MPA 646: Medical Research Methods and Literature Review

Course Description Research methodology, experimental design, statistical analysis, and critical evaluation of the medical literature, and their applications to physician assistant practice. Students are introduced to study designs, and analyze their comparative strengths and limitations. Students will gain the knowledge and skills to effectively use biostatistics in research design and data analysis. Topics include choosing correct statistical methods and study designs in research and practice, descriptive statistics, probability and probability distributions, estimation and hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, simple linear regression, introduction to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and an introduction to the use of statistical software packages. Emphasis is on the development of skills required to contribute to the development of the body of knowledge of the profession as entry-level researchers, including: the pursuit of excellence in scientific inquiry, critical thinking, clinical interest and creativity in a scholarly end-product. Students apply their knowledge and skills to formulate research questions and hypotheses, develop research protocols, conduct computerized searches, and review and critically analyze the medical literature. Students will use journal articles and other evidence-based resources to address clinical questions and scenarios, and apply evidence-based medicine to clinical practice. Ethical issues in research are discussed, including informed consent and the function of an IRB. By the end of the course, students will have chosen a topic for their capstone project
Credits 3