Tag: #education

R Programming and the New Epidemiologists

When I started working as an epidemiologist at a state health department, one of the most often used tools was the Microsoft Office Suite of programs. I used Excel for data analysis and visualization, Access to create and manage databases, Power Point to create presentations, and Word to create reports. Nevertheless, I’ve always been an early adopter when it comes…

A Day of Days

I did it. I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation last Wednesday and became a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH). It was the culmination of five years of learning, working, and balancing a lot of aspects of my life. I must be honest that I felt incredibly overwhelmed at times. There were several moments when I wanted to throw in the towel and walk away.

The Epi Ren Rises, Again

As you are reading this, I am in the middle of defending my doctoral dissertation. (I’m scheduling this post ahead of time. So, no, I’m not blogging while I’m taking the exam, silly.) The defense of the dissertation is the conclusion of five years of work on something that began as a crazy idea, became a dream, and then materialized…

What Would a Structured Public Health Practitioner Education Look Like?

In the United States, if you want to become a physician, there is a structured way of going about it. You go to college to get an undergrad degree, preferably in some science field. From there, you apply to medical school after taking the MCAT. Once you get into a medical school, you do four years of it and then…

The “Militarization” of the Johns Hopkins University Campus

There’s a bill in the Maryland State Assembly that will allow Johns Hopkins University to have its own police force. From The Baltimore Sun: “The legislation already has the backing of several Baltimore lawmakers, who said it will increase safety in the city without costing taxpayer dollars. Hopkins officials said Monday in a message to university community members that they…

The two kinds of professors you’ll meet

When I was in college, there was this one chemistry professor known for being very tough on students. He was the professor you’ve probably heard about, the one who tells the class that most of them will fail and will have to re-take the course. He said that it was pointless to try and get outside help for his class…

Face It, You Think You Know Better Than Me

There’s this person, we’ll call her “Ginny,”* who is an ardently anti-vaccine. She has multiple blogs, multiple social media accounts, participates in protests (traveling far and wide, money for the family be damned), and even thinks she leads a political party. Ginny has no medical or scientific training, per se. The closest she’s gotten is a bachelor’s or master’s or…

The two kinds of epidemiologists

One of the biggest challenges in my current work toward the doctoral degree is to reconcile the two kinds of ways that I am being taught epidemiology. The first way is as if I was going to become a researcher. The second is what I’m actually aiming for, becoming a public health practitioner. The school of public health is very,…

The nuances of language

The professor asked the class what a “confounder” was. I raised my hand and answered, “A confounder is something that is associated with both the exposure and the disease, but is not in the causal pathway between an exposure and a disease.” That is how I learned what a confounder is. That is how I explain it to people. The professor…