Tag: Public Health

Some Things I Learned This Week

I’ve been at the annual conference of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists all this week. The first conference I attended was back in 2008, when I was working at the Maryland Department of Health as an epidemiologist doing influenza surveillance. I remember it being a lot of fun because I got to learn a lot from people who had the same interests as I did. This has not changed much since then, but things around us in the world have. Let me explain…

Looking at Unmet Health Needs in Chicago, 2013

When comparing two or more health indicators, it’s important to keep in mind that they might be on a different scale and presenting completely different information. In order to make the comparison more accurately, you can standardize the variables’ values and then create a Health Condition Index. So let’s use R and some open data to see how this can be done.

How Many Guns Were Within 1,000 Feet of Schools in Baltimore in 2018?

Modern software programs allow you to analyze spatial data quite easily, but it may be hard to replicate what you did without a detailed how-to manual and instructions you write as you go. Programming languages such as R and others allow you to write code and comments in that code, so it will be easy to follow what you did and reproduce it time after time.

Epi 101: Indirect Age Adjustment by Hand and in R

Sometimes, age-specific death counts are hard to come by. Something happened that doesn’t allow you to know how many people died in each age group, but you know the total number of people who died. So how do you account for differences in the age distribution of the population? Glad you asked!

What if Vaccines Are Harmful?

If vaccines are as bad as anti-vaccine people and groups claim that they are, where is the evidence? We’ve seen other diseases and conditions be identified and dealt with. Why not these bad vaccine outcomes? Could it be that it’s not as bad as antivaxxers say it is?

Canary Coal Mine

The Canaries in the Coalmine

Anecdotes are not data, but they could be canaries in the coal mine that are still worth looking into. If we don’t do due diligence and look into them, what could happen? What could we delay or even miss out on doing?

The Student-As-a-Customer Model Will Be the End of Academia

More and more colleges and universities are treating students as customers, showing them how to push a button or fill in a formula without teaching them how to think and solve problems. I might be old school, but I’d rather train and mentor my future colleagues instead of just showing students how to push a button.