Epidemiology Night School Project

24 Aug

Here is an introductory post by EpiRen on his Epidemiology Night School Project:

I’m seriously thinking of writing a series of posts about epidemiology, making the most complex concepts as clear as I can. I would call this project “Epidemiology Night School.” I would offer no college credit for it, though. And I would not say that it would replace any class you can get in a formal, accredited pubic health program. But I will say that it might make it a little easier to understand the myriad of studies and health-related news that you see in the media. After the series of posts, I hope that you will be able to answer the following:

  • What is epidemiology?
  • What tables, graphs, and measures are used to describe disease trends? And what rules do you need to follow to present the data in the most honest and open way?
  • When do you use an “average”? When do you use a “median”? And how do you interpret these?
  • What is public health surveillance? And what are its limitations?
  • How do you investigate an outbreak?

I’ll be using a lot of my own experience in addressing these and other questions. If you need some text to follow along, I recommend CDC’s Principles of Epidemiology (PDF).
Of course, there are some prerequisites. You can’t just walk in off the street and understand epidemiology, though I will aim to do that. The main prerequisite will be an understanding of mathematics (adding, dividing, multiplying, and subtracting) and an open mind (because some stuff will blow your mind).
I plan on starting this project this coming weekend, maybe sooner than that or maybe later than that. We’ll see how it goes.

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One Response to “Epidemiology Night School Project”

  1. David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E. August 24, 2011 at 01:57 #

    That would be totally awesome!

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