Field Epidemiology Training Program
Preventive Medicine Department, Ministry of Health, Riyadh,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The idea of starting a postgraduate program in Epidemiology evolved from the need of the Ministry
of Health to staff positions in the preventive medicine divisions, both within the Ministry and in
Health Regions, with qualified practicing Saudi epidemiologists, highly trained in the area of
discovering and combating epidemics, and in improving preventive programs.
The FETP participates with an epidemiologic team, as part of the preventive medicine team during
the Hajj each year, to conduct field studies and participate in epidemiologic investigation and
surveillance of health problems during hajj. Hajj studies are designed in line with the experiences
acquired during previous hajj seasons. The aim of these studies is to prevent the appearance of
certain epidemic diseases and evaluate variety of preventive health services in Hajj. Plans are
made in collaboration with other involved governmental authorities to apply the recommendations
of the studies in future hajj seasons, and to supervise their effectiveness.
History of Filed Epidemiology Training Program (FETP), KSA
The Assistant Deputy Ministry of Preventive Medicine - Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
along with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, USA, and King Saud
University, developed the “Field Epidemiology Training Program” (FETP).
The program started accepting trainees in 1409 H (1989 G). The duration of training is two years,
leading to “Diploma in Field Epidemiology” from King Saud University, which is recognized as
equivalent to a Masters Degree by Saudi Council for Health Specialities. The program accepted
trainees from graduates of Medical Schools and other scientific majors with health promoting
interests, until 1419 H, when acceptance into the program was made exclusive to Medical School
The FETP is concerned with preparing qualified individuals to be involved in National, Regional and
Local Health Programs of registering and control of diseases such as Malaria, Leishmaniasis,
Infectious Diseases, Food poisoning, Cancer, Cardiac and Coronary disease, Diabetes Mellitus,
Premarital screening and so on.
In the Field Epidemiology Training Program, we are working towards complying with the vision of
the Ministry of Health and King Saud University, with the continuous support of the Minister of
Health and authorities in the ministry, for improvement in health services through quality research
The Field Epidemiology Training Program is continuously strengthening its level of training, so as to
adapt to the expanding scope of epidemiology globally and changing requirements of the Ministry of
Health programs nationally. The program also organizes short training opportunities in epidemic
investigation and surveillance to workers in the preventive field within the Ministry and Health
Regions. Furthermore, the Ministry of civil services has lately approved a one-month training
program in epidemiology for health surveyors and a 6 weeks Basic Epidemiology course for
physicians. Program also organizes a series of training workshops on Epidemiology, Research
methodology, Data analysis, Surveillance and Geographical Information System, on regular basis.