant to infectious disease in your country and in others.

However, to interpret data effectively and make predictions you will need to go beyond just economic and clinical epidemiology. Read about sociologic and political issues related to infectious disease.

While these other disciplines don’t always look at issues in exactly the same way as economists do, the ideas that come from the other disciplines may help you to understand how people think about infectious disease and how policy makers are likely to use clinical epidemiology data and economic data together to make policy.

Remember that as health economists we are interested in how people make decisions. There is no better way to find out how people make decisions than to cultivate a global approach both geographically and professionally.