Epidemiology has a central role in public health practice, education and research, and is arguably the only discipline unique to public health. A strong perception exists among epidemiologists in Australia that there is a substantial shortage in epidemiological capacity within the health workforce and health research, and that there are few graduates with sufficient high-level epidemiological training to fill the educational and leadership roles that will be essential to building this capacity. It was this concern that led the Australasian Epidemiological Association (AEA)--the peak professional body for epidemiologists in Australia and New Zealand--to convene a working group in 2007 to assess and address these concerns. This article summarises the key training challenges and opportunities discussed within this group, and the larger organisation, with the intention of stimulating greater public debate of these issues.
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