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.

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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