Why did I choose the Epidemiology and Biomedical Data Science programme?
What is it?
Epidemiology? Many are going to frown… Well, it is the branch of medicine that deals with the incident distribution and possible control of diseases and factors relating to health. Simply put, it is a method used to find the causes of health outcomes and diseases in populations.
Biomedical data science “spans a range of biological and medical research challenges that are data-intensive and focused on the creation of novel methodologies to advance biomedical science discovery”. But we can simply say that it merges the disciplines of statistics and computer science.
My interest in medicine has been formed by my personal experience, as I witnessed medical tragedies in my family and realized that medicine is not only about treatment, but also prevention. Thus, I had my Bachelor’s studies in the field of Public Health (Preventive Medicine) and was determined to continue my studies after graduation.
I still remember how happy I was when we were taken to the computer room and taught to use SPSS by our statistics teacher. On the other hand, epidemiology teachers would bring so many real-life cases to make epidemiological concepts easily understood. I enjoyed myself when I undertook the data analysis and study design and this enthusiasm brought me here - the University of Oulu.
If your background is global/public health, epidemiology, statistics, biology, and/or genetics, then do not hesitate to choose the University of Oulu!
What have I learned so far?
From Statistical Methods in Epidemiology I and Statistical Methods in Epidemiology II courses, I strengthened my skills on SPSS and learned to use R language as well. Epidemiology I and Epidemiology II enabled us to be familiar with the basic concepts of this field. Life-course Epidemiology and Clinical Epidemiology gave us opportunities to work on real-life cases using epidemiological methods, and I found this very helpful for graduation thesis and conducting research in the near future. The Data Management, Ethics and Privacy course provided us with a platform of framing data section/method in research. Lecturers even taught us how to read journal articles more efficiently by critical appraisal.
Oulu is a peaceful city, and it is away from the hustle and bustle that I have experienced in some other cities, so I have a good experience studying and living here. Like everyone else, I expect to have more internships, learn more hands-on skills and eventually get a satisfying job. Other than that, having a wonderful journey throughout this two-year master’s study and making the most of it are something that I expect currently. :)
About the author
Yipaerguli Mohetaer, from China, is a master’s student in Epidemiology and Biomedical Data Science. She is a snow lover, but loves sunshine as well, so she's doing good in Finland regardless of the season.