MS-1: Evidence-Based Medicine - Applied

January 4, 2023-May 10, 2023
13 sessions

Course Director
Peter Drain, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Cell Biology and Physiology

Course Director
John Maier, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Family Medicine

Course Description

Evidence-Based Medicine - Applied integrates the themes of the clinical expertise and scientific reasoning. Students learn how clinical trials, medical databases, and translational medicine are foundations of evidence-based medicine and patient-centered care. The goal of EBM - Applied is to help medical students to become medical practitioners/investigators, who are current with the latest advances in medicine.

EBM-Applied focuses on how to generate a research proposal. Students learn how knowledge is derived from biomedical research.

Course Goals:

  1. Design a hypothesis-driven biomedical research proposal.
  2. Critically evaluate a biomedical research article—background, hypothesis, study design, results, statistics, key information, validity of conclusions.
  3. Search the literature to find articles pertinent to the patient.
  4. Critique the literature.
  5. Relate the literature to the patient.
  6. Engage in self-directed learning.

In EBM-Applied, students continue learning about critical appraisal of medical literature. The goal is for students to learn how the medical literature is generated and is used to formulate a scientifically rigorous approach for taking care of the patient. Patient information is from cases.

Students work in small-group active-bearing environments, in class and on-line, with 8–9 students and 2 facilitators per group. Students take turns serving as Investigators and Evaluators. Investigators make and present PowerPoint presentations of articles. Evaluators review the presentations and articles. By the end of EBM-Applied, students also will have identified an area of interest for a scholarly project that will be further developed in Investigation and Discovery. In addition, students independently study online material for the course.

The 43 faculty for this course are from 14 departments: Anesthesiology; Cell Biology and Physiology; Emergency Medicine; Family Medicine; Neurobiology; Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; Ophthalmology; Pathology; Pediatrics; Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Psychiatry; Surgery; Urology; and Environmental and Occupational Health (School of Public Health).

Educational Methods

  • Small-group active learning
  • Case-based small group discussion
  • Literature critique
  • Independent study
  • Self-directed learning
  • Online modules
  • Visual small group rooms online
  • Oral presentations


Evaluation for this course is based on generating a feasible hypothesis-driven research proposal, selection of a high quality article, PowerPoint presentation of the article, demonstrating knowledge of articles and critical thinking, contributions to discussion, critical evaluations of articles presented, and timeliness in all assignments. There is a maximum of 10 points for EBM-Applied - research design (5.0 pts) and critical appraisal (5.0 pts).

Grading: This course comprises 100% of the grade for the Evidence and Discovery Block, Section 2. Grading for the block is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.