What does an epidemiologist study?

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This brings me back to the question, What does an epidemiologist study epidemiology? It would be ridiculous for me to write a paper about a particular statistic. But it is very reasonable for me to write an article about my experience doing an epidemiology study. And that’s what I wrote this article about.

How to become an epidemiologist

Normally I would simply write off the statistic that American television consumes more hours than you probably know to anyone watching television.

It’s easy to put this in context, what does it matter really? An hour a day can only tell you something about a person’s interests (overall time).

If I had the time to watch television, I would only care that I am spending more time reading, I am not watching it to satisfy my interest in television, just because I don’t have time to do other things.

It’s not like I have to do something, so I would rather go watch some television than watch a movie, or read a book.

But the last time I looked at an American statistics book was in high school when we had to study one to satisfy the U.S. government’s requirement that all children finish a course in statistics before graduating from high school.

This seems fairly absurd to me. The problem isn’t that we are asked to do more on top of school, the problem is that American schools do not encourage an interest in learning the subject.

What statistics is is not a subject an epidemiologist study

it’s a skill. And the skills in statistics are probably more useful for understanding the world than in understanding a person.

Take for example, interviewing. It’s a skill to listen and then think about what you are being told and how it fits with your knowledge. But the skills of interviewing were not taught in my school. I went to a school that would ask you to interview people who were leaving an office, or maybe get up and interview some construction workers, but those were jobs that I didn’t think I would want. We were not taught how to conduct an interview, how to think about what we were told, or even what an interview looked like.

How did I learn to interview?

I didn’t, my school simply never taught me. My employer, well, he doesn’t offer formal training in interviewing. So I simply learned to do it by watching the people around me. And I do, I try to actually listen to the people I interview and to think about what they say.

I suppose I could just write off the statistics show as some bizarre anomaly. The people watching this show are not talking to each other about statistics, this show is about them watching a television show together, sharing a particular interest in a certain show, and sharing their views on it. What does an epidemiologist study looks weird because people watch it for the wrong reasons. But it does not matter how many people are watching it to do some statistics study, the show does not do statistics on its own. The show’s statistics simply work in conjunction with the people who are speaking.

Who studies epidemiology?

This brings me back to the question. Who studies epidemiology? In the U.S. I would probably say, “Americans do.” Because of the number of epidemiologists in the United States I would expect the number of people studying epidemiology to be reasonably high. And the last time I looked there were fairly good statistics that would give me an estimate of the number of Americans who study epidemiology.

This article has been adapted from a publication of the New England Journal of Medicine.

This article is part of a series of articles that look at different diseases or diseases in a unique way, from how they affect a person to how they fit in the larger context of the world, and how to understand how epidemiology shapes our world. In an earlier article, I talked about how epidemiology helps us understand diseases and diseases in a unique way. In this article, I discuss how epidemiology shapes our world.

References

Centers for Disease Control. (2014, December 20). Black Death Fact Sheet – Cases and Trends, Great Britain, 1761-1858. Retrieved from link. (2014, December 20). Retrieved from link. CDC’s Surveillance and Prevention Epidemics.

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