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Re: st: Teaching Stata to Pubic Health Students

From   Ronan Conroy <>
To   "" <>
Subject   Re: st: Teaching Stata to Pubic Health Students
Date   Wed, 22 Dec 2010 17:04:06 +0000

On 22 Dec 2010, at 15:46, J Michael Oakes wrote:

> Was hoping members of this list might comment on what software (esp SAS 
> v Stata) and *data management* courses they offer their masters/graduate 
> students. I am particularly interested in comments from Public Health 
> faculty but insights from anyone would be most welcome.

We use Stata for a number of reasons. The first is compelling: if we used SAS or SPSS, the students would leave with a package that would expire within a few months, and would not have any working statistical package at all!

The second reason is course content: epidemiological indices like attributable risk, preventable fractions etc are easily available in Stata; meta-analysis, observer agreement etc are richly supported by user-written routines; measures of risk (odds ratios, relative risks, hazard ratios, incidence rate ratios) are all easily accessible – I could go on, but basically when we drew up the course outline, there was only one package that would do it all.

Finally, the teaching materials on the web for Stata are excellent. 

Actually, the final point is the place of Stata in biomedical research. I kept tabs on the Lancet for a few months this year. Stata predominated as the package used in research papers, with SAS second and SPSS third. 

And you can't hope to deal with a nicer bunch of people than the people at Statacorp and the user community. 

A very happy Christmas, incidentally, to all on Statalist. 

Ronán Conroy
Associate Professor
Division of Population Health Sciences
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

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