Department of Emergency Medicine
Clinical and Translational Science Center Biostatistical Services

Introduction to Medical Research for Residents

Welcome to Introduction to Medical Research. In this course we will introduce you to basic concepts in conducting research. At the end of this course, you should be able to produce a well-written protocol including a sound experimental design, know how to implement the study, as well as have a good understanding of the basic statistical tools you will need and how to implement them to obtain your results. If time permits we will discuss the presentation and dissemination of scientific research.

Proposed sequence of instruction:

Each week we will read and discuss a set of material from the primary literature, presentations from the CTSpedia web site, and The World Health Organization's publication A Practical Guide for Health Researchers by Fathalla and Fathalla, all of which are available on this site . As we read and discuss the course material and begin developing research protocols, students will share both their research ideas and questions about the process of medical research with the group. At the end of the month, you should have your protocol written and be intellectually ready to begin your research. The Clinical and Translational Science Center can provide additional help with Statistics and other aspects of research as you begin the actual work.

1) Basic Principles

  1. WHO Chapter 1: Introduction and Overview; WHO Chapter 2: Ethics, M.F. Fathalla and M.M.F. Fathalla
  2. Evidence-based Medicine: The basic concepts, Robert Harrington
  3. Reproducible Research Standards and Definitions, James Ware
  4. Reproducible Epidemiologic Research, Peng, Dominici and Zeger
  5. The scandal of poor medical research, Douglas G. Altman
  6. WHO chapter 14: Assessment and Evaluation of Research
  7. WHO annex 3: Searching the Literature, M.F. Fathalla and M.M.F. Fathalla

2) Planning

  1. WHO Chapter 4: Planning the Research
  2. Study Design, Patrick Monahan
  3. WHO Chapter 5: Writing the Protocol
  4. Some Practical Guidelines for Effective Sample-Size Determination, Russell Lenth

3) Implementation

  1. WHO Chapter 7: Implementing the Research Project
  2. A Methodology for Conducting Retrospective Chart Review Research, Gearing et al
  3. Observational Research Methods: cohort, cross sectional, and case-control studies, C.J. Mann

4) Analyzing Research Results

  1. WHO Chapter 8: Describing and Analyzing Research Results
  2. It’s all about Uncertainty, George Howard
  3. Hypothesis Testing and Confidence Interval Estimation, Susan Perkins
  4. Comparison of Means, Susan Perkins
  5. Analysis of Categorical Data, Sui L. Hui
  6. Correlation and Simple Linear Regression, Chandan Saha

5) Interpreting Research Results

  1. WHO Chapter 9: Interpreting Research Results

6) Disseminating Research Results (optional)

  1. WHO Chapter 10: Communicating Research
  2. WHO Chapter 11: Writing a Scientific Paper
  3. WHO Chapter 12: Publishing a Scientific Paper
  4. WHO Chapter 13: Making a Scientific Presentation