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Applied Epidemiology Core Competencies

Applied Epidemiology Core Competencies
Program participants develop a set of core skills through competency-based training. Fellows are expected to fulfill all of the competencies during the two-year Fellowship:

Epidemiologic methods
  • Design surveillance systems to assess health problems.
  • Evaluate surveillance systems and understand the limitations of surveillance data. First year Fellows are required to submit an abstract on their evaluation project for the CSTE Annual Conference.
  • Play a functional role in bioterrorism/emergency preparedness and response (BT/ER) at the host agency and participate in related trainings, tabletop exercises, etc.
  • Be able to interpret surveillance data.
  • Design an epidemiologic study to address a health problem.
  • Understand the basic types of study design and the advantages and limitations of each type.
  • Design a questionnaire or other data collection tool to address a health problem.
  • Collect health data from appropriate sources (e.g., case interviews, medical records, vital statistics records, laboratory reports, or pathology reports).
  • Create a database for a health data set.
  • Use statistical software to analyze and characterize epidemiologic data.
  • Interpret findings from epidemiologic studies, including recognition of the limitations of the data and potential sources of bias and/or confounding.
  • Recommend control measures, prevention programs, or other public health interventions based on epidemiologic findings.
  • Write a field investigation report resulting from participation in an infectious disease or other approved outbreak investigation of either acute disease outbreak or a time-sensitive investigation. Fellows will experience participating in and observing an investigation performed in a charged environment. Fellows working in Chronic Disease, Maternal and Child Health, and other non-infectious disease program areas will participate in a temporary detail to allow the Fellow to participate in such an investigation.
  • Write a surveillance report.
  • Understand the basic process for preparing a manuscript for publication.
  • Give an oral presentation using appropriate media.
  • Present data graphically and know how to use graphic software.
  • Understand the basics of health-risk communication and be able to communicate epidemiologic findings in a manner that is easily understood by lay audiences (i.e., those with limited scientific background).
  • Masters-level Fellows: present a poster at a national or regional meeting, publish a technical report, or prepare a manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Doctoral-level Fellows: prepare a manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
Public Health Practice, Policy, and Legal Issues
  • Have a basic understanding of public health law.
  • Understand the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the recently-implemented privacy and information security amendments.
  • Distinguishing between public health research and public health practice.
  • Understand policies designed for the protection of human subjects and the role of an Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  • Know the essential public health functions.
  • Understand the roles of local, state, and federal public health agencies.
  • Appreciate the diversity of how epidemiology is used in different program areas.
  • Effectively negotiate cultural sensitivity issues.
Click here to view more information about the CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowship. 
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