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Evidence based medicine is a "movement” that has taken hold in the medical community in the last decade. It emphasizes the importance of evidence, the sources of evidence and the evaluation of that evidence. In this course the students learn to evaluate and rate such evidence. What category or type of study is stronger evidence? How good is a certain type of study within a given category?

Critical reading is a basic tool of the practicing physician for keeping his or her practice consistent with current medical knowledge. The two main goals of this course are to convince students of the importance of having the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to systematically evaluate the validity and applicability of medical research studies, and to provide them with the tools to do so.

Nasser Gayed Course Director
Dr. Nasser Gayed
Hours: after class for 2 hours (Forum exam room #2) please contact Dr. Gayed prior to the class day that you will be staying late for office hours
(217) 326-1682
Medical Sciences Building
506 S. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Annie Weisner Teaching Assistant
Annie Weisner
Textbooks and Materials

Recommended Textbooks

Clinical Epidemiology: The Essentials, 5th Edition by Fletcher, Robert H./ Fletcher, Suzanne W., Ph.D., Lipcott Williams & Williams
Epidemiolgy in Medicine, 1987th Edition by Charles H. Hennekens, Julie E. Buring, Sherry L. Mayrent, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Medical Epidemiology, 4th Edition by Greenberg, R., McGraw-Hill/Appleton & Lange

You will receive notes for topics not well covered in text.


Assessment Description Percent
Research Critiques Independant 25%
Final Exam Exam 75%

The MPL varies from year to year depending on assessment of exam difficulty, but is generally close to 60%.


There will be one closed-book exam, consisting of multiple-choice or similar format short-answer questions and some open-ended problems to solve. There is generally some choice allowed for short answer questions. All tests will attempt to emphasize concepts, reasoning, and critical thinking over straight memorization.


You need the technical language of Epidemiology and research design to understand the medical research literature. Many of the terms used sound like ordinary English, but in Epidemiology they take very precise technical meaning. Learning this language is at least half the battle of this course, and will be tested on the exams. Our multiple choice questions may be more complex to interpret, and require more analysis, than those typically encountered in medical school exams.

How should I study

This course stresses understanding and application. Memorize the technical language and definitions, as you would in any other medical course, and check your knowledge of the material by practicing solving problems, such as those in the CDC exercises, those on the course website, and those at the end of each chapter in the supplemental text Medical Epidemiology, as well as problems found elsewhere on your own. Don’t hesitate to ask the TA, or Dr. Gayed for help. If you find you can’t do many of these problems on your own, come see us for regular help in studying for the course.

Emergency/Extreme Weather
If conditions require the cancelling of classes or closure, the college will broadcast an announcement on this website, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Review the full Emergency Action Plan.
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University of Illinois
College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign

506 S. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801

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