Epidemiology Course on the Internet - Update
Hiko Tamashiro, M.D. has been doing wonderful work at WHO Geneva. He
has established an Environmental Epidemiology supercourse, which cur-
rently has 15 lectures. This was just recently identified on the main
home page of WHO. In addition, he has begun to tackle approaches to-
wards including exercises as part of Internet based training. You can
reach this through the Global Health Network home page:
We recently resubmitted our grant to NIH for review. The criticisms
were very fair. We resubmitted the grant, which hopefully addressed all
the concerns of the reviewers. If this were to be funded it can form
the backbone of our efforts. Recently we published in The Lancet
(352:9133, 1998) an argument that the Internet can help to transform
the NIH and in fact all grant reviews.
Therefore we decided to put our revised grant back up on the Internet,
and this can be reached through the Supercourse at:
There is a button for "grant" to which you can click into. On the grant
page you will see the original reviews by the NIH study section, as
well as the comments to the reviews in the introduction. For each com-
ment you can click onto an icon, and this will take you directly into
the grant as to where the criticism is addressed.
We put this grant on the web for several reasons. The first is that we
truly think that the Internet/Sharing concept can completely transform
epidemiology as well as higher education as a result of the concept of
lecture shareware. The second reason is that we spent considerable time
writing this grant with your help. We wanted to make this available to
you should you want to use it, or parts of the grant to obtain funding
in your own country or discipline to create a supercourse yourself. You
therefore have our permission to use any parts of the grant and change
it to obtain funding to establish a Supercourse in your area of inter-
est. We would be pleased to help you with this. We would request, how-
ever, that you indicate to us where you plan to submit it, as it would
be rather confusing to reviewers to see one grant titled "Diabetes Su-
percourse" with a second titled "Diabetes complications Supercourse"
with two different teams!!
An overview of the status of the lectures is presented below. Many of
you promised to send us lectures by Feb. 1, 1999. We are looking for-
ward to seeing these.
Deb Aaron has just overview the comments that have been sent in for the
lectures. We were very pleased to see that there have been 497 comments
on the 65 lectures. The comments have been wonderful in that < 5% have
been negative. The comments we have received on the lectures we wrote
have been very constructive. Instead the comments are designed to pro-
vide feedback to help the author to improve the lecture. The analogue
we have been using is that it is like providing comments on drafts of
our student's theses. Here comments are designed to improve the prod-
uct. In contrast, traditional peer review is like giving a student a
grade at the end of the course. Here there is the decision of pass or
fail, rather than to improve. In the next letter, Deb will tell us more
about what we have learned about this quality assurance procedure.
We are very pleased as to how rapidly the lectures are coming avail-
able, as well as the rating systems. We want to obtain suggestions from
you as to what we can go to help people to use the lectures in their
teaching. We are thinking of adding instructions to show how one can
download the pictures into 35 mm slides, for people who prefer to teach
from slides. Please send us suggestions as to how we can work with peo-
ple to have them use the lectures.
There are five new lectures since we sent you the last e-mail:
1. Epidemiology of Iron Deficiency and Iron Deficiency Anemia
Dr. Pablo Duran with the Public Health Department, University of
2. Uso de Sustancias Toxicas y Lesiones por Causa Externa en Mexico
(in Spanish) Ministry of Health, Mexico
Dr. Boji Huang, with the department of pharmacology, college of
pharmacy, University of Toledo
4. Epidemiology of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in the Arab World
Dr. Abdullatif Husseini with the Institute of Community and Public
Health - Birzeit University in the West Bank
5. Influenza: Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control
Dr. Tom D.Y. Chin with Preventive Medicine and of Medicine at the
University of Kansas Medical Center
Best wishes in the New Year,
Ron, Deb, & Akira
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