M2 Internship: Miguel Camacho
- How did you obtain your M2 thesis internship – was the process easy or difficult?
I got my internship through the Internship Forum organized by EHESP. As part of the completion of our program, we need to have an internship that will be connected to our master’s dissertation. Coming directly from M2 (under the Europubhealth program), I have not done prior research regarding any placement posts until the Internship Forum. In the said event, I made an effort to go to all the present organizations, talked about the projects they offer and discussed how my expectations and interests fit in their projects. I also guaranteed in the end that they marked my name in the CV Book which the school has given them. This ensured that I have made an initial contact with the organizations so they would remember me when they make their decision. After one week, I got an email from one of the institutions (Inserm) in the event offering me a project. I was fortunate enough that their research project fits with the things that I want to work with, and I accepted the placement after a further meeting with them. I am grateful with EHESP for organizing such event which made my internship hunting relatively easy, though I understand that this would not be the case for the majority.
- What is the focus of your internship and what did day-to-day work look like?
Since I work with Inserm, my internship is purely public health research. My team is working in the field of Social Epidemiology so we mainly study health inequalities in different health outcomes. In my project, I am working with the decomposition of socioeconomic inequalities in breast and cervical cancer screening non-adherence amongst the total eligible female population and obese women in France. My daily activities include: conducting systematic literature searches in various bibliographic databases (Medline, Embase, Cochrane, CINAHL, and Web of Science) and the internet for grey literature; critically appraising the relevant health literature; assimilating all the relevant papers for literature review; managing my multiple datasets and variables; performing advanced statistical techniques including classical regression analyses, computation of concentration index, and decomposition analysis; summarizing and interpreting the research findings; and writing the whole dissertation report.
- What do you think about your internship and how does it fit into your future plans?
Our internship is crucial for two things: one for our dissertation, and two for our future career. I am specializing in Epidemiology and Biostatistics; hence, I chose to have my internship in an institution that does epidemiological researches. As an epidemiologist, it is very vital to have the essential knowledge and skills regarding various research designs, methods, and analytical techniques in public health because these are the very same skill set that any epidemiologist will use across all fields. My placement allowed me to fully apply the theoretical knowledge I learned in our coursework. I was proactive enough to get myself involved throughout the whole process, from the formulation of research goals and objectives, to methods, to statistical analyses, up to the writing of the report. Moreover, we agreed beforehand that we will publish an article regarding my research project in a scientific journal, which is important in building an academic profile. Through my internship post, I am confident that I have further developed the skills that I would be surely needing in my career as an epidemiologist.