Perspective Open Access
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In recent years, field epidemiologists have embraced rapidly evolving digital tools, data sources and technologies, and collaborated with an ever-growing field of scientific specialisms. The COVID-19 pandemic put field epidemiology under unprecedented demand and scrutiny. As the COVID-19 emergency recedes, it is timely to reflect on the core values of our profession and the unique challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. In November 2022, alumni of the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET) and the European Public Health Microbiology (EUPHEM) training programme celebrated 25 years of EPIET, and the present and future of field epidemiology was discussed. The output was recorded and qualitatively analysed. This Perspective reflects the authors’ interpretation of the discussion. We should reaffirm our commitment to field epidemiology’s core strengths: competence and rigour in epidemiology, surveillance, outbreak investigation and applied research, leading to timely and actionable evidence for public health. Our future success will be defined by an ability to adapt, collaborate, harness innovation, communicate and, ultimately, by our tangible impact on protecting and improving health.


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