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Course Catalog

340.636.11 Epidemiology in Evidence-Based Policy

Summer Inst. term
2 credits
Academic Year:
2017 - 2018
East Baltimore
Mon 06/19/2017 - Fri 06/23/2017
Class Times:
  • M Tu W Th F,  1:30 - 4:50pm
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Ayesha Khan
Course Instructor :

Knowledge of basic epidemiology is recommended.


Learn how science in general and epidemiology in particular are used to inform health and regulatory policies.

Distinguishes between good science and “junk science,” defines the role of scientists and epidemiologists in translating evidence to practice and policy, and examines how science fares in the legislative, regulatory, and judicial settings. Places special emphasis on contemporary cases in which the evidence is actively debated. Topics include nutrition recommendations (e.g. reductions in sodium, saturated fat), screening recommendations (e.g. mammography for women in their forties and screening for prostate cancer); gun-control; fraudulent research (e.g. purported link between autism and prior MMR vaccination); and legal and policy implications of class action lawsuits (e.g. lawsuits for breast implants and the Björk-Shiley mechanical heart valve). Faculty present examples with which they have been personally involved in order to share the “inside scoop” with students. Presents key methodologic issues, e.g. surrogate outcomes, use of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Assess the contribution of scientific findings to the making of public policy
  2. Assess the contribution of scientific findings to the making of clinical decisions and the development of practice guidelines
  3. Differentiate between good science and junk science
  4. Examine the legislative, regulatory, and legal perspectives of policymaking
  5. Examine the interplay among the various determinants of policy and clinical decision making
  6. Identify methodologic issues that affect the relevance of published evidence
Methods of Assessment:


Instructor Consent:

No consent required