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 found a strength of the program to be the engagement of the other students, who are usually all from diverse backgrounds with varying levels of experience with the content. It was helpful to learn from each other. The workload was also quite manageable for those who are working full-time in addition to the courses. The teachers also all seemed knowledgeable and passionate about the topics, and were willing to help students answer their questions or provide assistance for the course projects."

Sarah Costa, Health Economist, Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control, BC Cancer Agency

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PHDA 01 Working with Administrative Data
"The Working with Administrative Data course covered a wide range of topics from ethical and privacy issues encountered when using administrative data for research to data management of complex datasets. The instructors ensured all students were able to do the assignments using SAS. Their support has helped me build skills that I now often use at work. The training datasets were also useful in building applied skills when using administrative data to answer research questions. I would recommend this course for anyone who is working in population and public health and uses administrative data in their job."

Gina Martin, Research Associate, Centre for Addictions Research of BC

 

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

I Iearned about the program through the UVic Continuing Studies website while I was an under grad at UVic. I later worked for the Provincial government. As a government employee I was eligible to get financial support for professional development training. The PHDA program was a good fit for the analytic skills I needed. I already had some experience working with Administrative data.

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

I found the courses I took, PHDA 01 Working with Administrative Data, PHDA 02 Epidemiological Statistics, PHDA 03 Population Health and GIS and PHDA 04 Spatial Epidemiology and Outbreak Detection, all followed in suite to cement my knowledge and skills in methods and research design. The first two courses, PHDA 01 and PHDA 02 were more of a review/refresher for me from my previous academic and work experience. The PHDA 01 course included learning SAS skills and creating your own study. The PHDA 02 course focused more on practical analytic work and less on statistical theory.  My favourite course was PHDA 04. It applied all the background/analytic skills I had learned within previous PHDA courses and taught me new geospatial skills.

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

My new skills would have proven useful in my previous role as a policy analyst for the provincial government, however I have switched positions. I intended on using my SAS skills and geospatial analysis tools to analyze the MSP data I had access to.

My new job is as a strategy analyst and the certificate has provided me knowledge about the potential use of administrative data to inform decision making. In completing this course, I have added another domain of knowledge which I can consider when developing strategic plans related to IM/IT.

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

One of the greatest strengths of the program is the access to the Secure Research Training Lab. It holds practical, well written, easy to follow lab activities in data analytics and a very useful de-identified BC Heath Dataset as well as other health related training datasets for applied learning. This provided an excellent learning environment for professional development training in data analytics.

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.  For those just starting the program within the PHDA 01 course, I would recommend that they work carefully through the SAS components and try to keep their project work simple. It is also best to take one course at a time if you are working or taking full time studies.

 

Nino Sampson, Strategy Analyst, BC Ministry of Health

 

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

I got to know about the program through my former master’s thesis supervisor. My quest to broaden my knowledge in geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial epidemiology motivated me to enrol in the program.

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

I am really satisfied with the course 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.  Courses which benefited me the most are PHDA 03-Population Health and Geographic Information System (GIS), PHDA 01-Working with Administration Data and PHDA-04-Spatial Epidemiology and Outbreak Detection.

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

I have not yet applied the acquired skills to my research, but the skills will be useful for my future research work.

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

The program’s strength emerged from how the courses were offered with typical examples such as offering PHDA 03 before PHDA 04 and also the incorporation of Lab work into the course curriculum which provided the opportunity for more practical knowledge to be gained. Another strength is the friendly learning environment and willingness of the instructors to go an extra mile to assist students to understand concepts and course materials.

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

Yes. I recommend this program to students, especially those with no prior knowledge in spatial epidemiology and GIS and are keen on knowing more about these areas.

Any additional comments you would like to add?

I have not regretted enrolling in this program, and have actually enhanced my skill set.

 

Samuel Essien

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