Recap of Semester 1: Introduction to Public Health Sciences

The weeks are flying by; over a quarter of our second semester is already over. Before too much time passes, I would like to capture my thoughts on the courses we took during the first semester. The first of these was Introduction to Public Health Sciences. This course took place in Widerströmska huset. This is the building in which most of the courses in our program are held:


Introduction to Public Health Sciences was organized by two fantastic course directors from the Department of Public Health Sciences. Essentially, this course consisted of a brief survey of topics in the wide field of Public Health Sciences. The majority of the lectures were held by experts in their respective fields. Introductory topics included “What is Public Health?,” “Introduction to epidemiology,” and “Health policy and management.” From there, we moved into more specialized lectures, such as “The Global Burden of Disease Study,” “Inequalities in health and health care,” and “Illicit drug use as a Public Health problem.” Personal favorites of mine included “Mental illness as a Public Health problem” and “Communicable diseases and Public Health – malaria as an example.” The former is an area of research in which I am particularly interested, and the latter is a topic about which I knew nothing. For both of these topics, the lecturers presented the story of these problems in an incredibly engaging way.

I was able to learn more about malaria through one of our group projects. The group work was definitely a highlight of the course. In groups of five, we researched one disease and two countries assigned to us by the course directors. In the end, we presented our results both orally and in a written report. This was my first taste of group work at KI and proved a fun and educational experience.

One of the features that distinguished this course was that we took it together with the students from the Health Economics, Management, and Policy track of the Public Health Sciences program. Besides Introduction to Public Health Sciences, the only other course that we will take together is the final one before we begin our master’s theses. I found it very enriching to listen to the questions and comments from students with such diverse backgrounds. I really look forward to reuniting with our fellow Public Health Sciences students from the Health Economics track.

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