Full course description
The critical appraisal of medical literature is an essential skill of any clinical researcher or clinician practicing evidence-based medicine. In the current era of information overload in which published scientific studies can vary greatly in quality and validity, users of medical literature must develop the ability to identify proper study design, potential sources of bias, appropriate statistical analysis and interpretation, and assess generalizability. In this eight week course, students will be introduced to multiple clinical research study designs and will demonstrate critical evaluation of the medical literature. Basic concepts will be introduced in the first two weeks using asynchronous lectures and educational readings. Over the next six weekly sessions, students will be split into small groups to be led by expert facilitators from diverse clinical backgrounds. Each week during a small group session, students will sharpen their skills in critical appraisal by discussing in detail a recent published article representing each major study design category.