What attracted you to the health metrics field?
I spent my undergraduate years taking as many classes related to engineering, math, and health care as I could. Early on I saw a press release about IHME data, and I never quite forgot about it. I continued to pursue math and programming, and my interest continued to grow. Eventually, I revisited IHME, recalling the press release, and realized that the fields of population health and health metrics offered me all the things I was considering pursuing after my degrees: programming, mathematical modeling, and health care. The ability to combine my purely academic interests with the social cause I most believe in is incredibly attractive to me and I am happy to be here.
What work are you doing at IHME?
I am a member of the Disease Expenditure team at IHME. We seek to generate expenditure and volume estimates by disease, starting with the United States and expanding outward. We then do cool analyses on the data estimates we generate. This work fills in gaps in available knowledge and will also contribute totally new analyses. Within this project I work primarily on a multistage regression method to generate estimates from raw data. However, the team is highly collaborative and I do something different week to week, which I consider mentally stimulating and a big positive mark.
How do you think your experience at IHME will contribute to your future work?
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is a wonderful place to work and be involved in research. In two general ways, IHME will contribute to my future work: through helping me develop specific skills and through general professional development. The Institute has a self-styled emphasis on programming that, when combined with the sophisticated statistical analyses used throughout, builds fantastic quantitative skills. Specifically, an acumen for statistical analysis is invaluable as more fields go the way of utilizing data. Not lost in this is the social aspect of the work we do, and I think the combination of these ideas leads to well-rounded employees who are positioned to succeed anywhere. In terms of professional development, being in an environment filled with diverse backgrounds and high-performing professionals helps raise someone in my position by example, and the PBF program’s emphasis on mentorship ensures I get quality time with those I work under.
Dieleman JL, Baral R, Birger M, Bui AL, Bulchis A, Chapin A, Hamavid H, Horst C, Johnson EK, Joseph J, Lavado R, Lomsadze L, Reynolds A, Squires E, Campbell M, DeCenso B, Dicker D, Flaxman AD, Gabert R, Highfill T, Naghavi M, Nightingale N, Templin T, Tobias MI, Vos T, Murray CJL. US spending on personal health care and public health, 1996–2013. JAMA. 2016 Dec 17.
Bui AL, Dieleman JL, Hamavid H, Birger M, Chapin A, Duber HC, Horst C, Reynolds A, Squires E, Chung PJ, Murray CJL. Spending on children’s personal health care in the United States, 1996–2013. JAMA Pediatrics. 2016 Dec 27. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.4086.
Hamavid H, Birger M, Bulchis AG, Lomsadze L, Joseph J, Baral R, Bui AL, Horst C, Johnson E, Dieleman JL. Assessing the complex and evolving relationship between charges and payments in US hospitals: 1996 – 2012. PLoS ONE. 2016 Jul 8; 11(7):e0157912. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157912.