Ten Day International Teaching Seminar on Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Prevention
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability in most countries in the world. The founders of the Ten Day teaching seminar, Professors Jerry and Rose Stamler, Richard Remington, and Professor Geoffrey Rose, recognised the need for training in research into cardiovascular disease prevention, as well as the constraints on time and resources limiting the ability of workers in less developed countries to obtain this. With support from the International Society and Federation of Cardiology (now the World Heart Federation) Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, they thus created a ten day course to provide basic training.
The main aim of the seminar is to increase the body of people around the world who have the needed skills to carry out epidemiologic studies and to strengthen the efforts to prevent mass cardiovascular disease.
The Ten Day Seminar has been held on an annual basis since 1968. The first seminar was convened in Makarska, Yugoslavia, in 1968. The 47th Ten Day Seminar took place in Nadi, Fiji in June, 2015, and was hosted by Fiji National University. The Society has a strong focus on improving cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention in low and middle income countries, and with this view, several of the Ten Day Seminars have been hosted by low and middle income countries. In 1998, Professors Darwin Labarthe, Kay-Tee Khaw, Dag Thelle, and Neil Poulter published a 30-year perspective on the aims and outcomes of the Ten Day Seminars.
To date, over 1600 physicians and scientists from over 100 nations have been fellows of the seminar, and 48 seminars have now taken place in 36 different countries. The basic training is in fundamental epidemiologic principles and methods and biostatistics with a focus on practical examples of cardiovascular disease epidemiology and prevention. Each working day typically comprises a programme of four one-hour lectures and a small group activity. Lectures cover the basic concepts of epidemiology and biostatistics. Academic exercises are split over two weeks, from Monday through Saturday of week one and from Monday through Thursday of week two, with social programs on each of the preceding Sundays organised by the hosting institution.
There is a high ratio of faculty to fellows, usually with one faculty member for every 4 fellows, and a spirit of collegiality is encouraged. Group work is a central feature of the annual seminar. Small groups of roughly 10 fellows, plus faculty leaders, encourage more active participation from individuals and help fellows to work together as a team in answering real-world questions and addressing practical problems related to conducting research. In the first half of the course, practical exercises help to consolidate material taught in the lectures through analysis of data to examine concepts related to survey design, data collection methods, sampling bias, and measures of risk. Literature reviews highlight some of these same issues with a specific focus on cardiovascular disease epidemiology. In the second half of the course, groups prepare a study protocol, applying the knowledge they have gained from lectures and previous exercises. Groups present their proposed study designs – highlighting strengths and limitations of different study designs – to the rest of the course for comments and criticisms on the final day of the seminar. Fellows of the Ten Day Seminar often go on to develop research questions highlighted during the course into full research projects, frequently in international collaboration with other fellows.
Interested in being a fellow?
Applications are now open for the 50th Ten Day International Teaching Seminar on Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Prevention to be held in Goa, India.
Click here for more details and how to apply.
Interested in hosting?
If your university or institution is interested in hosting a future seminar, please contact us for more information.