Who can be a biostatistician?

Nowadays, Statistics and more specifically Biostatistics is increasingly becoming an important and essential tool in the area of scientific and technical research for everyone who works in very diverse contexts linked to human health, ecology, environment, agriculture, etc.

With the new advances in technology, the extraction and storage of information to create statistical databases is becoming an easier and more feasible task. That is the reason why medical researchers, biologists, chemists, and other professionals not related to Mathematics or Statistics may need to learn a range of statistical techniques to process their data. However, it would be erroneous to expect that neither mathematicians nor statisticians need additional training to know widely the work that biostatisticians carry out. Mathematical knowledge (usually mainly theoretical) is not enough. Ideally, some training in the Bio sciences area would be required too.

But, how to be a biostatistician? What kind of studies do you need? Nowadays there are many formative courses and Master’s degree aimed to biomedical researchers. Here, we will talk about some of them.

  • Basic and specific courses:

On the website of Biostatnet and the Spanish Region of the International Biometric Society (Sociedad Española de Biometría, SEB), among many others, we can find a number of basic and specific courses targeted to health researchers. These courses may be orientated towards professionals who are not statisticians (like this) or may have a more complex content (like this). The Servei d’Estadística Aplicada of the UAB (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), is an example of interdepartmental service with a lot of courses and seminars of different levels.
There are also public healthcare institutions, among them EVES (Valencian School for Health Studies), which sometimes give courses specially aimed to doctors and nurses. It should be underlined that many scientists work daily with simple tests, as t-student, and they need to understand it.

Furthermore, if you need better training there are also different Master’s and postgraduate degrees that offer you high specialization.

  • Master’s and postgraduate degrees:

Currently, in Spain there are few universities that offer Master’s degrees purely Biostatistics. Most of them are combined with other branches of Statistics such as Bioinformatics (one of the newest tools in Genomics). Others give simultaneously Statistics and Operations Research, where Biostatistics itself is part of the agenda. At present, the Universitat de València is the only one that offers a Master’s degree in Biostatistics.
The following are some of the Master’s degree and postgraduate courses in Statistics taught in Spanish universities:

  1. Master’s degree

Máster en Bioestadística (UV)

Máster en Bioinformática/Bioinformatics (UAB)

Máster en Bioinformática y bioestadística (UOC)

Máster en Estadística Aplicada (UGR)

Máster en Estadística e Investigación Operativa (UPC)

Máster en Técnicas Estadísticas (Interuniversity master degree between UDC, USC and UVIGO)

  1. Postgraduate courses

Máster en Metodología de la investigación: Diseño y estadística en ciencias de la salud (UAB)

Máster en Bioestadística: fundamentos de la estadística (UOC)

As we can see, in Spanish universities, Biostatistics has yet to be noticed. That is why it would be interesting that they would focus on a science that is winning more and more followers. Do you want to join? Biostatistics is breaking down walls!

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One thought on “Who can be a biostatistician?

  1. Pingback: Measuring Disease Trends through Social Media | FreshBiostats

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