I am here at University of Cape Town

I have to apologise at this late of a date in January for keeping quiet about what has happened so far. I am now at the University of Cape Town as a student in the program of the Masters in Public Health.

How could I wait so long for posting this? It is almost incredible, but it is true. Today I had my first day of classes in qualitative research methods that techniques used by anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists and other social scientists (the list is I give here is by no means exhaustive). No matter how long I waited to write this here I am writing it. Today I learnt about how these qualitative methods cover the discipline of Medical Anthropology, which was what inspired the creation of this blog.

Our professor Chris Colvin and I spoke and I found out that Anthropology PhD programs would be closed off to me, since I have not done formal anthropology training. However, I could apply for programs in Public Health – a PhD in public health. I glad that this is still a possibility. I understand the discourse in formal Med Anthro may be impenetrable to an outsider. Will I change the name of this blog?

We will have to wait and see, because I am also fascinated by epidemiology. Last week we did the study designs in the Intro to Epidemiology class with a PhD student epidemiologist Anna from Canada. She does remind my of Rebecca Lazier from Princeton’s theatre and dance, because she is great. In today’s class,pofessor Colvin, who also did his MPH here, asked us about what study design would be used to evaluate early infant diagnosis for HIV and how this would differ from a qualitative study. The answer I gave was a randomised controlled trial or a cohort study at worst.
As for what qualitative study we could use, it seems they do not fit neatly into categories that are as clear cut as epidemiological study designs, however we went over common instruments, such as interviews and focus groups (by the way these will not be part of our repertoire of tools to use in our group projects. – they are hackneyed in public health).

Oh the group projects!

Ok end of my post.
I am grateful to the DAAD and the Canon Collins Trust for making this possible. Yes it’s true, I have received both scholarships!


About writinghealth

Wannabe Epidemiologist? Wannabe med anthro person? I guess. Christian, scientist (not Christian scientist), i mean like I studied molecular biology and I part of the RC Church. I also completed a Masters of Public Health, at the University of Cape Town, in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
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