Medical Decision Analysis and Diagnostic Test Interpretation

Sites: HMS
Director(s): Michael Westover
Prerequisites: Permission of course director; Introduction to Biostatistics and Epidemiology HT190 (suggested)
Offered: January Closed Spring 2020
Location: HMS - Harvard Medical School (0)
Open to Exclerks:
Description: As Olser famously said, "Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability." Most physicians recognize that medical decision making requires navigating a tangled web of uncertain diagnostic and therapeutic data, patient values, and costs. A growing literature regarding the cognitive limitations of physicians in the face of such complexity calls for more principled approaches medical decision making wherever possible. Many commonly encountered clinical problems can be fruitfully framed and analyzed quantitatively using tools from Probability Theory and Decision Analysis. Each participant in this course will pair with an experienced clinical mentor to analyze an unsolved contemporary medical diagnostic or decision problem using standard decision analysis software. This course will thus provide basic didactic sessions in combination with guidance through the process of identifying an appropriate problem, performing the analysis, and ultimately articulating the results in a publication.
Incorporation of Basic Science Content and Evidence-Based Medicine:
Grade Criteria: