Pediatric medicine fellow sharpens skills in the Summer Session in Epidemiology

Photo of Jordan Ferguson

Jordan Ferguson

2022 participant in the Summer Session in Epidemiology at Michigan Public Health; Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow at Akron Children’s Hospital

Dr. Jordan Ferguson knew from a young age that he wanted to work in the healthcare profession. His mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when he was 11 years old. 

“I spent a lot of time in doctors’ offices with her, and knew I wanted to become a doctor to help others like her,” he said. 

That led him down a path that brought him to the Akron Children’s Hospital in northeast Ohio, where he is a pediatric emergency medicine fellow. 

After receiving his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) from the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Indianapolis, he completed a pediatric residency, and is now training to specialize in pediatric emergency medicine. 

“In addition to my clinical duties in the emergency department, we complete scholarly activities including a research project as well as continuing medical education courses,” Ferguson said. For those continuing education credits, Ferguson turned to the University of Michigan School of Public Health’s Summer Session in Epidemiology. 

The Summer Session in Epidemiology offers short, intensive courses in epidemiology to provide a foundation for understanding the principles, methods and practice of epidemiology. It is designed for public health and healthcare professionals, researchers and others who want to build a foundation in epidemiologic science. The program also fulfills the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). 

“The Summer Session in Epidemiology was a great learning experience,” Ferguson said. “I had biostatistics and epidemiology classes in college and medical school years ago, but the Summer Session classes supplemented my knowledge of interpreting and understanding data.” 

Ferguson is currently in the data analysis phase of his fellowship research project. 

“I have a better grasp on my data and feel more comfortable with data analysis after these classes,” he said. 

For nearly 60 years, the Summer Session in Epidemiology at Michigan Public Health has been one of the nation’s most highly regarded summer epidemiology programs. 

“The program offers a vibrant three-week curriculum in state-of-the-art epidemiologic methods and applications taught by an international group of expert instructors.  It’s also one of the most competitively priced summer epidemiology programs in the country,” says Eduardo Villamor, professor of epidemiology at Michigan Public Health and director of the Summer Session in Epidemiology program. “The breadth and depth of the academic program is complemented by lectureship events and social activities that foster networking between participants from diverse backgrounds.

The condensed three-week schedule makes the program more manageable for adult learners, Ferguson said. 

“Akron Children’s Hospital carves out time in our schedules to be able to take these courses at the University of Michigan,” he said. “Akron Children’s Hospital fellows have participated in this program for many years.”

This year’s Summer Session offers 29 classes taught by Michigan Public Health’s expert faculty and guest instructors from other top schools of public health around the world. Keynote lectures will be given by Eric J. Tchetgen Tchetgen, the Luddy Family President’s Distinguished Professor and Professor of Statistics and Data Science at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Rebecca Cunningham, the William G. Barsan Collegiate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan.

“The faculty are wonderful; their combination of lectures and small group activities engage people from many backgrounds with different perspectives,” Ferguson said. “Overall, it was great and well worth the time.” 

The Summer Session in Epidemiology will take place from July 10–28, 2023, with both in-person and online course options. Applications are due June 1 and can be submitted online on the Summer Session in Epidemiology’s webpage.