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Survey of graduates of the Epidemic Intelligence Service as an approach to enhancing ethnic diversity among the nation's epidemiologists.
  • Published Date:
    1992 Nov-Dec
  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 107(6):718-723
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-1.29 MB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
  • Description:
    A survey was conducted to improve the recruitment, training, and retention of epidemiologists in the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Program of the Centers for Disease Control. The authors compared minority graduates of the program and nonminority graduates in several areas: reasons for application, degree of satisfaction, appropriateness of preparation for epidemiologic practice, and current professional activities. A closed-ended questionnaire was mailed to all 87 minority graduates from the program during the period 1970-88, and to 172 randomly selected nonminority graduates. Of 259 graduates surveyed, 234 or 90.3 percent returned the questionnaire--89.6 percent of minority graduates and 90.7 percent of nonminority graduates. Virtually all graduates were satisfied with their EIS experience (95.2 percent), have encouraged others to apply (96.1 percent), and are the most frequent sources of initial contact of prospective officers (38.2 percent). Most EIS graduates (71.2 percent) were still working in epidemiology. Compared with the nonminority graduates, the minority graduates were more likely to be women and to be single. Minority graduates were less likely than non minorities to hold academic appointments (44.2 percent versus 60.0 percent) and less likely to work in academic settings as their primary job (11.5 percent versus 18.7 percent). At the same time, minority graduates were more likely to have learned of the EIS Program from academic advisors (32.1 percent versus 19.4 percent). Graduates express high levels of satisfaction with the EIS Program and continue to practice epidemiology following graduation. Few differences between the minority and nonminority graduates were found. Because fewer minority graduates are in academic settings to serve as mentors or role models, alternative recruitment methods must be developed to sustain a high level of interest among minority groups in the EIS Program.
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