Welcome to Advanced Evidence-Based Medicine!

The purpose of this course is to gain a deeper understanding of some of the philosophical underpinnings of evidence-based medicine (EBM) and their impact on patient care. You will critically analyze the conceptual framework of EBM; explore how evidence is organized; analyze limitations of the holy grail of EBM (the RCT), the impact of unpublished information on our knowledge, and conflicting evidence; and explore what role patients should play in EBM. You will use a variety of learning tools to make meaning of the information in this course.

It is assumed you have a basic understanding of EBM. If you need to refresh your knowledge you can visit my introductory course on EBM. For UAB School of Medicine MD-MPH students, this co-enrolled elective can be taken for partial credit (in combination with the 2nd year course in EBM) to satisfy the MPH degree requirements.

Before you get started, fully review this page, the layout of the course, and course navigation. Individual modules are located in the navigation pane to the right. You can access them by clicking on them. If you have any questions please contact the course director.

You can access the course syllabus here. It contains the course schedule and activities. Review it fully. If you have any questions please contact the course director. I'm excited to have you in the class and look forward to your contributions to the learning community.

Course objectives:

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Analyze the EBM paradigm for strengths and weaknesses/limitations.
  2. Understand and assess various limitations in "evidence" could have on its application to patient care.
  3. Develop an approach to dealing with missing or conflicting evidence when answering clinical questions.
  4. Correctly utilize various tools to create artifacts to deepen their understanding of course concepts.
  5. Utilize social media to connect with content, each other, and the instructor to foster meaning development in the material.

Learning outcomes:

  • Students will further develop their critical reading and analysis of the literature (EBM) skills through course activities.
  • Students will utilize social media to engage with peers and the instructor at least weekly.
  • Students will create multimedia artifacts to demonstrate their understanding of course concepts.

Student choice:

Course topics were chosen to advance your deeper understanding of EBM. But this course is ultimately for YOU. You can choose to replace 1-2 modules with topics of your choice related to EBM. Any change in topic must be approved by the course director ahead of time. Topics must be of similar depth and breadth as the module you are replacing and must use social media tools in some way.

Performance and participation expectations:

Students should expect to spend at least 2-4 hours per week on course activities. This course is based on collaborative inquiry and knowledge construction so students must be active participants in the course. You are expected to:
  • Sign up for accounts to the various social media platforms used in this course.
  • Submit assignments and activities on time.
  • Work effectively in your small group that will be referred to as a personal learning network or PLN
  • Actively engage in all discussions by meaningfully responding to posts, messages, and conversations within 24 hours. Do not just say you agree or disagree with a classmate. Expand on why. Demonstrate how much you know!
  • Actively contribute to discussions held in social platforms, group assignments, and activities by adding content.
  • Behave professionally online and practice good netiquette.
  • You agree to follow safe and responsible practices and guidelines (see social media guidelines below) for yourself and others when using social media, online applications, email and other digital tools that are required to take this course.
  • You are expected to follow all school of medicine policies, with special attention to the code of conduct and honor code.
  • Reasonable accommodations will be made for qualified individuals with limitations due to a documented disability. Accommodations must be requested through the UAB Office of Disability Support Services and recommendations for accommodations must come from this office.

Student interaction and collaboration:

I believe learning is social. Learning occurs during the process of converting knowledge to meaning by understanding its nuances, values, and implications. This requires interaction with peers to socially negotiate meaning. Thus, you will actively learn with your peers during this course. You will create a PLN with class members of your choice. Please self-divide into groups of 3-4 students and email the course director with the members of your group. Each PLN is responsible for deciding on the tools you will use to collaborate and communicate (e.g. Google docs, a wiki, etc).

Social media use guidelines:

You should follow the official social media guidelines of UAB Medicine.

Social media platforms and uses:

Prior to commencing with the first module, you will need to get an account for each of the following tools. Remember to follow UAB social media guidelines when selecting a username.

Purpose of tool for the course
Course specific group information
Content sharing, discussion, course
Join the group "UAB Advanced EBM" by emailing the course director to request access to the group.
WordPress or
Reflection and sharing content.
Commenting on classmates' posts
Once established, post your site URL to the class Facebook group.
**Google Hangouts**
Synchronous meetings and discussions
The course director will announce synchronous meetings throughout the course.
These will be scheduled at mutually convenient times.
Share research information and resources
Join the group "UAB Advanced EBM" by emailing the course director to request access to the group.
Content sharing, announcements,
interacting with experts, locate content
Once a username is established tweet out a welcome to the course.
Include the course hashtag #UABEBM in your welcome tweet (use this hashtag on all course tweets).
Content curation

**Google Docs**
Student collaboration, content sharing

Google Drawings
Content creation

Course monitoring:

All course announcements, updates, and assignment submissions will be done through our course facebook group. It is important that all students check the group regularly and are active contributors in the group. Any assignments that are completed through other social networks and online tools will need to be posted to our facebook group in order to receive credit.

Technical requirements:

This is an online course requiring a computer or mobile device with speakers and an internet connection. Software to access pdf documents is also needed (get free Adobe Reader). It is assumed you have basic computer and internet skills. We will have some synchronous online meetings so access to a high-speed internet connection is needed. If you have any technical issues please email the course director.

Course director information:

terry photo small.pngTerry Shaneyfelt, MD, MPH

Contact info: terrys@uab.edu (during work hours) or uabebm@gmail.com (after hours)

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at UAB. I am a general internist who developed a passion for EBM after participating in the McMaster EBM course in 1999. My research is focused on clinical practice guidelines, evaluating & teaching of EBM, and educational technology. I am a past member of the Society of General Internal Medicine EBM Task Force and am an associate editor of the BMJ EBM journal.
Follow me on Twitter
Read my blog on EBM and on educational technology

Start Learning- Go To Module 1