An Introduction to TEPHINET and FETPs

Did you know? Each day, thousands of “disease detectives” work on the ground, all around the world, to investigate disease outbreaks. Ebola, cholera, HIV, measles, SARS, yellow fever, dengue fever, Zika, sexually transmitted diseases, cancer, heart disease, polio, hepatitis, influenza, depression, PTSD, diabetes, maternal health, injuries, natural disasters…

Field epidemiologists tackle all of these and much more.

The Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) model trains disease detectives to build a strong public health workforce to keep the world healthy. FETP began with the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service in 1951. FETP has since expanded to more than 100 countries.

“Learning by doing” is the core principle of FETP. Under close mentorship, FETP trainees spend about 75% of their time in the field. FETP operates at three training levels to address different needs within the public health system.

Founded in 1997, TEPHINET is a global network of FETPs. 71 programs are current members of TEPHINET. TEPHINET supports FETPs with quality improvement, knowledge exchange, communications and networking, and operational support. We also provide professional development opportunities to individual FETP trainees and graduates.

Our member programs have graduated a total of approximately 12,000 trainees. These trainees have collectively conducted more than 7,600 outbreak investigations and established or evaluated more than 3,000 health surveillance systems.

FETP graduates can join TEPHINET’s FETP alumni network for free at

Since 2008, TEPHINET has operated as a program of The Task Force for Global Health in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Learn more at