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Eun-Young Kim 1 Article
Experience of 16 years and its associated challenges in the Field Epidemiology Training Program in Korea
Moo-Sik Lee, Eun-Young Kim, Sang-Won Lee
Epidemiol Health. 2017;39:e2017058.   Published online December 25, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2017058
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The field epidemiologist system of South Korea, which employs public health doctors who are relatively more readily available, was created in 1999 to ensure a ready supply of experts for epidemiological investigations and enable an effective response for new and reemerging infectious diseases. However, the 2015 outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome revealed limitations in the existing systems of management of field epidemiologists and communicable diseases.
METHODS
The present study aims to evaluate data on current states, administrative reports, and other literature on the field epidemiologist system that has been in place in South Korea for 16 years since 1999 and to suggest appropriate future improvements in this system.
RESULTS
By suggesting methods to evaluate the field epidemiologist system and training programs and by suggesting ways for the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct evaluations on its own, the present study provides supporting evidence for improvement of systems for training of experts in epidemiological investigations. Moreover, based on the findings, this study also suggests methods to systematically train experts in communicable diseases management and a sustainable system to establish the basis of and develop strategies for a systematic and phased management of field epidemiologist training programs.
CONCLUSIONS
The present study suggests the possibility of establishing dedicated training facilities, revising the guidelines on training and improvement of the competency of public health experts, while not limiting the scope of application to communicable diseases.
Summary
Korean summary
목적 : 이 연구는 한국의 역학조사관제도의 바람직한 개선방향을 제시하고자 하였다. 방법 : 1999년 이후 16년간 한국에서 진행되어왔던 역학조사관 제도의 운영 현황자료, 각종 문헌, 행정보고서 등을 리뷰하고, 분석 및 평가하였다. 결과 : 연구 분석결과를 활용하여 보다 체계적인 감염병 관리 전문가 양성을 위한 방안과 역학조사관 교육 프로그램의 체계적인, 단계적인 운영 기반을 구축하고 전략 개발을 위한 지속가능한 수행체계를 제안하였으며, 역학조사관 제도 및 교육프로그램의 평가 방법을 제시하고, 향후 질병관리본부에서 자체적인 평가방향을 제안하였다. 또한 감염병에만 국한되지 않는 공중보건 전문인력 양성 및 역량 강화의 가이드라인 개정 및 전문 교육기관 설립에 대한 가능성을 제안함으로써 한국의 역학조사 전문인력 양성을 위한 제도개선을 위한 근거 자료를 마련하였다. 결론 : 이 연구에서 제안된 안을 바탕으로 향후 한국의 역학조사관제도의 적극적인 개선이 요구된다.
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Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health