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MPH Epi students with an interest in field epi outside the US
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12/7/2017 at 4:46:40 PM GMT
Posts: 2
MPH Epi students with an interest in field epi outside the US
Do you have suggestions for MPH Epi students with an interest in epi and field epi outside the US in getting involved in student-level surveillance projects, especially working remotely? As well, any suggestions for EIS clubs (or similar Field Epi clubs)? For Canadians, I recommend signing up for the CFEP listserv by emailing CFEP@phac-aspc.gc.ca and the CDIC webinar series at CDICwebinars-seminairesenligneLMTI@phac-aspc.gc.ca

12/11/2017 at 11:26:17 PM GMT
Posts: 2
Ideas on how Epi students can get involved.
Manish, I feel guilty about this prolonged cliffhanger of an answer, and I'm still happy to let this play out on the forum once I have access. The truth is I don't feel like I have any magic answer. Also, can I ask you a point of clarification about the question? "do you have suggestions for MPH Epi students with an interest in epi and field epi outside the US in getting involved in “, especially working remotely?" What is the directionality of the question? Do I have suggestions for epi students who work remotely (as in internationally wanting experiences in the U.S.)? Or epi students who need international work but work remotely (U.S. students wanting to work in other countries)? Regardless, I will still take a stab at this question. I really have limited experience, do please don't use my suggestions as a guide. I have come to discover international students have great opportunities for international work at our public health school in Houston because we are closely tied to medical institutions. In fact, students often get in state tuition if they work at our school's partnering hospital, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Many students are also easily able to return home to their native country and have an active role in public health as more often that not, they are sent here specifically for training. At this moment, I can only speak of my perspective. Now a U.S. student without international experience hoping to work remotely and obtain epi experience is something I haven't heard of as being common. The best routes to obtain epi experience would be work with an institution offering international opportunities. Some hospitals, research organizations, health organizations, or nonprofits can offer that. For example, you would probably need to apply for a more formal post doc or post grad training fellowship offered by the CDC or the WHO. At least I have found most roads lead this direction. These are highly competitive but great opportunities often because they lead to more things. Usually, the best opportunities are those at the local level. Finding a practicum, internship, thesis, dissertation, or at the very least a volunteer opportunity with a local government or health department will put you in a valuable position. That's what happened with Hurricane Harvey. I just so happened to reach out to our local city and county health departments just right before we realized a storm was arriving. I do recognize this response is based off of my personal biases because I'm interested in field epidemiology. I can't speak on behalf of much else. Also, thank you so much for your question Manish. If you are an epi student, getting involved in any epi organization with opportunities is a great start. I hope my response was helpful in some way. Please feel free to respond to me via email and we can at the very least copy and paste these responses in later. Thanks, Lauren Leining

12/12/2017 at 1:34:49 AM GMT
Posts: 2
Hi Lauren,

Thanks for getting back to me. Those are excellent suggestions. May be a bit of a background on my part would help; I am Canadian and am currently doing a MSc in Epi at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK via distance learning. My goal is doing the Canadian Field Epidemiology Program (very similar to your EIS program). But I need to gain some 20 months of eligible epi/public health experience prior to applying for the program. I think it's fantastic that you have an EIS club at UT. Being a distance learning student does pose some challenges in finding physical epi organisations to network with. This is why I mentioned the possibility of working on an epi project remotely, if possible to gain some real-world data analysis experience.

I live close to a large MPH school at my undergrad alma mater in Canada and hope to find experience opportunities through them as well. If you have suggestions re fb groups, national/international organisations and any other resources you think valuable in pursuing a career in field epi I'd very much love your thoughts.

Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts and hope to hear from you again at your convenience.

Yours, Manish

12/26/2017 at 8:42:44 PM GMT
Posts: 2
Hi Manish,

You sounds like you have a great future ahead of you. Does your school have any programs or fellowships you can be involved in? I'm sure they have a large international network. Even though you are remote for obtaining your degree, I bet there are still valuable experiences where you are currently living in Canada. Do you have to obtain an internship or practicum to obtain your degree? If so, that's a great way to work with a city or state health department in Canada. Applying for any scholarships or fellowships will also give you access to epi experiences. My other suggestions include, finding a mentor that can help give you some career direction or access to networks. Or at the very least, having a mentor that understands your struggles and you can confide in. I've also found it to be helpful to speak with successful people that have your dream job and ask how they got there. In fact, I've spoken with a few current EIS fellows when my student org helped them during Hurricane Harvey responses and they gave us great career advice. One book I've read over and over again is: "101 Careers in Public Health" by Beth Seltzer, MD, MPH and "Public Health: Career Choices that Make a Difference" by Bernard J. Turnock. Cheesy to read self help books, I know. However, I never had a mentor in Public Health. No one around me knew about it or loved it. I've been trying to teach myself about the field until recently. These books were crucial for me understanding what specific career I wanted and needed in Public Health and how to get there. They are great for giving you a variety of jobs, what those jobs entail, how that professional got there, and what their day looks like. Some jobs sounds fantastic, but then you read their normal day to day and realize that isn't for me. Or vice versa, the job doesn't sound as exciting as you would think, but their day to day interactions are very rewarding and use most of my current skill sets. They are illuminating. I was indecisive for a while about what I wanted to do because I love every topic of public health. So both of these books are all completely tabbed and scribbled on.

Those links are:

As far as some ideas go, these are sites for fellowships I often browse. I hope they are valuable resources to you. These are in the U.S.


Here's a few for you in Canada.


And international options.


I would recommend starting with the opportunities within your school. Ask an advisor to help you and even connect you with alumni that can help you. Find a mentor you can ask questions and get career advice from. Attend various professional conferences. Start making baby steps towards your EIS goals by first gaining local city/county/state health department experiences.

I hope that helps! Sorry about the delay. Perhaps someone else can also give us direction, because I'm still trying figure things out myself.

Good luck!!!!

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