Tag: #publichealth

The Sadness of It All

When I was in high school, I participated in a magnet school program called Health Occupations Students of America. The program was aimed at attracting high school students who were looking for a career in, you guessed it, health occupations. Of course, most of the kids in the program wanted to be physicians or nurses. Very few of us were…

EpiRen’s Journal Club: Firearm-Related Hospitalization and Risk of Bad Stuff Thereafter, in Washington State, Between 2006 and 2011

This study is pretty interesting… Researchers in Washington State took hospital records from 2006 and 2007 and found all the firearm-related hospitalizations (FRH) through diagnosis codes. They then matched those cases with hospitalized patients who were not hospitalized for FRH. They used frequency matching, which is one of the various types of matching you do when conducting a case-control or retrospective cohort…

Guns and Suicide

This is going to be about suicide. Please click here to be taken to something lighter if you don’t feel like reading this today. It will always be here for you to read. I won’t get offended if you go check out puppies. I’m not really surprised when I hear that firearms are the preferred method of suicide in the…

Domestic Threats to Public Health in the United States

If you’ve been watching the news, you might have noticed that something interesting is going in Italy. They just had a general election, and their results were very interesting. This is from The Atlantic: “Anyone who’s spent more than a vacation in Italy knows it’s a country with deep reserves of discontent, economic stagnation, and political dysfunction. So the anti-establishment…

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 True Size of the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa

One of the best skills I learned from my dad is how to read a map. I can hold it every which way and understand the layout of landmarks in it. When I drove from Texas up to Pennsylvania, before the advent of smartphones and consumer GPS units, I bought a road atlas from Walmart and used it to guide…

Whose Fault Is It That I’m Fat?

We were talking in an epidemiology class the other day about the association between obesity and diabetes. It’s a pretty strong association, with a lot of good evidence that obesity causes diabetes. As the students and the professor talked about this, the other teaching assistant in the course took some pictures of us. I was standing at the podium as he…

Is Gun Violence the Symptom or the Disease?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 33,500 firearm deaths each year in the United States. There are also within those about 21,300 suicides by firearm each year in the United States. That’s over 50,000 a lot of people each year whose lives are ended by firearms. (Edit: I corrected the numbers. See the comment by…

Epidemic Curves and Homicide Counts in Baltimore

One of the tools that we use in the investigation of outbreaks is the epidemic curve, or, as we say in the biz, the “epi curve.” An epidemic curve is a simple graphical representation of the number of cases per a unit of time over a span of time. For example, you could graph the number of new cases of diarrhea…