This course is an introduction to Biostatistics and Epidemiology. It is the first in a series of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) courses designed to provide you with basic understanding of biostatistical and epidemiological concepts. This course addresses how to organize, summarize, and display quantitative data; introduces measures of variability, basic principles of probability theory and confidence intervals; and interpreting significance tests. The course also provides an understanding of the basic principles and uses of analysis of variance (ANOVA), linear correlation and sampling techniques. The course has a lab in which you will be learning the basics of using Excel and other available statistics software to summarize, analyze and present medical research data. The course promotes self-directed learning, reasoning and problem-solving abilities using basic biostatistical and epidemiological techniques.
This course is an introduction to Evidence Based Medicine (EBM). It consists of two major parts. The first part of this course will be devoted to searching for the best evidence and critically appraising it. You will be asked to read research articles designed to answer a clinical question and then evaluate its validity and generalizability. The second part of this course will be devoted to teach you how to generate an evidence. You will learn different types of research designs from cross-sectional studies to randomized clinical trial (RCTs). In addition, you will be asked to write a research proposal addressing a medical question. Finally, you will be introduced to the basics of Epidemiology that you will need to generate an evidence. Epidemiology is defined in the literature as the study of the distribution and determinants of diseases, health conditions, or events among populations and the application of that study to control health problems. We will present some of the fundamentals of epidemiology including incidence and prevalence; risks, and bias.
This is an introductory research methods and biostatistics course. The course provides an overview of various research and biostatistical methods used in pharmacy practice and research. Emphasis is on application of appropriate methods and interpretation of results. Understanding biostatistics is essential to understand research in the pharmaceutical filed. In this course you will learn the basics of biostatistics; not just how to calculate them, but also how to evaluate them. This course will also prepare you for the other courses in the specialization and teaches you the basics of conducting pharmaceutical research.
In the first part of the course we will discuss quantitative and qualitative research methods. Next, you will learn descriptive statistics. You will learn how to compute measures of central tendency (mean, median and mode) and dispersion (standard deviation and variance). Next you will learn the basics of probability: calculating probabilities, probability distributions and sampling distributions. You need to learn these concepts in order to understand how inferential statistics work. You will also learn how to set up and perform hypothesis tests, how to interpret p-values, and construct confidence intervals and significance tests. Next, we discuss how to assess relationships between variables, and we introduce the concepts of correlation and simple linear regression. In the last part of this courses, we will examine various types of sampling methods, and discuss how such methods can impact the scope of inference. The course lab introduces practical tools for performing data analysis and explores the fundamental concepts necessary to interpret and report results for numerical data. You will be trained to calculate and generate different statistics yourself using available statistical software. No previous knowledge is required, just an interest in research methodology and data analysis. Reading material for assignments will be provided. Additional readings will be suggested during the course. These suggestions are optional and will always refer to freely available material. Various statistical software will be used to analyze data (Excel, and SPSS), but prior computing experience is not required.
Course Objectives/Learning outcomes:
The main objectives of this course are: 1) to enhance the student’s ability to read and understand pharmaceutical journal articles and, 2) to participate in research projects. In particular, we aim to enhance student’s ability to understand the methods section, including biostatistical analysis sections of articles presented in the pharmaceutical literature. Upon completing this course, you will be able to:
- Learn the basic research tools, qualitative and quantitative techniques, and study designs.
- Understand why we use biostatistics in general and acquire the basic biostatistical vocabulary to read pharmacy literature
- Organize, summarize, and display quantitative data.
- Calculate and utilize descriptive statistics appropriate to research questions.
- Calculate statistical summary estimates, measures of variability, and confidence intervals.
- Carry out and interpret a variety of tests of significance, including t-tests, Wilcoxon tests, Chi-Square tests, etc.
- Understand the concept of power and sample size calculation.
- Apply basic biostatistical techniques using SPSS and other available statistical software.
- Create, interpret and communicate results of data analysis via visual representations, such as graphs or charts, and class reports effectively.
This course is planned and developed by a cooperative multi-disciplinary partnership of the College of Medicine faculty and the community-based health services providers. The course is responsive to the evolving social and health systems of Saudi Arabia. It serves medical students by providing community-centered learning experiences. Community medicine at Alfaisal College of Medicine is a longitudinal program consisting of several courses. This first course includes field visits to some of the community medical centers. Also, integral to the course is the Community Oriented Research Project, wherein students undertake a field research project that explores relevant community health issues, such as prevalence of disease and illness, factors affecting such illness, and community attitudes to and knowledge of the problems affecting them. In our everyday clinic we start to see patterns and trends: epidemics of heart disease, obesity, depression, substance abuse. Using the tools and basic principles of community medicine/public health and epidemiology, we can take the next step of learning about the factors that lie behind these illnesses and deal appropriately with them. This course is designed to teach students the basic principles of community medicine/public health and confirm what they already know: that, through community involvement, physicians have the knowledge and the opportunity to change our society/communities for the better.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine is the area of family medicine devoted to prevention and management of occupational and environmental injury, illness, and disability and the promotion of health and productivity of workers, their families and communities. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is industrializing rapidly. It is imperative that the primary care and other physicians have a practical working knowledge on the range of occupational hazards in the Kingdom, especially how to recognize, evaluate, treat or prevent them. Many Saudi and expat workers are employed by small or mid-size companies that may not have a full-time occupational physician on site. Thus, the importance of occupational medicine training becomes evident when considering the incidence of work-place induced illnesses and injuries. This course is usually offered in the third or fourth semester, teaching the medical students general and basic principles of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. It consists of 16 weekly lectures of fundamental topics in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. In addition, we usually conduct filed trips and encourage students to participate is filed work to give student exposure to and some experience in this important area of family medicine.
This course provides an overview of the factors affecting healthcare delivery in rural regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region; exploration of the significance of poverty, low population density, and geographic mal-distribution of providers for the development of policy and practice in healthcare and administration. In the second part of the course student will learn to identify main groups of communicable diseases in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, identify the links in the chain of infection and means of breaking the chain. Student will also learn the signs and symptoms, causative agent, reservoir, means of transmission, for these locally known communicable diseases. During this course students will be asked to conduct a community research project addressing one of the course objectives and present findings to the class.