After just 3.5 weeks of class, we completed the shortest course that we have had thus far last Wednesday: Applied Epidemiology 1 – Distribution of Health. This was the first in a series of three applied epidemiology courses that we will take this semester, each one focusing on a different aspect of epidemiology (the next two will concentrate on the determinants of health and outcome evaluation, respectively; see the track outline for more details on the program structure).
The first week of this brief course featured a review of some statistical concepts from last year’s curriculum as well as information on scientific reporting in order to help us complete the course assignment, which involved using a subset of data from the Stockholm County Council Public Health Survey to construct our own research questions and write a paper in the style of a scientific article.
The remaining lectures were given by guest researchers and were dedicated to the surveillance of various areas of epidemiology. The topics were diverse and not only provided further background for our class assignment, but also potential contact points for finding a master’s thesis topic and advisor. Although many students have already found a topic and advisor and have even begun working on their thesis, our course director has encouraged us to wait to see what options are available since the three applied epidemiology courses this semester will introduce us to new topics and people.
Overall, this first course proved an enjoyable and easygoing introduction to the first weeks of our second year. Now on to studying the determinants of health!