Adviser Colorectal Cancer Screening Project

The master program has provided Benedicte Sofie Eilertsen with a broad set of theoretical perspectives. This enable her to better understand the wider context she is working in and participate in fruitful discussions with colleagues coming from different academic backgrounds.

Benedicte Sofie Eilertsen, Photo: private

What you do in your current job?

- My tasks range from administrative and data management tasks to performing statistical analysis.

- Administrative tasks consist of daily contact with the two screening centers, assisting in sorting out any problems with the screening center timetable and epicrisis database. Further, I have the responsibility to plan when and how many invitations to send weekly to participants in both study arms. It is important to balance the amount of invitations with the colonoscopy capacity at the hospital screening centers. This is to ensure that the hospitals are able to examine participants with positive screening results within the guaranteed maximum waiting time.

- Data management tasks consist of both updating the database and extracting raw data from the screening database using MySQL programming language. I do this for example when someone wants up to date numbers for a presentation or when researchers working on the project need data for their research projects.

- Currently I am working on a 3 years status report of the project. For this report I am doing a statistical analysis together with a statistician using SAS programming to get preliminary information about results and differences between the two screening modalities.

How did you get the job?

- While writing my master thesis I kept my eyes open for job vacancies and found this one. It only took about two weeks after applying before I’ve had two interviews and a job offer.

To what extent is the knowledge you acquired through your studies at the Institute of Health Management and Health Economics relevant to your current job?

- With its multidisciplinary fundament, the master program has provided me with a broad set of theoretical perspectives enabling me to better understand the wider context I’m working in and participate in fruitful discussions with colleagues coming from different academic backgrounds.

- The master program introductory course in medicine has shown to be helpful several times as I work close with doctors.

- The more technical and practical subjects such as statistics, linear regression analysis and economic evaluation have provided me with a key skill set for performing my tasks at work - especially for analyzing data in SAS. Although other tools such as STATA and SPSS where used at the university, it has helped me to understand SAS quickly.

How are the possibilities of developing your skills in your current job?

- As I work close with researchers and also perform analysis my self, I continuously improves my data analysis skills and research method knowledge.

- Further, as a part of my job I enroll in a subject at the Department of Informatics at UiO to learn MySQL programming.

- I also attend seminars or conferences of interest when possible. I recently returned from a seminar in Barcelona where researchers from all around the world exchanged knowledge and experience with respect to their national screening programs and research. Attending seminars where I meet new people working within the same domain as me is very inspiring and valuable for learning.

- So far, looking further ahead I can only see a huge potential to grow and further develop my skills within this project and at the Cancer Registry of Norway.

Facts about The colorectal cancer (CRC) screening project

The colorectal cancer (CRC) screening project is a pilot project designed as a comparative effectiveness programme comparing iFOBT (home test for hidden blood in stool) versus flexible sigmoidoscopy (hospital examination of the lower part of the large intestine) screening in a randomised fashion.

The aim is to assess the effect of CRC screening itself and to compare the two screening modalities against each other with respect to CRC incidence and mortality, and to see which method is most appropriate in a public health perspective.

Published Dec. 4, 2015 8:21 AM