PHDA testimonials

If you would like to specify which course(s) you would like to see testimonials for, you may do so by selecting the course(s) from the list below and hitting the APPLY filter button. You may select more than one course. Otherwise, the testimonials are listed below, in random order.
PHDA Overall program/course experience
"I feel this is a very unique program that combines the use of data analytics, statistical software and focused learning objectives related to the field of health. I also appreciated the fact that it was a fully online program with well-organized lectures, readings and remotely accessed lab work in health data analytics.

Overall the program was very helpful to my knowledge and skill development in the field of healthcare analytics. The program exceeded my expectations particularly because of the remotely accessed data analytic lab work that was more challenging than I anticipated. This work was very practical and very much oriented to real life case examples. The calibre of students in my courses was also very high as most were working professionals who brought valuable experience and knowledge to the discussion forums and project work."

Alexey Skiba, Data Analyst, College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia


PHDA 03 Population Health and Geographical Information Systems
"The growing importance of spatial thinking in health policy and epidemiology underscores the immense value of this course for researchers and practitioners alike. As a frequent user of GIS, I found this course to be an indispensable update to both my technical skills and theoretical understanding of health geography and spatial data analysis.

The course material challenged us to think creatively and conduct our own projects with the support of the instructor, while the weekly lab assignments guided us closely through the necessary procedures. Weekly discussions encourage us to discuss issues and themes in health GIS and share ideas, an invaluable experience for learning and networking."

Blake Byron Walker, PhD student, Geography


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

I had completed my master’s in Public Health and was looking for training that would supplement my degree. In particular, I was interested in learning new skills in data analysis. A colleague had mentioned the PHDA program to me some time ago. Through a Google search, I found the program details and it looked like a good fit for me.

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

I enjoyed all the courses. In particular, I found the GIS course very interesting and fun as I had never worked in this subject area before. I also benefitted from learning new SAS skills in other PHDA courses. Prior to taking the program, I had no knowledge of SAS.  I think I enjoyed the PHDA 06 Health Services Program Monitoring and Evaluation course the most.  Although I had taken an evaluation course in my Master’s program, I found the PHDA 06 course very good at clarifying information and dividing the evaluation process into very practical/applied steps/stages.

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

I plan to apply my new skills within future job/research projects. I am very interested in pursuing employment opportunities in the area of program planning and evaluation. I have had an interest in this area for some time and the PHDA 06 course really solidified my desire to work in this area.

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

The instructors were all very knowledgeable and experienced.  They really supported students through engaging conversations and encouragement for our work assignments. Courses like the PHDA 03 Population Health and GIS provided step by step directions and support. The PHDA courses catered to both beginner students as well as those with experience in the field. Instructors were always willing to provide extra resources and support – the courses were never boring! The program support and general design also supported student needs too.

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 definitely recommend this program to others. I would like others to know that both the course content and expertise of instructors provides a great learning experience.

Any other comments?

I had never done an online course before taking this program. I found the online environment provided a good learning experience. Both the Moodle and Secure Research Training lab environments worked well for me.


Navdeep Sandhu, Research Assistant, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University


PHDA 04 Spatial Epidemiology and Outbreak Detection
"Courses which benefited me the most are PHDA 03 Population Health and Geographic Information System (GIS) and PHDA 04 Spatial Epidemiology and Outbreak Detection.

I am really satisfied with these courses especially the hands-on experience gained while using ArcMap to map diseases and assess spatial dependences. Skills developed include generating choropleth map, joining attribute tables to shapefile and perform geographically weighted regressions."

Samuel Essien, PhD Candidate, School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan


PHDA Overall program/course experience
"I would definitely recommend this program to my colleagues or others who would like to develop analytical skills and knowledge in data analysis and the use of health data.

I benefited by having an access to various analytic tools and different types/sources of health administrative data. They included a good balance of practice and theory. I did not find these kinds of courses were available to me when I was at University. In addition, I had very practical hands-on practice using statistical analytic tools such as SAS or ArcGIS which are not freely available for public use."

Youn Choi, Senior Researcher

> read full testimonial