Testimonial - PHDA, Lucinda Burns

How did you learn about the program and what motivated you to enroll?

I was in Canada and the program seemed a perfect fit to my interests.

Tell us about your course experience. What skills did you develop and which courses provided the greatest benefit to you?

I thoroughly enjoyed the courses, although sometimes I had trouble keeping up.  Having said that, I found the lecturers very sympathetic to my needs.  It was great to develop more understanding of the analysis of administrative datasets and in particular learning how to use geocoded data.

How have you been able to (or how do you plan to) apply your new skills in your work/research?

I will use my skills to undertake some more specific analysis using linked data. In particular, I plan to undertake some mapping of hotspots where illicit drug use is most common. For my interests at this time I found longitudinal data analysis and geocoding the most helpful. This is because with increasing use of multiple drugs it is important to determine where outbreaks occur and be able to establish cohorts of people who use these substances and then follow over time determining predictors of change.

What do you think were the strengths of this program? Please provide examples.

The flexibility of the modules was very good and I appreciated learning from other students when there was something I couldn’t solve. For example when I couldn’t run a particular program, I could easily get assistance with this.  Having access to previous assignments on the same topics made things much easier as well.

Would you recommend this program to others? If so, what recommendations/suggestions would you give those interested in applying to this program?

Yes, I would recommend this program and regularly circulate information about the courses as updates come to me.

Any additional comments you would like to add?

It was a really great experience and I learnt a great many new things so thank you!


Lucinda Burns

Lucinda Burns, Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales