Field Epidemiology Training Program - CDC-Supported FETPs
FETPs are country-owned programs located within ministries of health and are tailored to meet the public health needs of each country, in accordance with the country’s culture, national priorities, established relationships, and existing public health infrastructure.
The first applied epidemiology training program—the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS)—was established in the United States in 1951 to address a severe shortage of skilled epidemiologists in the public health workforce. In 1976, Canada established the first field epidemiology training program outside of the United States, modeled after EIS. In 1980, the government of Thailand requested CDC’s assistance to establish its own program, with funding initially contributed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Teams of physicians, epidemiologists, public health advisors, instructional designers, health communication specialists, and support staff provide scientific expertise, training consultations, and other programmatic support and advice to help ministries of health enhance their own health protection and health promotion programs.
In most cases, the country lacks a sufficient number of experts who can serve as mentors to the residents during the first few years of the program. In these situations, we place an expert field epidemiologist and trainer to serve as the “Resident Advisor” until a sufficient number of residents have graduated and are able to serve as mentors and trainers. The Resident Advisor is usually a graduate of CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service or another field epidemiology training program whose role is to develop and implement the curriculum, ensure the scientific excellence of the training and supervise the residents.
Support from CDC Headquarters
At CDC headquarters in Atlanta and in our field offices, medical officers, epidemiologists, health scientists, public health advisors and instructional designers provide scientific expertise, training consultations and other programmatic support and advice to help implement field epidemiology programs across the globe. CDC also conducts health system assessments in order to target training content, as well as the placement of residents in the field, to best meet the needs of the country or region.