Understanding Epidemiologists Who Serve as Preceptors

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Annals of Epidemiology






Purpose: This study describes factors associated with epidemiologists from state health departments (HDs) who served as preceptors.

Methods: We used the 2014 Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey, a national survey of state health agency workers, and selected those who identify their role in the organization as an epidemiologist and a state HD employee for analysis. Variables related to recruitment and retention were studied, and predictor variables were assessed. We applied statistical analysis of complex sampling design based on weights generated by the distribution of the epidemiologists. Logistic regression was used to determine factors that are significant predictors of preceptorship.

Results: Significant factors of increased preceptorship included being black (adjusted odds ratios [AOR] = 3.98, 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.01–7.88), being a team leader (AOR = 2.09, 95% CI, 1.07–4.05), a supervisor (AOR = 2.75, 95% CI, 1.25–6.08), or a manager (AOR = 2.70, 95% CI, 1.15–6.34), and collaborating with academia (AOR = 3.11, 95% CI, 1.82–5.34).

Conclusions: State HDs and academic institutions should collaborate to offer applied epidemiology practicum opportunities to (1) increase job satisfaction among applied epidemiologists and (2) prepare the incoming workforce to work in applied epidemiology.